Wakin' Up

Album: Good Souls Better Angels (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • Before Lucinda Williams married her manager Tom Overby in 2009, she was involved in an abusive relationship. This song shines a light on the domestic violence the singer suffered from her boyfriend.

    Pulled the kitchen chair out from under me
    He pulled my hair and then he kicks me
    Next thing I swear, he wants to kiss on me


    "I'd been in emotionally abusive relationships before," Williams told The Independent. "But that one became physical. I never thought I would find myself there. It crept up on me and it surprised me."
  • Drunk on whiskey, Willams' lover would fly into violent rages that he forgot the next day. Then he started sneaking down to the basement, mixing heroin with cocaine.

    Doin' speedballs on the basement
    'Til all my mind, I can erase it
    That demon I hears, he had to chase it
    I says he's clean, he's tryna brace it


    Williams half raps and half snarls her lyrics about the physical and psychological abuse she suffered at the hands of her drug-addicted boyfriend. "It just got worse and worse until one night, he actually said: 'You need to get out.' He snapped-to long enough to realize what he was doing," Williams recalled to The Guardian. "So I totally understand the whole battered-woman syndrome; it's not black and white."
  • Even after she'd written the song, Williams wasn't sure she should record it. "You hear all the people ask, why do you stay with the guy? You think that only happens to lower-class people, but there's no stereotype for that sort of thing," she told Uncut magazine. "I wrote that song because I had to get it out of my system, and Tom and the guys in the band were very supportive."

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