[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Jason Isbell — If We Were Vampires
Album: The Nashville Sound
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1352









Released: 2017
Length: 3:27
Plays (last 30 days): 3
It's not the long flowing dress that you're in
Or the light coming off of your skin
The fragile heart you protected for so long
Or the mercy in your sense of right and wrong

It's not your hands, searching slow in the dark
Or your nails leaving love's watermark
It's not the way you talk me off the roof
Your questions like directions to the truth

It's knowing that this can't go on forever
Likely one of us will have to spend some days alone
Maybe we'll get forty years together
But one day I'll be gone or one day you'll be gone

If we were vampires and death was a joke
We'd go out on the sidewalk and smoke
And laugh at all the lovers and their plans
I wouldn't feel the need to hold your hand

Maybe time running out is a gift
I'll work hard 'til the end of my shift
And give you every second I can find
And hope it isn't me who's left behind

It's knowing that this can't go on forever
Likely one of us will have to spend some days alone
Maybe we'll get forty years together
But one day I'll be gone or one day you'll be gone

It's knowing that this can't go on forever
Likely one of us will have to spend some days alone
Maybe we'll get forty years together
But one day I'll be gone or one day you'll be gone
Comments (79)add comment
 izycrzy wrote:
I always say to my wife "We're going to live to be 95 then the car will break down on some railroad tracks and we'll get clobbered by a big train in a blaze of glory." Then she says "I don't want to do that."
 
Thanks for making me laugh after crying through this song! 
Bill played Death Cab for Cutie’s “I’ll follow you into the dark” followed by this tune. Both are excellent tunes... but something tells me it’s a love letter to his wife and a subconscious reminder of our own inevitable end.
I remember seeing some live footage of Isbell and it was obvious to see that he was a talented guitarist and singer/ songwriter but I wasn't wowed by him. The more I hear of him, though, the more I wonder to myself ....what on earth was I thinking?
 lizardking wrote:
first time hearing this, wanting it to pick up the pace a bit...oh great add a female vocalist.....uggg..too sappy for me right now.. 6.1
 
I've grown rather fond of this track, it's gone 6 to 9 at some point.  Long Live RP and all the "sappy" songs that BillG plays ;-) 
 Laptopdog wrote:
Isn't he basically known as a country artist? I have a hard time imagining him singing this in concert and a bunch of cowboys cheering a song about vampires.
 
Unfortunately the fans are part of the deal. I've never been to a Jason Isbell  concert, don't know what the crowd is like. But I've been to a bunch of John Prine concerts. It takes a special kind of idiot to whoop in the middle of "Sam Stone". I'm sure it goes the same way with Jason.

It takes all kinds to fill the freeways.
 dwaynejarrell wrote:

I sang it at my wedding and upped the # of years with each chorus, 40 to 60 to 80. :-)
 
We just hit 41 years and yes, we need a lot more time!!!
 drjimmy wrote:
My experience with this song seems to be the consensus here. My wife cried when we saw Jason and Amanda perform it in concert a few weeks ago. She and I have 35 years together as of now, and 40 years is way too short.
 
I sang it at my wedding and upped the # of years with each chorus, 40 to 60 to 80. :-)
"I'll Follow You Into The Dark" followed by "If We Were Vampires" is the most perfect segue. This is why we listen. Keep up the great work!
This song is nice enough, I suppose, but I keep wishing he could still write songs of the quality of those on Southeastern.
On behalf of the Society for the Preservation of the Subjunctive in English, I give kudos to the band for the use of 'were' in the title :)
Love this song
This song is only a couple of years old but it seems that it has always been around. I guess it's the message. And the older I get the harder it hits me. Great song. 8 >9 for now because of the lyrics. Probably gonna be a ten soon.
Heard this on 'This is Us' recently, reminded me what a great tune it is. Fitted perfectly with the montage.

In fact there are a lot of tunes on RP rotation played in that TV programme. I wondered whether Bill and Rebecca are fans of the series or whether the makers if the TV series are fans of RP.

In short, watch 'This is Us' and listen to RP for a more fulfilling existence :)
I'm not crying, you're crying!
 izycrzy wrote:
I always say to my wife "We're going to live to be 95 then the car will break down on some railroad tracks and we'll get clobbered by a big train in a blaze of glory." Then she says "I don't want to do that."
 

I do!
 Kaisersosay wrote:
An amazing song for those who are lucky and brave enough to think long and hard about such things. Like all stories, they all have to have an ending. After knowing the person I share lives with for 34 years, married for 27, in this world, I have no issue with being first moving on to the next world.
It only means, I'll have an empty beach chair next to me for a bit, watching a distant sea, feeling it wash upon my feet, until she catches up, sits next to me, again, like she has done so many times before. In this life and the last.   
  
