Jason Isbell - New South Wales Lyrics

Here we sit
Across the table from each other
A thousand miles from both our mothers
Barely old enough to rust

Here we sit
Pretending both our hearts are anchors
Taking candy from these strangers
Amidst the diesel and the dust

And here we sit
Singing words nobody taught us
Drinking fire, and spitting sawdust
Trying to teach ourselves to breathe

We haven't yet
But every chorus brings us closer
Every flyer and every poster
Gives a piece of what we need

And the sand that they call cocaine cost you twice as much as gold
You'd be better off to drink your coffee black
But I swear, the land it listened to the stories that we told
God bless the busted boat that brings us back

Morning's rough
It don't give a damn about the mission
Has no aesthetic or tradition
Only lessons never learned

And I'd had enough
About a month ago tomorrow
Parting holds no trace of sorrow
For the bitter and the burned

And the piss they call tequila even Waylon wouldn't drink
Well I'd rather sip this Listerine I packed
But I swear, we've never seen a better place to sit and think
God bless the busted ship that brings us back

And the sand that they call cocaine cost you twice as much as gold
You'd be better off to drink your coffee black
But I swear, the land it listened to the stories that we told
God bless the busted boat that brings us back

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Jason Isbell New South Wales Comments
  1. Jeff Thoreson

    As of this comment 27 people are complete morons.

  2. Queenie Queenie

    Buy Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, music CDs. Best money you can spend on today's music. He never makes a bad song. What a great voice Jason Isbell. "Every chorus brings us closer." I am totally in love with your musical genius! Listening to the Southeastern album, over and over, I found a renewed appreciation for the New South Wales song. "The land is listening to the stories that you told." We are glad you found a place to "sit and think." "God bless the busted boat that brings us back." So very happy that you found a way to teach yourself to breathe! I never had a problem with substance abuse but I can relate to the struggles of other people and our universal human need to overcome "rough mornings." I drink my coffee and breathe! Certainly helps to "anchor the heart!" Thanks Jason! Just love the voice, the music and the poetry. You tell great stories! Can't wait to rush out and buy the next new album, after 2017. Just purchased The Nashville Sound, CD. Write and sing those songs Jason! Blessings! I am quite sure you and your band, earn new fans every day! Sure hooked me with that unique musical style, singing voice and poetry of yours! Love it!

  3. Manic Poet

    I used to go through a fifth a night for over a year. One day I gave it up n tried to drink n it’s just nasty to me. Songs totally relatable for me

  4. Peggy O’

    God bless the busted boat that brings us back...

  5. Patrick Stanlet

    Best new song writer period

  6. Patrick Stanlet

    Wish I could remain an outlaw; sober.....

    Manic Poet

    Patrick Stanlet it’s possible I find a sober life to be just as great

  7. David Rich

    Singin' words nobody taught us, Drinkin' fire and spittin' sawdust, Trying to teach ourselves to breathe... Is there a better way to describe growing up?

  8. Andrew Kling

    This album belongs in the Smithsonian

    Scott Russell

    I have a feeling this album is only beginning to get the recognition will eventually receive as history unfolds. Just my opinion, but this is probably the best collection of song writing I've ever come across on a single album.

  9. Catherine S. Todd

    This is real songwriter, with musicianship and voice. Moving me to worlds past. God Bless.

  10. sandra sword

    Jason stands right next to perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. crobarus

    What a good tune !

  12. David Watkins

    Amazing Talent!!

  13. Gordon Harvey

    Not one bad tune on this album!!!

    sandra sword

    @Gordon Harvey Well Said!!!!

    Gabrielle Jansen

    +Gordon Harvey Nurp!

    Andrew Kling

    +mothertheresalovesan That was a metaphor!

    sandra sword

    go to goole

    Roger Doofenshmirtz

    @Andrew Kling wait what the heck

  14. Kelly Dady

    saw jason open for ray lamontagne couple weeks ago. was not previously familiar with his music unfortunately. man, the real deal for sure. great wordsmith, can sing and play too! i'm a fan instantly...also just read he got sober not that long ago and boy can you hear it in the lyrics...15 years sober myself, God bless Jason, keep making great music one day at a time !

    thomas williamson

    music and concerts are so much better now that i'm clean and sober !

    sandra sword

    @thomas williamson well said

    Gabrielle Jansen

    +thomas williamson It's amazing how much clearer life is - from mornin' to music - when we toss that damn bottle aside!

  15. softvalj

    "god bless the busted boat that brings us back" from wherever we went wrong, wherever we lost course!!

  16. Tobias Merriman

    Best songwriter working right now.  Talent + torment does it every time.  Thank you for sharing, Jason.

    sandra sword

    @Tobias Merriman Bingo I Just Love Jason Isbell

  17. Bruce Mendelson

    I'll be damned if he isn't talking about recovery; cocaine and tequilla and "had enough about a month ago tomorrow" and getting pieces of recovery's possibilities from words on posters and flyers. What a brilliant song, lyrics, chord progression, and that unique voice of his.


    The song is sort of about recovery, but looking back at a time before he got sober.  He has said he wrote it about touring with Justin Townes Earle in Australia a few years ago, when they were both using.  Isbell is newly sober though, and that is all over his lyrics on this album.  I do think the boat is a metaphor for recovery, but pretty sure the posters and flyers are just concert advertisements... and the song is also about the need to express themselves through their songs and stories.  Brian Abbott's comment below make no sense, but I suspect he is just a troll.


    @darlincommitme Thank you... Finally!


    @darlincommitme is the busted boat a reference to our minds? or our own vessels/our bodies? our hears and spirits??? this is my take on it, just wondering what you thought???


    I think it could be all or any of those, though I tend to think it is less individual... friends and family, or the recovery /12 step community, flawed but still able to carry us?  Would have to ask him what he had in mind, but It is a rich metaphor, and I think Jason would be happy with any of those interpretations.  He is the first to say his songs may have levels of meaning.

  18. Rocket

    awesome lyrics, and voice

  19. swampweasel

    :) i wish i could "like" this twice!!!

    sandra sword

    @swampweasel di it......

  20. R. S. Breth

    This whole album is awesome Jason - I wish you the best.

  21. Matt J

    When I heard that this song was about Justin Townes Earle, I damn near cried. The power of true friendship really is something.

  22. Oolben Ite

    beautiful sentiment.a poetic tribute.

  23. Rich Moore

    this guy parts the waters of my troubled mind, and makes me appreciate the bitter taste of life just before the sweetness of it all comes home to rest....

    Taylor Miracle

    Rich Moore

    Taylor Miracle

    The way I see it is similar. He helps to appreciate the good with the bad and cope with general problems, that I specifically, people have a really hard time with.