Released on March 29, 2004, “Whiskey Lullaby” is country music hit first recorded by a duet of two country music stars Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss. It was the third single from Paisley’s third studio album, Mud on the Tires. American country music singer-songwriters Bill Anderson and Jon Randall collaborated and created this wonderful tune. On the other hand, record producer and session musician Frank Rogers produced it for Arista Nashville Records.
Moreover, “Whiskey Lullaby” marked Paisley’s eleventh chart single in his career. Actually, the song stayed in the charts for months. It debuted at no. 48 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks on April 10, 2004. Meanwhile, it peaked at no. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. In addition, it placed 41st on the Billboard Hot 100. Furthermore, the song appeared on the year-end chart of the Billboard Country Songs reaching no. 18.
To note, “Whiskey Lullaby” was one of the songs that defined Brad Paisley’s colorful career. As a matter of fact, it is one of his four singles that were certified Double-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Additionally, the song also won Country Music Association (CMA) Song of the Year Award in 2005.
Story Behind the Song
“Whiskey Lullaby” has a heavy theme and a moving music video. It contains a message very relevant in today’s society. Generally speaking, the song revolves around matters such as infidelity, alcoholism, and how these two affect people’s lives.
To be specific, it narrates about a story of a couple that has undergone an abrupt and painful separation resulting in alcoholism and consequently drinking themselves to death. First, the man who was heartbroken after witnessing his wife having an affair with another man. The infidelity that the woman showed her husband has caused him to abuse himself with alcohol leading to his death. On the other hand, the woman, who felt guilty after her husband’s passing, soon did what he has done. She also engaged herself with alcohol and met some other men in order to forget the memory of him. However, he could not get past his memories and soon, she also dies of pain and sadness.
This story was actually inspired by the real-life account of Jon Randall, one of the songwriters. At that time, Randall had just divorced from fellow country music artists Lorrie Morgan. To add, he had also lost a record deal, and he had nowhere to go for a songwriting contract. As a result, he found himself drinking whiskey almost every day and having sexual relationships with different women. One day, Randall’s manager saw what has he been doing and told him:
Hey man, every now and then you’ve got to put a bottle to your head and pull the trigger.
This statement has become an iconic line in the song. With that, Randall then met Bill Anderson and both created the song out from Randall’s own experience. They decided to call it “Whiskey Lullaby” and it made its way to Brad Paisley. On the other hand, when Paisley heard about the song, he told Anderson that he wished to record it with either Alison Krauss or Dolly Parton. Anderson willingly agreed and the song went on and recorded by Paisley and Krauss.