Compassion

Album: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • The opening track of Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, the album title comes from one of this song's lyrics.

    You do not know
    What wars are going on down there
    Where the spirit meets the bone
    Down there where the spirit meets the bone


    Williams explained to The Huffington Post: "['Where the spirit meets the bone'] is just that place deep down inside all of us where nobody else can really see. Everybody has different ways of dealing with that. Some people get cynical, some people act like idiots or come across with the bad manners thing. Like yelling at you when you're in your car driving, and some guy's … road rage or whatever it is. The rude person in line who pushes ahead to get in line. Who knows what that person went through."
  • This is based on a poem by Lucinda Williams' father, lauded Arkansas poet Miller Williams, who read at Bill Clinton's first inauguration. "I found out it's hard to take a poem and make it a song," the singer told the Tallahassee Democrat. "But now I think I figured out the formula. I repeated a lot lines, but I stayed true to the lyric."
  • The song is Williams' first ever musical collaboration with her father. "That's something that I've wanted to do for years: to take one of his poems and make a song out of it," she told Rolling Stone. "But it's very challenging, you know? Because they're two separate animals, poems and songs. I told my dad about it, and he goes, 'You're going to make me famous!' He's always teasing me about that. He goes, 'You used to be known as my daughter. Now I'm known as Lucinda Williams' father.'"

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