Jason Isbell - Elephant Lyrics




She said “Andy, you're better than your past”
Winked at me and drained her glass
Cross-legged on a barstool, like nobody sits anymore
She said “Andy you're taking me home”
But I knew she planned to sleep alone
I'd carry her to bed, sweep up the hair from her floor

If I'd fucked her before she got sick I'd never hear the end of it
She don't have the spirit for that now
We just drink our drinks and laugh out loud
And bitch about the weekend crowd
And try to ignore the elephant somehow
Somehow

She said “Andy, you crack me up”
Seagram's in a coffee cup
Sharecropper eyes, and the hair almost all gone
When she was drunk, she made cancer jokes
Made up her own doctors' notes
Surrounded by her family, I saw that she was dying alone

But I'd sing her classic country songs and she'd get high and sing along
She don't have a voice to sing with now
We burn these joints in effigy and cry about what we used to be
And try to ignore the elephant somehow, somehow

I've buried her a thousand times, given up my place in line
But I don't give a damn about that now
There's one thing that's real clear to me: No one dies with dignity
We just try to ignore the elephant somehow
We just try to ignore the elephant somehow
We just try to ignore the elephant somehow
Somehow
Somehow





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Jason Isbell Elephant Comments
  1. Brett Damm

    Holy shit

  2. kevin Hoff

    Am i the only who wants to cover this bust realizes its too heavy?

    kevin Hoff

    Every missed note seems disrespectful its weird

  3. m love29

    😭😭😭

  4. Rick Roybal

    If we were vampires, there'd be no Damn elephant. Miss my wife so much.

  5. Eli Beard

    PSA: Schedule a colonoscopy

  6. Hueningkai is best boi Prove me wrong

    Drowning in my own tears check

  7. metropolitano dinamo

    This song for me is like a memory from the future.
    My father is preparing to fight the big fight and I'm right there preparing to fight with him.
    Just hope we 're both strong enough and that he'll come out on the winning side in the end.

  8. Aaron Milroy

    A mournfully beautiful song by a young man with an old soul.

  9. Vox Fox

    The song digs deep in the heart.

  10. Alyssah Bresee

    Last year, I had the privilege to see Jason isbell live with a friend of mine (who was my love at the time) who was in the U.S. coast guard. Jason’s concert was the last time I had gotten to see him before he left with the coast guards. I just found out today that he passed two months ago. This song will always be a memory to me of BM2 Ricky Reese

  11. J.R. Templeton

    "I've buried her a thousand times
    given up my place in line
    but I don't give a damn about that now
    There's one thing that's real clear to me
    no one dies with dignity"
    Goddamn.

  12. Alisha Archuleta

    Cross legged on a barstool like nobody sits anymore. Me: Uncomfortable look, uncrosses legs.

  13. B2174193

    This is the type of song that you can’t stop thinking about.

  14. Ralph Bernhisel

    I see all your post...The Elephant took my Sister.....The trains roll by my house and I know...... It's her.....................

  15. Dex Stewart

    Just...fucking...wow

  16. Octane Art Canada

    Like a ten ton stone on your heart...

  17. 225 Marklin

    Lyrics?

  18. llama40204

    For My Friend Robin. Gone 2 years today.

  19. Misty DeJournett

    These lyrics; beautiful, touching, I am in tears.

  20. Joshua Lanhan

    I don’t think this song actually about elephants

    Whistling Banshee

    Ah it is. We just dont talk about it...

  21. Cesar Palomares

    Better than Dylan

  22. Camo Mike

    Probably the most pissed off song recommendation I've ever been given...but somehow, the most emotionally satisfying one I've ever been given.

  23. J Lansdale

    Share cropper eyes. What do they look like? The ones i had when i was drowning in the atlantic?

  24. Alex Koontz

    My grandmother died of cancer when I was young, and my grandpa later in my life. I know this is a song about an old lover, but that is what is so special about Isbell, the song conforms to whatever best comforts you in your time of need. I miss them both dearly. I wish I never had to see the pain of cancer at such a ripe age. Isbell gives me a perspective on the power of life and death that no other songwriter can.

  25. Ryan Lavin

    Any body else notice that the video’s post date predates the albums release date? Kinda interesting. Wonder how that happened.

  26. Ralph Bernhisel

    Well Sis, Here ya go kid......Your Bro.

  27. Bobby Bower

    Beautiful song

  28. Brandon sever

    I wish there was a way to learn how to write lyrics like that. There's a reason songwriters like him are as rare as they are.

  29. Kyle Kampa

    I cried

  30. fred michaels

    The "Elephant" caught up with my brother April 29th. R.I.P. Bro. I love you.

  31. david smoler

    Very peaceful now, thank you.

  32. Conan Shinn

    We burn these joints in effigy...damn this man can write.

