It would be remiss to skip every countdown of country’s most passionate songs Jason Isbell‘s single “Cover Me Up”.
To Morgan Wallen‘s popular cover of the song Dangerous: The double albumit quickly attained platinum status, and it could be one of the most covered songs of the era if it continues like this.
With that said, I feel strongly that you were the one time should not playing the heartbreaking “Cover Me Up” at your wedding. And with more ceremonies coming up over the summer and fall months, I really hope not to hear it at another.
I would agree that there is a defiant and unbreakable love story at the heart of the song, and perhaps it’s the popularity of the Wallen cover that has removed the song from its origins, but that’s it quiet primarily about the love that propelled Isbell’s recovery from alcoholism, a recovery that would not have been possible without his wife, Amanda Shires.
And make no mistake, getting sober is a brave feat, but it’s usually not mentioned at the door of marriage…whether it’s love that got you there or not.
As more and more people mistake this song for a simple love story about reconnecting and then add it to the playlist for the most important day of their lives, it’s important to embrace the true brokenness behind the song recall.
Isbell doesn’t necessarily celebrate the strong love he and his wife Amanda Shires have, instead he openly reflects and apologizes for their love should be strong to endure his struggle with addiction.
Also, lyrics like “I made it through because someone knew I was meant for someone” not only evade the notion that two lovers are “Better Together,” like Luke Combs’ single of the same name.
Instead, the combination of sentiment with other lyrics like “Days we raged, we flew off the side” and “I tested your faith when I tore off your dress” plays on tragic and personal memories of the earlier alcoholic revelry of the author.
If that’s not enough to deter you from using the song on your big day playlist, consider the more obvious line, “I’ve gotten sober, I’ve sworn off the stuff for good this time,” which probably sticks out the ultimatum Isbell received from his now-wife during his long struggle with recovery.
You dancing to that with an open bar right behind you? (cash bars at a wedding sucks…don’t be that guy…)
The story in the song is unique, quite unique for Isbell and Shires, and while it’s fair to say you want your love to match Isbell and Shire’s unbreakable sentiment in “Cover Me Up,” the underlying message is of the song not exactly full of exuberance, quite the opposite.
And yes, maybe that’s your story too, and by all means do it, but in reality it’s a heartbreaking ballad that, while technically a love song, is more about perseverance and faith. Granted, both are definitely big parts of a marriage, but hopefully you’re not testing your endurance on day one.
If you’re looking for a tearjerker for the upcoming first dance, think George Strait’s “I Cross My Heart” or Randy Travis’s “Forever & Ever, Amen” and skip Isbell’s bold statements.
That, or leave your guests wondering which of you had to endure hardship while the other “broke the habit,” but don’t say we didn’t warn you…
https://www.whiskeyriff.com/2022/08/06/unpopular-opinion-cover-me-up-is-only-a-good-wedding-song-if-your-name-is-jason-isbell/ Unpopular Opinion: “Cover Me Up” Is Only A Good Wedding Song If Your Name Is Jason Isbell