What would you do if you have witnessed your partner having an affair with someone? Would you do exactly the same as what the couple did in the song, Whiskey Lullaby?
Whiskey Lullaby centers on a couple that has an abruptly painful separation leading both to alcoholism and eventually drinking themselves to death.
Composed by Bill Anderson and John Randall, Whiskey Lullaby was recorded by Brad Paisley featuring Alison Krauss on his album Mud On The Tires in 2004. The song reached a peak of number three on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, and 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Whiskey Lullaby won the 2005 Country Music Association Song of the Year Award.
Having been home from his military encampment, the man (in the song) excitedly looks for his wife only to find out her with another man. With a broken heart, he then proceeds to engage himself with whiskey and sexual desires. His drinking becomes chronic alcoholism leading him to his own demise.
His wife, on the other hand, feels guilty of what she has done. With guilt and hurt in her heart, she starts drinking, a habit close to that of her late husband. She obviously holds herself at fault for her husband’s death, and can only feel at ease while drinking whiskey from her bottle.
While the video shows infidelity on the part of the woman, the lyrics don’t state what the woman did to break the man’s heart or imply infidelity. Paisley sings the first verse and chorus, which focus on the male character, while Krauss sings the second verse and chorus, which focus on the female character.
Before writing this song, Jon Randall, one of the song’s co-writers, had just divorced from country singer Lorrie Morgan. In addition, he had lost a record deal and had not been able to find a songwriting contract either. He found himself drinking whiskey regularly and pursuing sexual desires.
After seeing the condition that Randall was in at the time, his manager told him,
“Hey man, every now and then you’ve got to put a bottle to your head and pull the trigger.”
Randall then wrote down that line and decided to use it in a song. He then met Bill Anderson and began to write the song, which eventually made its way to Paisley.
When Paisley originally discovered the song, he had told Bill Anderson that he would like to record it with either Alison Krauss or Dolly Parton. Anderson agreed to either singer for he is a fan of both. Eventually, the song would then be recorded by Paisley and Krauss.
Whiskey and lullaby are figuratively used in the song. Whilst it is obvious that whiskey stands for being addicted to alcohol, lullaby, which is a cradle song especially for children, represents death that has happened to both husband and wife in the song.
Infidelity has long been an issue in every relationship. Be it by the man or the woman, whoever does it is held responsible for the probable effects. While the song concluded with a not-so-good ending, one is still capable of making it into a happy one.
Watch this sensational song of these two great country artists.