Bill Anderson Sings New Version of “Whiskey Lullaby,” Which He Co-Wrote
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Songwriting icon, Bill Anderson breathes new life into one of his biggest hits, “Whiskey Lullaby,” appearing on his recent album, The Hits Reimagined.
The Hits Reimagined is Anderson’s 73rd career studio album, which was released on July 24, 2020, featuring 10 of Anderson’s long-established songs, including instrumental versions. Sitting at the number two spot is the ever famous, “Whiskey Lullaby.”
In preparation for the album’s release, Anderson focused on songs from the early years of his career, as well as material from more recent years. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he explained the reasoning behind the songs chosen: “I wanted to go to both ends of the spectrum, going all the way back to my earliest days and then coming up to some of the current things with ‘Whiskey Lullaby,’ ‘Give It Away,’ ‘Which Bridge to Cross.’ I guess I just kind of picked off of both ends of the bush.”
A testament to the storytelling prowess of country music
Anderson co-wrote “Whiskey Lullaby” with his old friend and fellow singer-songwriter Jon Randall. The song was recorded as a duet between Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and was released on March 29, 2004. Paisley and Krauss sang the song with such emotion, leaving a lasting mark on the hearts of those who listen to it. You can tell they are both truly devoted to telling the tragic story that unfolds in “Whiskey Lullaby.”
It all started with the simple idea of a burning midnight cigarette and turned into the somber, heart-wrenching tune we know and love today.
Anderson and Randall wrote “Whiskey Lullaby” together a few years before it was first released. At the time, Randall was dealing with some personal struggles, recently divorcing from country singer Lorrie Morgan and struggling with heavy drinking. After crashing on his friend’s couch and apologizing for being an inconvenience to him and his home, Randall’s friend said to him:
“That’s alright Jon. I’ve put the bottle to my head and pulled the trigger a few times myself,” which later became one of the most famous lines in the song.
Anderson had previously pitched his idea for a song called “Midnight Cigarette,” asking Randall to imagine a cigarette in an ashtray at midnight, a lonely guy sitting in his apartment watching that flame burn out like his lost love. After hearing the line Randall’s friend threw out at him, Anderson said, “Forget the midnight cigarette!” And yet, they were still able to take his line and use it as the opening line of the song.
While Paisley and Krauss recorded it, did y’all know it almost went to The Chicks?
Take a listen to Bill Anderson singing “Whiskey Lullaby.”