Jean Shepard + Second Fiddle (to an Old Guitar)

by

Riley Johnson

Updated

April 15, 2024

Updated

April 15, 2024

Updated

April 15, 2024

In 1966, Jean Shepard released yet another hit song titled “Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar) as part of her album Heart, We Did All We Could. Although it was originally released in 1964, Shepard still included it in her 1966 album. 

The song immediately climbed up the charts right after its release, landing at no. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles, making it one of Shepard’s greatest hits. 

In the 1960s, few women broke through the industry’s barriers since men dominated a big chunk of the country music scene. On top of that, women’s rights during those times were not talked about as much as today, causing a surge of fear among women to even try building a career in music.  

But Jean Shepard made history when she rose to stardom thanks to her smooth singing combined with her honky-tonk vocals. Over the years, she eventually became a pioneer for women in country music. She has released a number of country hits, such as “Slippin’ Away,” “A Dear John Letter,” and “Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar).”

Her yodeling singing technique also sets her apart from the rest, making her one of the rarest gems country music has ever seen. 

Let us now dive into the grim meaning behind Jean Shepard’s song “Second Fiddle.”

Meaning Behind The Song 

Written by Betty Amos, “Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar)” is a song about a man and a woman who may or may not be married. The man had hopes and dreams of becoming a musician and being “number one.” 

However, as time passed, it wasn’t happening for him, but the bond and “love affair,” as the writer put it, between the man and his guitar had “gone too far” to the point that he paid less and less attention to the woman who became “second fiddle to an old guitar.”

The song ended with the woman posing a challenge, saying that if he continues picking the guitar, then she is “gonna sing.” 

The song indirectly describes how a person can simply forget about their loved ones once they are blinded by something. For us to maintain good relationships with others, especially our loved ones, we need to make sure that we are present in the moment before it’s too late.

See how hilariously Jean Shepard sings “Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar)” in the video below. 


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