 

Thanks for writing this.
Heard this one twice today, 4 hours apart. Once a month or so is about all I can handle. ;-)
This guy is such a great writer.  I love his solo stuff as much as with his bands. 
 Lyndont wrote:

Nice sentiments. I’ve been married for 37 years, together for 40 and feel the same way. Love the song. Bill could have followed it with “I will follow you into the dark” by Death Cab for Cutie.

Maybe too much of a good thing 
 

Bill just preceded it with it ,,, this time around.......
I will follow you into the dark followed by vampires.  perfect pairing.
As my wife & I married when I was 51 and she 47, these lyrics just hit me in the gut...
Poignant?  Maybe for some, not for me - the words are a bit too obvious for my liking, and I don't like the music that much either. 
In fact I have to skip this every time it comes on!

Sorry, just not for me, at all...
I always say to my wife "We're going to live to be 95 then the car will break down on some railroad tracks and we'll get clobbered by a big train in a blaze of glory." Then she says "I don't want to do that."
"It's knowing that this can't go on forever

Likely one of us will have to spend some days alone

Maybe we'll get forty years together

But one day I'll be gone or one day you'll be gone"

Unfortunately, now that I am "older" this reality is more real and more sad than I ever thought it would be.  Sad, real truth.  Life can be hard and sad.  Those words hit hard today.
Yep, people who are young just won't get this......but when you get to middle age with marriage and divorce and children under your belt you'll understand the wisdom of these words....
 Laptopdog wrote:
Isn't he basically known as a country artist? I have a hard time imagining him singing this in concert and a bunch of cowboys cheering a song about vampires.
 
1. This song is not actually about vampires.
2. Alt-country pulls a different crowd than that Nashville corporate country bullshit.
3. Still, you paint a funny picture.
Damn it. Who's peeling onions? This song made me wish I'd worked harder to keep my marriage. I let her walk away too easily. Sigh. 
Love this song and almost anything he does or even did with the Drive By Truckers...
There is a wonderful live version of this from Austin City Limits.
Gets me every time. Such beautifully written lyrics.  {#Cry}
 Laptopdog wrote:
Isn't he basically known as a country artist? I have a hard time imagining him singing this in concert and a bunch of cowboys cheering a song about vampires.
 
I think this grossly oversimplifies country music and country music listeners. Try out some Townes Van Zant sometime.
The lyrics drive me to dreams. I wished we have 40 years.....
Isn't he basically known as a country artist? I have a hard time imagining him singing this in concert and a bunch of cowboys cheering a song about vampires.
I like Isbell but this song is treacly.
 trailhead wrote:

Read the lyrics again.  I missed the genius of this line the first few times I listened to the song.

If you were a vampire, you wouldn't have to worry about this.
 
Ahhh, yes, I see now.

That does change my perspective on this song - thanks. 
Thinkin' about the day I'll be gone, I guess. Some of my friends went ahead, some will follow me, but we're all in line. People who feel this song in somehow "too intimate" must be young and still feel, way down deep, like they can make time stand still, or perhaps become a vampire... 
I wonder if Isbell wrote this after watching Only Lovers Left Alive, which is, surprisingly enough, about vampire lovers.
 skyguy wrote:
Great song buy waaay overplayed here.
 
Plays (last 30 days): 6
Thus, once every 5 days.

You, however, get the Troll Who Can't Count Prize
... (a front row seat at 10 Donald Trump performances)
 wilcogirl11 wrote:
I love/hate this song.
 
I know eh? I'm reluctantly liking this song more each time I hear it.
I love/hate this song.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

The Captain & Tennille are sappy.
This is pretty nice.
 
Yes....it is pretty nice just a little too "make someone want to cry" about it.  Also Tennille sang on Dark Side of the Moon, so she gets a pass from me.
 Propayne wrote:
They might get a few more years if they didn't go out on the sidewalk and smoke
 
Read the lyrics again.  I missed the genius of this line the first few times I listened to the song.

If you were a vampire, you wouldn't have to worry about this.
 drjimmy wrote:
My experience with this song seems to be the consensus here. My wife cried when we saw Jason and Amanda perform it in concert a few weeks ago. She and I have 35 years together as of now, and 40 years is way too short.

Similar experience for me. I took my girlfriend of 2 plus years to the show and she hadn't ever heard the song before. We are both widowers so we could relate BIG time. She cried, and I had a little something in my eye as well.

 coyote620 wrote:
Little sappy
 
The Captain & Tennille are sappy.
This is pretty nice.
So many thinks on this one song! Ultimate conclusion is that it's just too darn intimate, and reminds singles of why it's so bloody tedious hanging with married couples. So much so that I almost said "Alexa skip this song." So yeah, when you can't say anything nice, pull out the snark shaker. This is a song Lyle Lovett wishes he'd have written but his big fat Texan's ego just kept getting in the way. At least an Alabamian male is slightly more humble. 
This is such a beautiful love song....
They might get a few more years if they didn't go out on the sidewalk and smoke
Enough. I love Isbell's writing... and this song... the first gazillion times I heard it. {#Cry}
Little sappy
 DocStrangelove wrote:
they
are
NOT
tears
 
Mine neither! Just dust in my eyes. Dammit.
 skyguy wrote:
Great song buy waaay overplayed here.

