May 14.2014 – The Story Behind “Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss

Hear the story here!

The song was written by Bill Anderson and Jon Randall and was inspired by a difficult time that Randall was going through including a divorce from country star Lorrie Morgan. Anderson told AOL’s The Boot the story behind the song: “Jon Randall and I wrote the song together. Jon was going through some pretty rough times back then. He had gotten a divorce and lost his writing deal and his record deal all within just a day or two of each other. And he went over to a friend’s house and crashed for a couple of weeks.

When he decided to sober up and come back and join the living again, he apologized to his friend. He said, ‘Man, I’m sorry for the way I’ve acted the last couple of weeks.’ And his friend said to him, ‘That’s alright Jon, I’ve put the bottle to my head and pulled the trigger a few times in my life.’ So when Jon came to the writing session, that was fresh on his mind. I went to the writing session with the idea to write a song called, ‘Midnight Cigarette.’ Basically that turned out to be the first line of ‘Whiskey Lullaby’: ‘She put him out like the burnin’ end of a midnight cigarette.’

That was what I wanted to write the whole song about. Jon loved that line so we wrote it down and then he said, “Here’s a line here: ‘He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger.'” I said, ‘Well, let’s forget about the ‘Midnight Cigarette.’ Man, you’ve got the perfect idea for the song there.’ And it just kind of flowed [from] there.”

Paisley talked about the song in 2013 with Entertainment Weekly: “It’s an angelic, ghostly bluegrass ballad, really a tragedy, and I think when I get to heaven, if the angels don’t sound like Alison Krauss, we have been cheated.

Alison Krauss also played the viola on the track.

What’s interesting is it was never expected to be a single.The song reached a peak of number three on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks .

“Whiskey Lullaby” was named 2005 CMA Song of the Year.

LYRICS: Written by “Whisperin'” Bill Anderson and Jon Randall
She put him out like the burnin’ end of a midnight cigarette
She broke his heart he spent his whole life tryin’ to forget
We watched him drink his pain away a little at a time
But he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind
Until the night

[1st Chorus]
He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away her memory
Life is short but this time it was bigger
Than the strength he had to get up off his knees
We found him with his face down in the pillow
With a note that said I’ll love her till I die
And when we buried him beneath the willow
The angels sang a whiskey lullaby

(Sing lullaby)

The rumors flew but nobody knew how much she blamed herself
For years and years she tried to hide the whiskey on her breath
She finally drank her pain away a little at a time
But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind
Until the night

[2nd Chorus]
She put that bottle to her head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away his memory
Life is short but this time it was bigger
Than the strength she had to get up off her knees
We found her with her face down in the pillow
Clinging to his picture for dear life
We laid her next to him beneath the willow
While the angels sang a whiskey lullaby

(Sing lullaby)

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

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