  33. Alia

    She said, "Andy, you're better than your past"
    Winked at me and drained her glass
    Cross-legged on a barstool, like nobody sits anymore
    She said, "Andy, you're taking me home"
    But I knew she planned to sleep alone
    I'd carry her to bed, sweep up the hair from her floor
    If I'd fucked her before she got sick
    I'd never hear the end of it
    She don't have the spirit for that now
    We just drink our drinks and laugh out loud
    And bitch about the weekend crowd
    And try to ignore the elephant somehow
    Somehow
    She said, "Andy, you crack me up"
    Seagram's in a coffee cup
    Sharecropper eyes, and the hair almost all gone
    When she was drunk, she made cancer jokes
    Made up her own doctors' notes
    Surrounded by her family, I saw that she was dying alone
    But I'd sing her classic country songs
    And she'd get high and sing along
    She don't have a voice to sing with now
    We burn these joints in effigy
    And cry about what we used to be
    Try to ignore the elephant somehow
    Somehow
    I buried her a thousand times, given up my place in line
    But I don't give a damn about that now
    There's one thing that's real clear to me
    No one dies with dignity
    We just try to ignore the elephant somehow
    We just try to ignore the elephant somehow
    We just try to ignore the elephant somehow
    Somehow
    Somehow

  34. Douglas Lowe

    R I P my beautiful Gail

  35. fred michaels

    We all have songs that make us smile. I think we should all have a "go to " song for a good cry now and then. I submit, for your consideration, this.

  36. Jake Rezek

    The realness in Jason's voice and the emotion through the lyrics and as if he is going through these situations himself in a lot of cases he is

  37. Shane Christensen

    I was engaged for 2 years and we both knew it was time to call it. This song makes me think back on those times and know that it wasn’t a good fit. That’s the way I see and hear it. Music is what you make it

  38. J Lansdale

    The hardest song i ever heard besides a hundred dollar funeral

  39. Chrystiana Howdyshell

    Bruh this dude just stole my stepdads song! Wtf

  40. Gretchen Roper

    Sonya Roper. Died, 2015. I miss you mother.

  41. Tyler Slowiak

    wow, and now im crying at work. Beautiful song. Just wow.

  42. Dominick Luchi

    Jason is one of the all time greats. A true wordsmith, and his tunes and melodies are haunting.

  43. NSpector

    Ok, I'm gonna bravely ask this. What does he mean by, "if I'd fucked her before she got sick, I'd never hear the end of it"?

  44. Margwen Lamb

    "No one dies with dignity"

    That's the line that got me

    elchiponr1

    its the goddamn sad truth

    srepkie

    Being somebody that has walked to the edge, during my own stage 4 cancer fight and looked out into the dark unknown, I get every word of this song. Especially, "No one dies with dignity."

    tpot91

    Really hits home. Dying is nothing to be afraid of. But it's not how it looks in the movies.

    Tim Hale

    For real, no joke, no illusion, but it has a tragic beauty to it, somehow.

  45. firey709

    😢 Jesus this song.
    Theres one thing thats real clear to me
    This song is perfect

  46. Damilola Daramola

    Pod Save America brought me here. Great song and unfortunate soundtrack for those going through this.

  47. Stuart Ingersoll

    Thank you, Tommy Vietor for turning me onto this guy in your Pod Save America Interview. I'm normally not wild about country music, but this song is absolutely beautiful.

    Josh Long

    I'm a "Pod Save America" fan too! that's how I found it as well! T_T it's gorgeous and achingly beautiful.

    Marley Jones

    Same here

    G8Thunder

    Pod fan reporting in

    Jennifer Lynn Reid

    I literally came here for the same thing. He is less country with his solo stuff so I honestly like it lol. I am a rock girl

  48. Brad Daleiden-Brugman

    I just learned about this guy...what a beautiful song. Where has this been my entire life? Glad I found it now. :)

  49. Daniel Deweese

    You can’t bet it anywhere

  50. Logan Shepard

    S there one w better eq? Love the song but the voice is so loud/soft and the guitar is very low. Just one opinion. Love the song.

  51. michael fry

    This why I can't be a bama fan, it would just mock my guilt

  52. Wayne Howard

    FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this song. Real life put right in your face.

  53. Tracy Allen

    This song kills me...its hard to go to work the next day...

  54. Tyson Wheeler

    This song just gutted the fuck out of me... not because I was hearing it from ‘his’ perspective... but ‘hers’. Shit.

  55. Daniel Cropp

    Yeah, this is one of the best songs ever written. I do have to admit that. You squeezed it out of me, Isbell.

  56. Sam Helvig

    I'm 13 and so captivated by his amazing song writing and vocal talent, truly beautiful

    Adam Randall

    Hey Sam, touching tunes no doubt, but really sad, you got Good and bad feed the dog you want to be stronger.

    Lawrence Bowen

    Captivated. Big word for a 13 year old

  57. {Motor Mafia}

    Grandpa is dying, held his hand and said I love you, realized someday my father will be there in his place and after that, me. Had to feed him and help him walk. His strong body now just bones with soul. The pain worst to him is dying with no dignity. On way to airport my father played this to me. In death we feel most human.

