Music

'Feed Jake': Behind Pirates of the Mississippi's Song & Heartbreaking Video

'Feed Jake' was written by songwriter Danny Mayo, produced by Rich Alves and James Stroud, and released by Pirates of the Mississippi in 1991 under Capitol Records. The song was the third single from their self-titled debut record and the band's highest-charting song, peaking at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Art is all about interpretation. This song can be perceived differently by anyone who hears it. The song touches on many stereotypes that are built around the homeless and LGBTQ+ community, a subject that was, and still can be, very taboo for the conservative country music industry.

Read More: 'I've Always Been Crazy': The Story Behind Waylon Jennings' Wayward Hit

The official music video was directed by Deaton-Flanigen Productions and was the first video in country music not to feature the artist. The video was filmed in and around Nashville, Tennessee. The video depicts two men's lifelong friendship through flashbacks- including them adopting a dog named Jake together. Throughout the video, as one of the men is driving to their destination, they pass injured soldiers, sex workers, and homeless people. The driver seems to be contemplating the bigger picture of life when passing all of these people who have lost some sort of battle in their life. It is soon revealed that the man is headed to the funeral of his friend. He and Jake tearfully reunite at the cemetery and both pay their respects.

The tune can be found on almost every sad country playlist, next to songs like 'The Dance,' by Garth Brooks, 'He Stopped Loving Her Today,' by George Jones, and 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry,' by Hank Williams.

'Feed Jake' Lyrics:

I'm standing at the crossroads in life, and I don't know where to go.
You know you've got my heart babe, but my music's got my soul.
Let me play it one more time, I'll tell the truth and make it rhyme,
And hope they understand me.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake, feed Jake, he's been a good dog,
My best friend right through it all, if I die before I wake,
Feed Jake

Now Broadway's like a sewer, bums and hookers everywhere.
Wino's passed out on the sidewalk, doesn't anybody care.
Some say he's worthless, just let him be.
But I for one would have to disagree.
And so would their mamas.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake, feed Jake, he's been a good dog,
My best friend right through it all, if I die before I wake,
Feed Jake

Now If you get an ear pierced, some will call you gay.
But if you drive a pick-up, they'll say 'No, you must be straight.'
What we are and what we ain't, what we can and what we can't,
Does it really matter?

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake, feed Jake, he's been a good dog,
My best friend right through it all, if I die before I wake,
Feed Jake
If I die before I wake, feed Jake
If I die before I wake, feed Jake

Now Watch: Reba McEntire on her song "Back to God"

 

recommended for you

'Feed Jake': Behind Pirates of the Mississippi's Song & Heartbreaking Video