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March 14

Remembering Julia: “Bluebonnets” by Aaron Watson

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Watson bagged instant fame in 2015 with the release of his album The Underdog. An album which made history by becoming the first album ever released by an independent male country solo artist to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart. He’s released three previous single from the album which scored excellent reviews from critics everywhere as an honest country music traditionalist. The album’s fourth single, “Bluebonnets (Julia’s Song)” is truly something special.

A tragic personal loss: his fourth child, Julia Grace Watson, passed away just hours after she was born. This was what inspired him to write this powerful acoustic ballad.

Remembering Julia: “Bluebonnets” by Aaron Watson 1

How the Song Came to Aaron

The spring following Watson daughter’s death, the family was setting up for a group photo where they had placed Julia to rest six months earlier. Watson was thinking of her and pondering on how precious life is. He recalled,

“I had such an overwhelming mixture of emotions seeing Jake, Jack and Jolee Kate smiling in a field of bluebonnets (the state flower of Texas), while having the place we laid their little sister to rest in the distance behind them.”

He went home that night and wrote these lines:

“Pack light and love heavy, give it all your heart and soul

And in the end you won’t regret one thing

Life is like bluebonnets in the spring.”

Those words bloomed into “Bluebonnets (Julia’s Song).” That violin is almost crying in the background bringing tears to your eyes as you hear Aaron crooning those lyrics.

Our Take on the Song

It has a little gravity of loss to it, but it always has a hopeful stance. Life is definitely not fair sometimes and it is hard to figure out why things happen. Sometimes there just aren’t answers to the hardest questions. The lyrics speak to anyone who has ever experienced the heartbreak of losing a loved one, covering the circle of life and loss, reminding us,

“’Cause like bluebonnets in the spring we’re only here for a little while
It’s beautiful and bittersweet so make the most of every mile.”

While the “Bluebonnets” induces strong emotions because of the backstory, it stands on its own as a song about appreciation. Not knowing the lyrics doesn’t take away the message it wants to convey. This is one of the toughest features of a well-written, extremely personal song: winning listeners even if they know nothing about the song’s original inspiration. So how do you think does Aaron Watson pen a great personal song and still make it all-embracing?


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