Music

'Sissy's Song': The Story Behind Alan Jackson's Song of Grief and Loss

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Alan Jackson has created a career for himself by continually dishing out classic country music songs that stand the test of time. We saw a prime example of his songwriting expertise with "Sissy's Song," from his 2009 album Good Time.

Sometimes the best way to deal with grief is by sitting down and writing everything down in the form of a country song. That's exactly what Jackson did after he lost his longtime housekeeper and friend Leslie "Sissy" Fitzgerald after she passed away in a motorcycle accident. Originally, he worked with his producer Keith Stegall with nothing but the acoustic guitar in a recording session, with plans of playing the song for Sissy's family at her funeral. Jackson explained to The Boot how sudden her death was and how jarring it is to lose someone you see on a daily basis unexpectedly.  

"I wrote it for a girl that worked for us who died. She was a lady that looked after the whole house. Leslie Fitzgerald was her real name, but we called her Sissy. She had an accident on a motorcycle; she was 40-something [when she died on May 20, 2007]. She was just somebody who was in our house every day ... then, all of a sudden, [she was] gone. When people get old, you expect them to die, but it's different when they are young and it's tragic like that."

Read More: The Story Behind Alan Jackson's Heartfelt Hit 'Remember When'

The song is incredibly easy to relate to if you've ever experienced loss. The music video did the emotional lyrics justice, filmed at a historic church just outside of Nashville. Jackson explained that the country ballad, which peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard country charts, originally wasn't even going to be on his album.

"It's a real special song for me," Jackson told The Boot. "I recorded it for the funeral, but [producer] Keith [Stegall] and I went into the studio one day and put the guitar and vocal down. It's just me and the guitar and the harmony parts. After some people heard it at the label, everybody wanted to put it on the album."

"Sissy's Song" Lyrics

Why did she have to go
So young I just don't know why
Things happen half the time
Without reason without rhyme
Lovely, sweet young woman
Daughter, wife, and mother
Makes no sense to me
I just have to believe
She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me
Loved ones she left behind
Just trying to survive
And understand the why
Feeling so lost inside
Anger shot straight at God
Then asking for His love
Empty with disbelief
Just hoping that maybe
She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me
It's hard to say goodbye
Her picture in my mind
Will always be of times I'll cherish
And I won't cry 'cause
She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me
Don't worry 'bout me, don't worry about me

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'Sissy's Song': The Story Behind Alan Jackson's Song of Grief and Loss