Music

'Alyssa Lies': The Story Behind Jason Michael Carroll's Tragic Song

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Jason Michael Carroll released "Alyssa Lies" as the lead single from his 2006 debut album Waitin' in the Country. Despite the tough subject matter, the song reached number five on the country Billboard charts and was a jarring reminder to millions how serious child abuse is and how important it is to speak up.

Carroll was first inspired to write the song after reading a poem a friend wrote about child abuse. In an interview with CMT, he reflects on how difficult it was for him to write. "It really struck a nerve," he explains. "I thought about writing it, and then I tried to put it out of my head. Two days later, I turned on the TV and saw a story on the news about [child abuse]. I said, 'Well, two times in two days, I'm definitely supposed to write this song.' It took me a week and a half to write the first verse and the chorus. Then, after that, I struggled to the point of migraines for a year and a half before I finally finished it."

The song follows a narrator whose daughter is friends with a young girl named Alyssa at school. She is covered in bruises and lies to teachers and students every day about where they come from so the daughter asks her father why she lies. After hearing his daughter say a prayer for Alyssa one night, the narrator decides to say something about the abuse, but it's too late. While the song ending this way is unexpected and heartbreaking, it's an important reminder of the horrible reality of child abuse.

'Alyssa Lies' Lyrics:

My little girl met a new friend
Just the other day
On the playground at school
Between the tires and the swings
But she came home with tear-filled eyes
And she said to me, "Daddy, Alyssa lies."

Well I just brushed it off at first
'Cause I didn't know how much my little girl had been hurt
Or the things she had seen
I wasn't ready when I said, "You can tell me."

And she said
Alyssa lies to the classroom
Alyssa lies every day at school
Alyssa lies to the teachers
As she tries to cover every bruise

My little girl laid her head down that night to go to sleep
As I stepped out the room, I heard her say a prayer so soft and sweet
"God bless my mom and my dad
And my new friend, Alyssa
I know she needs you bad."

Because Alyssa lies to the classroom
Alyssa lies every day at school
Alyssa lies to the teachers
As she tries to cover every bruise

I had the worst night of sleep in years
As I tried to think of a way to calm her fears
I knew just what it was I had to do
But when we got to school on Monday, I heard the news
My little girl asked me why everybody looked so sad
The lump in my throat grew bigger

With every question that she asked
Until I felt the tears run down my face

And I told her that Alyssa wouldn't be at school today
'Cause she doesn't lie in the classroom
She doesn't lie anymore at school
Alyssa lies with Jesus
Because there's nothin' anyone would do

Tears filled my eyes when my little girl asked me why
Alyssa lies
Daddy, tell me why
Alyssa lies

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'Alyssa Lies': The Story Behind Jason Michael Carroll's Tragic Song