Jason Isbell - Different Days Lyrics

Staring at the pictures of the runaways on the wall
Seems like, these days, you couldn't run away at all
And even if you did, what you got to run away to
Just another drunk daddy with a white man's point of view

I can see you in my mind's eye, catching light
Sleep beside the river if we make it out of town tonight
You can strip in Portland from the day you turn sixteen
You got one thing to sell and benzodiazepine

Ten years ago I might have seen you dancing in a different light
And offered up my help in different ways
But those were different days
Those were different days

Had a girl back home and we shared her single bed
When I whispered in her ear, she believed every word I said
If she didn't believe, she didn't dare give me slack
Or it was “Baby, I love you, get off of my goddamn back”

Time went by and I left and I left again
Jesus loves a sinner but the highway loves a sin
My daddy told me, I believe he told me true that:
“The right thing's always the hardest thing to do”

Ten years ago I might have stuck around for another night
And used her in a thousand different ways
But those were different days
Those were different days

And the story's only mine to live and die with
The answer's only mine to come across
But the ghosts that I got scared
And I got high with look a little lost

Ten years ago I might have thought I didn't have the right
To say the things an outlaw wouldn't say
But those were different days
Those were different days

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Jason Isbell Different Days Comments
  1. CA1911Shooter

    His ability to write the sad, life beat you down lyrics puts him up there with Towns Van Zandt. Awsome!

  2. Cornell Waters

    🕟 Music!

  3. Scott Russell

    I used to believe that only Tom Petty was capable of saying so much in so few words. Finding Jason's songs let me know I was wrong.


    Scott Russell oh, buddy. Check out John Moreland’s “3:45AM” and all his music, Gregory Alan Iskov, and Benjamin Tod. If I didn’t think you already knew about Sturgil and Childers I’d mention them as well. Oh, wait, I did! In case ya didn’t. lol

  4. Datflyincat

    Man, not my normal type of music but this is so relaxing. Thanks man for the Pill of music.

  5. Tony Zeller

    This guy is a monster. Wow he’s amazing

    Jack Hanson

    It's hard to find words to describe how good this album is. I still remember the day I discovered Jason and listened to this album for the first time. I was stunned and it still rings just as true now. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say Jason's music has changed my life.


    Jack Hanson this album is his best piece of work. Strange how he came back with a fury after his drinking problem and wrote this masterpiece.

  6. Sturm Bergi

    He.got me on the first second - wow, what a tune!

  7. Mishelle Rauth

    Killer lyrics (as usual). Jason's talent at songwriting is top-tier. Few can match his ability to turn a word and tell a story.

  8. will bob


  9. Colin Larson

    "You got one thing to sell, benzodiazepine," Dudes music is like xanax, soothing and reflective. Saw him live with Ryan Adams. I was not a fan of either until I was convinced to go to their concert. Dude puts tears in your eyes. So beautiful.

    Brendie Newton

    Calms my anxiety

  10. Mark Cunningham

    Just discovered this artist and I'm blown away! Now to consume everything he's done...

  11. MoreLurchiness

    We can sleep beside the river if we make it out of town tonight.

    You've been stripping Portland since the day you turned sixteen...

  12. jerrkyd

    But can you really strip in Portland from the day you turn 16? And is it Portland, Oregon or Portland, Maine. That would be worth knowing if you were to make the trip.

    Chad Riddle

    jerrkyd that question might get you ten to twenty

    Jay Elliott

    Portland Oregon at least at one point had more strip club than anywhere else in the country. It wasn't legal to strip at 16 but a lot of run aways ended up there and I am sure some of them lied about their age.

  13. Jarrod Evans

    "just another drunk daddy with a white man's point of view" these lyrics are a step above 99 percent of artists out there today. Thank you Jason

  14. Marshall Lancaster

    Like the new album, but this might even be better--in this world we can have both plus others.

  15. Richard Campbell

    Incredible song.

  16. Carlos Dennyart

    Me encanta su música. Muchas gracias por crearla! Sigue adelante!

  17. Beth Fuson

    HAHAHA. Negative comments. Did those guys watch the Grammys?

  18. Jed Perks

    Damn I can't get enough of this song. Just like my life... Traveling alone too... Good stuff

  19. Chase T

    God dammit this album is good.

  20. Hearsticles

    If you like this guy, check out Sturgill Simpson as well.  Two guys doing songwriting credit right now.

    Alan Kumashiro

    @Hearsticles I will certainly check out Mr. Simpson and thank you for the recommendation. I wish more people would pass along these finds. It would make my searches more fruitful. I in turn would like to pass along Marc Broussard a singer/songwriter from Louisiana. Good day to you.

    kris paschal

    get james Mcmurtry latest album...Complicated Game...he is the son of Larry, who wrote lonesome dove!!

