Time Served

Songfacts®:

  • Joey Landreth wrote this tune with fellow Canadian songwriters Donovan Woods and Stuart Cameron. In our interview with Landreth, he revealed he had the concept for the first verse. "I have lyric ideas that can be about a bunch of different things but I don't know what direction to take it," he said. "So that's often when I'll reach out to a co-writer and say, 'I've got this idea. I need a little help guiding it.' It's what we did with that tune. I came to the session with that first verse and Donovan went, 'Oh yeah, I know what this song is about,' and then it just unfolded."
  • We asked Landreth to explain the story happening in this song. "It's about people separating and just trying to make it as easy on each other as they can," he said. "It's reconciling the fact that maybe they saw it coming but chose to look the other way for the sake of love but they wound up being right. So just trying not to make a mess of things."
  • The chorus of this song includes the lyrics, "I will not sing an unkind word because she let me walk on time served," possibly implying that Landreth might have written spiteful lyrics in the past. "It's basically saying we got to a certain point in the relationship and instead of dragging it out and each other through the coals, we just let it down," he clarified to us. "So the idea with that line's meaning is not necessarily that we sing unkind words about past lovers. I guess actually in and of itself it's a total lie, but the idea is that you'll let me go and we'll just go our separate ways and I promise I won't write a song about it in the song that we wrote about it [laughs]."

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