Bible Song

Album: Real Fine Place (2005)
  • Writing from the viewpoint of someone suffering from small-town claustrophobia, singer/songwriter Lori McKenna says this song is not about her own experiences, but rather from personal observances of growing up in Stoughton, Massachusetts. "The character sort of feels like they're running off, or they want to run off and get the hell out. I know people who have felt that way, but I actually never have felt that way about it. But that's exactly what it's about," McKenna said in a Songfacts interview.

    She describes writing in character as perhaps a way of "living through everybody else." She continues, "Well, I think that maybe because of the fact that I'm from a really tight-knit family and I live a half a mile away from the house I grew up in, and my husband and I have lived in this house since we were married. Maybe because I really haven't done a lot of traveling. Even my friends that are singer/songwriters, they get in a Geo Prism and they tour the country. They're gone for two weeks at a time and three weeks at a time, then they come back. And I've never really done that, even as a singer/songwriter, because of the kids. I've gone out two days, tops, and things like that. So maybe it's just from the lack of travel. You know, it's easy to sort of take on the idea of somebody who's standing next to you at a soccer game in the morning watching your kids play soccer, and sort of just pick up little things from people when they talk about their lives and things. And maybe it's just because mine hasn't been all that adventurous, I just sort of like to pick out things in other people's lives."
  • Stoughton, Massachusetts is a small town by big city standards. It's the place singer/songwriter Lori McKenna calls home - and always has. She told Songfacts: "It's not a little town. It's funny, it seems like a little town, but we have like 30,000 people living here, which I don't think is considered a little town. I'm not sure, though. Some people say, 'Oh, I grew up in a town of 1,500 people.' So I guess we're not so little. And lot of people stay in this town. My husband and I both grew up here and a lot of our friends from high school still live here. So we know all the police officers and all the firefighters, and it just seems like a small town, I guess, because of that, you know? Maybe it's a Northeast thing, I don't know, because I've never lived anywhere else. But yeah, it's kind of a strange thing. Even my friends that went away and went to great colleges and got great jobs, a lot of them have found their way back home. It's strange."

    Although this song is about getting away from the small-town atmosphere, McKenna says, "It's just basically about what I didn't do. It's sort of the opposite of how I feel, in a way."
  • In talking about the line "so no one would sing some Bible song over me," McKenna says, "I don't really know where I got that line. I might have actually read that or heard it. It's like a welfare listing called a charity list and things like that. It's like I might have heard the term, but you know, obviously, just like a hymn. I'm not very good at knowing anything about the Catholic religion, even though I've been born and raised into it. But it's the idea of being somewhere like a funeral service and someone singing 'Ave Maria' or some sort of gospel tune of any sort, whatever sort of one sits in your head. I felt like if you put a specific song in there it's going to make some people think, and then if you just put the general term in there, maybe it'll make a lot more people think of what you're talking about."

Comments: 2

  • Karen from Manchester, NhRaymond from Sydney, don't you mean, "Answers? Find Him!"
  • Raymond from Sydney , AustraliaHate the bible, blame God? No, hate the people who claim they know the bible but do not.
    A truth half-realised is a damn good lie.
    People die because we prefer masochistic lust and wild swine sexual wildness. Answers? Find me.
see more comments

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.

Mac Powell of Third DaySongwriter Interviews

The Third Day frontman talks about some of the classic songs he wrote with the band, and what changed for his solo country album.

Michael SchenkerSongwriter Interviews

The Scorpions and UFO guitarist is also a very prolific songwriter - he explains how he writes with his various groups, and why he was so keen to get out of Germany and into England.

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Motley CrueFact or Fiction

Was Dr. Feelgood a dentist? Did the "Crüecifixion" really happen?

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.