Song of the Day #4,663: ‘Fulton County Jane Doe’ – Brandi Carlile

I’m forgoing today’s Random Weekend selection to close out my short series on Brandi Carlile. At first I figured I’d given her most recent album enough exposure on the blog (four songs before this one), but it didn’t feel right to leave it out.

Released in 2018, By the Way, I Forgive You was the record that finally brought Carlile the widespread recognition she’s deserved since her debut. She won a Grammy for Best Americana Album, and competed for Album, Song and Record of the Year.

The latter two nominations were for the phenomenal song ‘The Joke,’ which Carlile performed at the Grammys ceremony to tremendous acclaim.

By the Way, I Forgive You is Carlile’s best album yet, a gorgeous synthesis of everything she’s excelled at throughout her career. It features some of her softest and hardest moments on record, and mines a wide range of emotional territory with sensitivity and wisdom.

‘Fulton County Jane Doe’ is one of my favorite tracks. It’s based on the true story of an unidentified young woman found beaten to death in Fulton County, Georgia. Carlile and the twins wrote this tribute to a woman who was somebody’s baby before her unfortunate end.

That wraps up my quick dive into Brandi Carlile’s catalog. In a recent New York Times profile, she revealed that she has been writing and recording during quarantine and a new album is due out later this year. I can’t wait.

[Verse 1]
Out in the middle of nowhere
With nothing much else to do
Oh, the night brought us together
And I lent my heart to you

[Verse 2]
Maybe you were running way from something
Without so much as a plan
Not a living soul to guide you
Jesus tattooed on your hand

[Chorus]
God, the whole world’s gone crazy
And there’s only God to blame
Somebody called you something sweet once
It was more than Fulton County Jane

[Verse 3]
And when my heart has no rest
And a thousand things are on my mind
I’ll always save some room for you
I won’t let you get left behind

[Verse 4]
Oh, and I always will remember
When the lonely day is through
That somewhere far from Fulton County
A stranger says a prayer for you

[Chorus]
God, the whole world’s gone crazy
And there’s only God to blame
Your mother calls you something sweet once
It was more than Fulton County Jane
Fulton County Jane

[Verse 5]
We came into this life with nothing
And all we’re taking is a name
That’s why I’ve written you this song
This is for Fulton County Jane

[Chorus]
God, the whole world’s gone crazy
And there’s only God to blame
Your mother calls you something sweet once, darling
You’re more than Fulton County, Fulton County Jane
Fulton County Jane

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,663: ‘Fulton County Jane Doe’ – Brandi Carlile

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Thanks for the deep dive into Carlile’s career. I look forward to what comes next from her as well.

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