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May 29

Jason Isbell’s “Elephant” Is A Heartbreaking Masterpiece

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Jason Isbell’s “Elephant” was the fourth track from his widely-recognized and critically-acclaimed 2013 album “Southeastern,” which was about a defiant yet intimate story of someone witnessing a loved one dying from cancer. It was an honest songwriting that slipped in with some humor which has always been the Jason Isbell songs’ characteristics that earned him listeners. 

The Elephant by Jason Isbell was inspired by a conversation he had with a girl he was dating. At that time, he was living above the bar that the girl worked on in Sheffield, Alabama. He recalled telling her that she shouldn’t be too attached to anyone sitting around the bar because they were all going to disappear. And in just a couple of years, half of the regulars of the bar were gone, and it was hard for him to get through some nights. 

The song was an absolute heartbreak that opened with the cancer-stricken woman’s encouraging note to Andy telling him that he is better than his past. And this man wholeheartedly helped her through the rough times, ignoring the elephant in the room. But at the end of the song, he realized that no one really dies with dignity. The lyrics of the song hits all the emotional notes and paints a vivid image of the narrative. 

The “Cover Me Up” singer wasn’t also afraid to push boundaries with lines of sexual tension intertwined in lines of pain and ecstasy. Jason Isbell’s “Elephant” was undeniably a songwriting masterpiece that deserves a listen. If you haven’t listened to it yet, then do it now by checking the video below. 


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Jason Isbell


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