In 2009, Jamey Johnson released “High Cost of Living” as the second single off his album, The Lonesome Song. While it did not reach the top of the charts, it hit home with several country fans as it speaks truthfully about the dangers of addiction.
The song reached No. 34 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
The Story Behind The Song
Written by Jamey Johnson along with Grammy-nominated songwriter James Slater, “High Cost of Living” tells the story of a normal guy living the normal life – until he got caught up with job pressure and various responsibilities that he began hanging out with his wilder friends.
He started smoking his pot out of boredom, but in the end, he lost his home, family, and sense of direction. What’s even worse was he was eventually busted and sent to prison.
“I tell you, the high cost of livin’. Ain’t nothing like the cost of livin’ high,” it goes. And just like the other songs by Jamey Johnson, he gave voice to a character whose actions should deem him unlikeable.
According to Slater, he held onto the title, “The High Cost of Living Ain’t Nothing Like the Cost of Living High,” but only turned it into a song when he became friends with Johnson.
Though it never became a No. 1 single for them, they have received so many great letters and press about the song. There are plenty of people coming up to them, saying they went through the same experience. Truly, “High Cost of Living” hits people right.
You can listen to “High Cost of Living” by playing the video below.