Jesus Wept

Album: One True Vine (2013)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is one of three songs on One True Vine that was written by the album's producer and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy. Staples told Mojo magazine the story behind the song: "Tweedy had the track," she recalled, "and I said. 'You've got to write lyrics for it.' When we sat at the (family) table for dinner my father would bless the food then one of us would say the verse and my verse was 'Jesus wept.'"

    The song title is a reference to the Gospel of John 11 v 35, where Jesus cried openly alongside others over the passing of his friend Lazarus, before raising him from the dead. "Jesus wept" is the shortest verse in the Bible.
  • Staples recalled to The Music.com the first time that Tweedy played her this song: "I listened to 'Jesus Wept'," she said, "I was sitting there on the couch and tears were just streaming down my face. Tweedy looked over 'Mavis, are you crying?' and I said 'Tweedy, you're not supposed to be looking at me!'. He said 'Oh Mavis, I'm sorry' but I said 'That's just the way this song is hitting me. But you might have to change the title to Mavis Wept."

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