A lot went into writing your favorite song--but how much do you really know about it? This week Ben Nichols, vocalist and guitarist of Memphis, Tenn., six-piece Lucero, delves into surviving a war, family stories, and living with the consequences of our decisions.
Release Date: March 24, 2005
When it was written: Probably a year or so before the release date
Where it was written: In the back of my dad and my uncle's furniture store
Favorite line in the song: "Now it keeps me up nights, what I could've done differently"
Which part was the hardest to come up with? Most of the details in the song are based on things my father, grandmother, and friends of my grandfather told me, so it took a lot of talking to folks and collecting stories about my grandfather. He died when I was 12, before I could ask him anything myself. I only met him twice in my life.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be? The version on the record is the second take, I think. I wish I could've made it through the first take. There wasn't a third take. I wouldn't have minded putting a second acoustic guitar line on there too, but Jim Dickinson (the producer) wanted to keep it extremely raw and simple.
Odd fact about song: My granddad probably never "tore it up down in London town." He more likely got put straight onto a boat and sat there until they went in to Europe about a month after D-Day. He was in a rifle company in the 35th Infantry Division.
What was your inspiration for writing the song? My granddad and my curiosity about the kind of man he was and what he did in World War II. And also what a guy like that would think of a guy like me.
What is the meaning behind the song? I guess it's about a farm kid from the cotton fields of Arkansas and the effects that having to go to war in 1944 have on him. It's about how normal folks are forced into very not-normal situations and how they deal with them. It's about surviving a war and having to live with your actions or inactions. It's about having to deal with extremely burdensome responsibilities under the extremely insane circumstances of war.
Lucero will be performing at the Vans Warped Tour in George on August 13, and at El Corazon in Seattle on August 17.