 
Maybe the song,  but the message repeats forever.
 
Death and taxes.
Well up a bit every time. Much love.
Whatever..., I can't listen to this guy after his white guilt song, sorry.  Oops, no pun intended.  ;-)
 Kaisersosay wrote:
An amazing song for those who are lucky and brave enough to think long and hard about such things. Like all stories, they all have to have an ending. After knowing the person I share lives with for 34 years, married for 27, in this world, I have no issue with being first moving on to the next world.
It only means, I'll have an empty beach chair next to me for a bit, watching a distant sea, feeling it wash upon my feet, until she catches up, sits next to me, again, like she has done so many times before. In this life and the last.   
  
 
Nice sentiments. I’ve been married for 37 years, together for 40 and feel the same way. Love the song. Bill could have followed it with “I will follow you into the dark” by Death Cab for Cutie.

Maybe too much of a good thing 
Man, this guy can craft some poignant lyrics. And pleasant guitar work too.
amazing song. i don't think it's that sentimental. just matter of fact in the face of a crappy situation. jason is very underrated by some. the poetic lyrics fit the melody = great song. 
they
are
NOT
tears
This song is one for the longterm marriage people for sure. Clearly Mr. Bill loves it, as he always comments about it when he chooses it. I'm not all that crazy about it because it makes me think about giving marriage another try. And some people are meant to never be married. Better off just hooking up with some vampire dude when next in NOLA. 


An amazing song for those who are lucky and brave enough to think long and hard about such things. Like all stories, they all have to have an ending. After knowing the person I share lives with for 34 years, married for 27, in this world, I have no issue with being first moving on to the next world.
It only means, I'll have an empty beach chair next to me for a bit, watching a distant sea, feeling it wash upon my feet, until she catches up, sits next to me, again, like she has done so many times before. In this life and the last.   
  
Stupid allergies.
Amazing song 10/10.
My experience with this song seems to be the consensus here. My wife cried when we saw Jason and Amanda perform it in concert a few weeks ago. She and I have 35 years together as of now, and 40 years is way too short.
 Webfoot wrote:
Simple, but nice.

 
Agreed.  I like the Iron & Wine song (Naked as we Came) with a similar theme better even if the title is a bit misleading at first.  This one, while touching, does seem a bit too (not sure of the best word) 'part-of-the-machine' - still have it at a 7 rating where it will stay.  LONG LIVE RP!!  PEACE

@GranBlanco - yeah....so....same thing here; my wife LOVES this song now that I shared with her.  So MY 7 +1 for my wife's enjoyment, dangnabbit I gotta up my rating.  {#Liar}


 CyrusPaul wrote:
Watching Isbell and Shires do this live makes it even more heartbreaking.....husband and wife looking at each other harmonizing about one of them dying before the other.   "Hope it isn't me who's left behind...."

When his voice breaks a little on that line it crushes me like a bug underfoot.
 CyrusPaul wrote:

here is one (sorry for the annoying ad before the clip).
https://youtu.be/eAJs3VYQ8rs

 
I have something in my eye...


 Imkirok wrote:

Do you have a link?

 
here is one (sorry for the annoying ad before the clip).
https://youtu.be/eAJs3VYQ8rs


 CyrusPaul wrote:
Watching Isbell and Shires do this live makes it even more heartbreaking.....husband and wife looking at each other harmonizing about one of them dying before the other.   "Hope it isn't me who's left behind...."

 
Do you have a link?
Really like this song!
Great song buy waaay overplayed here.
 Roverfish wrote:
Some people really deserve their misery. Not sure why they inflict it on the rest of us in comments here, however. {#Ask}

Jason has a unique voice, songwriting style, and guitar-playing. Always enjoy his work and looking forward to seeing him live in 3 weeks.

 
I didn't notice any infliction of misery in the comments for this song.
The word 'contrived' comes to mind.
That just got a 10 on first hearing. Wow!
Sweet sorrow
Some people really deserve their misery. Not sure why they inflict it on the rest of us in comments here, however. {#Ask}

Jason has a unique voice, songwriting style, and guitar-playing. Always enjoy his work and looking forward to seeing him live in 3 weeks.
Simple, but nice.
I absolutely love Jason's work, it speaks to my soul somehow.  But, I find if I listen to too much of it I can actually begin to slip into depression.  A tonic best administered in small doses.
Watching Isbell and Shires do this live makes it even more heartbreaking.....husband and wife looking at each other harmonizing about one of them dying before the other.   "Hope it isn't me who's left behind...."
first time hearing this, wanting it to pick up the pace a bit...oh great add a female vocalist.....uggg..too sappy for me right now.. 6.1