  58. samia woodward

    Just heard this for the first time, and oh, my heart hurts

  59. Jimmy Zelski

    There is no good time for me to listen to this song lately. Yet I listen to it as much as I can. I can't say why. Maybe because I want to grieve, yet it's a bit early for that. My brother has terminal bladder cancer, and I spend much of my time trying to help him get through it. I know he would love this song, but maybe not right now. I can't bring myself to tell him about it.

    Eli Beard

    My brother has terminal colon cancer. Sorry to hear. This song's for you, not him, if that helps. Saw you posted this a year ago. Is he still around?

  60. The Lone Outlaw

    A bittersweet reality that shows no mercy. It’s not what we sign up for when we fall in love, but for some of us, it’s all we got.

  61. Robert Murphy

    Great song that engulfs on an emotional level like few others. Kilkelly Ireland song is close, at least for me.

  62. Andy Pratt

    the Elephant in the room....great

  63. Jur Jor

    Qué canción tan enorme.

  64. jjj1951

    It's almost an insult to call Jasen a 'country' artist because his music just transcends the beer, broads and pickup truck crap that permeates country music these days.

  65. Blossom Dombrowski

    best cover I've heard of this song
    https://youtu.be/QtwqpIKfslQ

  66. Bls192007 Bls

    This is a masterpiece

  67. Joey Tier

    what a soul crusher

  68. Thelegendhaha

    So sad and beautiful. Play it again and again to stay humble and grounded.

  69. Sheryle Herston

    Recorded in my hometown Muscle Shoals. Couldnt be prouder

  70. Bob Donnan

    Wait until late at night and listen to this one alone. We’ll all be there eventually...

  71. Zachary Hilton

    i come back to his music ever so often to remind mYSelf wHY its not good for me to come back to his mUsic. his abililtY to speak to me on an emotional leVel is friigHting and oVerwhelmINg. its Hard to enjoy something that leaves You so vunerable

  72. Professor Plaid

    Jason Isbell and Dustin Kensrue are probably the two best lyricists of this generation.

  73. Steven Stewart

    The dude can write a song. Excellent.

  74. Trevor Ramsey

    Who In their right mind could dislike this?

  75. iamthebyron

    The sun rises and sets. The tides go in and out. Jason Isbell breaks your heart and puts it back together.

  76. wildmercuryfilms

    This song reminds me of when I lived in Austin. It feels organic, smart, real. It feels like The Backyard, where I used to see shows sometimes. Especially, “I’d sing her classic country songs...” That’s what Austin felt like back then.

  77. Seffron Holroyd

    Beautiful, haunting song..i so love it!

  78. PapaSmurf11182nd

    I was fortunate enough to see Jason at a show in Bloomington, IN, in October 2014. I waited to meet him after the show, and I asked him, "Did you know the person in song 'Elephant?'" He said to me - as best as I recall, "Yeah it was based on a few people actually."

    Very special moment for special song from a special man.

  79. Jeff Wolendowski

    This song is a masterpiece...if youre fighting the loss of someone the only to get thru it is to really feel the pain. This song may help. Its okay to feel it, thats livin. Thanks Jason

  80. Kyle O'Brien

    Jesus, the man will destroy you (emotionally) and make you love every second of it.

  81. Agua Bar Best Music in Palma

    "Crossed legged on a bar stool like no one sits any more." It´s always the simplest, seemingly nothing phrases that get me. It´s what poets do...

    Jeff Yonker

    Sharecropper eyes is the line that gets me

  82. Todd_937614615

    NO LYRICS! Change your title fisher!

  83. David Boguzes

    Southeastern should eventually be deemed a true classic. A masterpiece. Isbell is a rare talent.

  84. Polar Sky

    Every time I hear this song; I feel like I've been hit by a truck.

    My heart breaks; but god it's so beautiful. This is truly artful music.

  85. AuralAudacity ASMR

    This music is really, really terrible.

  86. Christian Baxter

    Isbell is a goddamn Poet Laureate. How does he come up with these treasuries of poetry?

  87. Rosepetal Kittens

    A wise old man told me when I was grieving over the loss of my brother that "The water's gotta come out".

  88. electrojones

    I hope Jason realizes how much we love him.

  89. Dale McNutt

    Reminds me of my grandpa when I saw him dying from cancer. Wish I would have spent more time with him. I didn't believe he was actually gonna pass. Love you grandpa Dale

    Annie Box

    Hi Dale xoxo

  90. Kenyan Legs

    The best damn songwriter of my generation.

  91. Matt Hayes Vinyl

    Incredible song. You don't really listen to it, you experience it.

  92. bob buckman

    you should find another career

  93. awilco12

    It takes a special artist to go as deep as this. Gillian Welch, Elliot Smith, Vic Chestnutt, The Eels are others. This Jason Isbell is a rare talent

  94. Kurk9

    Great song but sounds like a guy signing with no hope there in that situation. With Jesus there is hope

  95. Kenny Chaffin

    My God! What a song! This man is Amazing!

  96. indianxbullet

    F&%$ me that's powerful.