Song of the Day #3,674: ‘Chaos and Clothes’ – Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit

My family is in Nashville for the next few days, turning my wife’s work trip into a quick vacation. Some of my favorite artists either live in or have passed through Nashville, but I don’t think we’ll be lucky enough to catch any of them live.

Jason Isbell is a new addition to that stable of favorites. His 2017 album The Nashville Sound is one of the best I’ve heard in recent years.

‘Chaos and Clothes’ was written for Isbell’s friend Ryan Adams after his divorce from Mandy Moore.

The ground was wet and the sky was dark
You took her bet, she took your heart
Wrapped it ’round an oak tree
Like you did that ’67 GTO
Oh no

Lovers leave chaos and clothes
In quiet corners where you rarely ever go
One day you find proof she was real
Despite your struggle to forget
Oh yes

You’re in a fight to the death my friend
Black metal t-shirts your shield
You’ve got the past on your breath my friend
Now name all the monsters you’ve killed
Let’s name all the monsters you’ve killed

The man she chose to take your place
Turns his collar up to better frame his face
How you’d love to hate her
But you just can’t hate somebody you don’t know
Oh no

Did she leave a trail of crumbs
So you could find her when you’re what you could become
Or did she know you well enough
To realize that garden just won’t grow?
Oh no

You’re in a fight to the death my friend
Airwaves a grand battlefield
You’ve got the past on your breath my friend
Now name all the monsters you’ve killed
Let’s name all the monsters you’ve killed

In my sleep I build machines
But nobody ever wants to hear about my dreams
Last night I saw a burning Ferris Wheel
The meaning’s anybody’s guess
Oh yes

Lovers leave chaos and clothes
More debris than you can sort through in one go
You say love is hell
But it’s the ghost of love that’s made you such a mess
Oh yes

You’re in a fight to the death my friend
Fight like you’re chained to the wheel
You’ve got the past on your breath my friend
Now name all the monsters you’ve killed
Let’s name all the monsters you’ve killed

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,674: ‘Chaos and Clothes’ – Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I hope you have a chance to tour and see a show at the Ryman Auditorium. Truly special. And don’t miss the Studio B tour!

  2. Peg Clifton says:

    Enjoy Nashville!

  3. Andrea katz says:

    What great lyrics! I loved Nashville so much…Studio B was unexpectedly thrilling. Enjoy!

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