This ballad was recorded by Sons of Anarchy's in-house band, The Forest Rangers, and sung by Jake Smith, a.k.a. the White Buffalo, for the concluding December 9, 2014 "Papa's Goods" episode of the hit US TV crime series.
The lyrics were penned by the show's creator, Kurt Sutter and the instrumentation was done by Sons of Anarchy music supervisor (and Forest Rangers leader) Bob Thiele Jr.. "As a fan of the show, it was an honor collaborating with Kurt and Bob on this," Smith told Rolling Stone. "The song is conflicted, disturbing, and beautiful, much like the show itself. I hope the fans enjoy it."
The tune represents Sons of Anarchy character Jax's swansong, having committed suicide by driving headlong into an 18-wheeler during a police chase. "[T]he challenge was not to be too anchored in the melancholy," Thiele Jr. told Rolling Stone. "We know what's gonna happen and sad as it is, there is a triumphant surrender that Jax embraces in his final moments. Rather than stay in the minor key of the verse, I chose to frame the chorus in a major key which underscores Jax's decision to choose his own final destiny. The moment is no longer weighed in sorrow."
"When I was writing the song, cycling through the chorus, I kept hearing the strains of Peter, Paul & Mary in my head. Lord knows why, but there was just something sing-songy about the words and melody," Thiele continued. "It just seemed so contrasting (and yet perfect) to the finality of our narrative."