Written by band member Critter Fuqua, “Take ’em Away” is a track from Old Crow Medicine Show’s self-titled album released in February 2004. The album peaked at #1 on the US Billboard Top Bluegrass albums.
Fuqua loosely based the song on a sharecropper and blues singer, Mance Lipscomb, who he said became a significant influence on him. Fuqua wrote “Take ’em Away” when he was still 17 years old.
The Song And Its Lyrics
The banjo and other strings are heard prominently in the song’s background. The music is relaxing; it’s calm with the soft plucking of strings and the harmony of the boys’ vocals. The country music vibes are strong with this one.
The song’s lyrics talk about how a man pleads to take the burden off him. He struggles to carry the load on his back and asks to lighten what he brings even though he is not perfect. He says he is just a regular man like other people.
When interpreted further, “Take ’em Away” by Old Crow Medicine Show talks about the hardships of a farmer. A lot of plowing in the song’s lyrics makes you think it is indeed about a farmer, but it is more about how hard it is for the farmer to work on his precious land. A farmer’s struggles include old age, a hurting back, a mountain of debt, no food to put on the table, and just wanting to live a peaceful life in the rural area.
It’s one of Old Crow Medicine Show’s songs that makes people reflect on how lucky, blessed, and fortunate they are compared to the rest of the world, whose struggles and problems we never know. The lyrics have “the powerful stuff” that makes you tear up and reflect on what you have right now.
Listen to “Take ’em Away” by Old Crow Medicine Show here.
Old Crow Medicine Show