Lisa Sawyer

Album: Coming Home (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • This soulful tune from Leon Bridges' debut album is the story of his mother, who grew up poor in New Orleans and discovered God as a teen.
  • The song inadvertently informed the budding musician's retro-soul style. He'd grown up on gospel and '90s R&B, largely unaware of soul giants like Sam Cooke. When he first performed this tune at an open mic in Fort Worth, Texas, the feedback he received set him on a path to the past. "Somebody asked me, 'What are your inspirations? Sam Cooke?' I was like, 'Not really.' I'd heard about him, but I wasn't listening to him hard like that," he told NME. "So after that I started digging into soul music and that 1950s and '60s vibe... I love the realness and the simplicity of it. The soul music they were making back then was from the heart."
  • Bridges told New Zealand's Coup de Main magazine how his mom reacted when she first heard the song: "When I first played it for her I had my guitar - she cried. I think she was excited by the fact that not only did I write it about her life, but just kept the story - talked about the story, talked about her mother and father and everything in the song. She didn't know that I was really writing songs like that, so she was shocked."
  • On this track, Bridges sings about his grandmother Eartha, who was "fierce as fire," and his grandfather Victor, who "worked two jobs to provide for his flock." He wrote about his grandparents again on the track "Twistin' & Groovin'," which is about how the couple first met.
  • Bridges, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, also briefly lived in New Orleans before his family settled in Fort Worth.
  • This was used on the TV show The Originals in the 2015 episode "For The Next Millennium."

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