    Cody Price

    Hearsticles Sturgill is amazing

    Nick Steelhammer

    Hearsticles Larry and Ken keasy were both friend and both marry pranksters who travled the country exposing America to LSD

  21. Richard Bass

    This guy is really good. Great song writer. You are right.....he should be super famous by now. People relevant to his genre definitely know who he is. Years down the road.....this guy will be remembered. Him....Ryan adams...that whole singer/songwriter click.....good stuff, man...good stuff.

  22. Reid Boates

    At last, another great lyricist!

  23. Troy Burns

    This guy is really, really good. He should be a superstar by this point. Lyrics are great for every song he puts out and the music is just great!


    @Troy Burns He doesn't have the look. Ain't that a shame.


    @Troy Burns I actively seek artists outside my comfort zone like this, and preservation of art is high on my mind.


    Troy Burns He's been on PBS and plays mid level at big festivals, so he's not doing too bad, but I agree. It's surprising he's not bigger in the country community at least.

    daniel morris

    NeoTheOne. I think the new album Nashville Sound just might finally make him as popular as he rightly deserves. It debuted at number 1 on the Americana/Folk, Country, and Rock album charts and number 4 overall and Jason has been all over mainstream media promoting it. If its possible it might be his best yet and that is hard to do with his past body of work.

    Kristian W. Murphy

    few years later i think he's achieved it! and its well deserved. absolutely amazing.

  24. jamie watson

    I am so glad my friend introduced me to this guy's music

  25. Taylor Golmon

    What a lyric. Where the hell has this guy been? This is brilliant.


    He played with the Drive by Truckers for 6 years. Went solo, got sober, and now he's here.

    Tyrone Murray

    He has been around a good while but it’s definitely his time to shine and he is hitting a grand slam!

    fisty mopar

    He's been with the drive-by truckers for a long damn time and then he's been on his own for a long damn time

  26. softvalj

    i cant pick a favorite either but if i were going to round it down, live oak and traveling alone, but i LOVEEEE every song, and want more, more more!!!!

  27. Alexander Wolfe

    Such a pretty, pretty song.

  28. BrentReyno

    Sounds like These Days by Jackson Browne!

  29. RMFTideFan

    Just excellent. pure genius... Thank God some people can still write.

  30. Allison Bigbie

    beautiful, beautiful song...phenomenal lyrics...
    "And the story's only mine to live and die with
    The answer's only mine to come across,
    but the ghosts that I got scared and I got high with
    look a little lost"

  31. Rocket

    Hard to say a favorite, but i think this is mine on the new album, too bad i cant find the album in any stores where i live


    get it online man! it's AWESOME!!!

    Truck Driver

    order from walmart

  32. Doug M

    The 3 who dislike this may be in league with the Antichrist. Be careful!

  33. trappist07

    Very good indeed. Poignant and superbly atmospheric.

  34. PR DOC

    While there is a very superficial similarity between this and Tom Petty's FOD cover, it is ONLY superficial and only in the opening guitar line -- and even that is limited to the first couple of bars. The two songs are COMPLETELY different in content and sound.

  35. Christopher Barrett

    And the story's only mine to live and die with

    The answer's only mine to come across,

    but the ghosts that I got scared and I got high with

    look a little lost"

  36. Mark Lunde

    I haven't seen anyone this good, since Johnny Cash! Definitely strikes Home.

  37. scurt420

    Ya I disagree. If this is cliche', I want to check out the world you live in...

  38. WorkableWizard

    dont know why this comment got so many neg. votes.... as a fellow musician i know that you would rather hear an honest opinion, from a listener/fan, than to hear one say they like it just because they are a fan

  39. Aaron Cardinal

    trust me, Jason doesn't listen to the grateful dead

  40. Alice Shevitz

    I'm 70 years old and I LOVE this album and Jason! So refreshing. Get so tired of hearing what passes for "Country" music these days.


    Alice Shevitz you’re more than likely the coolest 76 year young lady ever.

  41. Nati LIveMusic


  42. Chad Caldwell

    I can actually hear a little Friend of the Devil in this too. I also hear a lot of other songs in there also.....guess you could call it his inspirations for the song. Most all songs have a little bit of another song in them.

  43. Matt Lima

    good song

  44. Taylor D

    The right thing's always the hardest thing to do. Very true.

  45. captainofc34

    Isbell is a stud.

  46. John Green

    FranceIsHell. Well said

  47. OKMema

    Wow, you are amazing. I'm going to pre-order this CD and send one to my adult son also. Thank you for such beautiful lyrics in all your music. I am a woman of the 60's and 70's generation and your music reminds me of stuff I used to listen to back then. Keep on making music! You have a special gift!

  48. Jck747

    Listen to Tom Petty's cover of fod; it's very similar.

  49. Jck747

    Isbell is a little cliched and derivative; the world-weary, coming-of-age tales get old. This sounds like Friend of the Devil; Super 8 sounds like Tulsa Time.

  50. bush2sucks

    What a thoughtful, beautiful song. It reminds me of stages of my life in both a good and bad way. It's funny how a stranger can speak to you in a way that seems like you know him even though you've never met.

    Kelly K

    Great song..heard driving home...inspiring about how people change for the better.