Music

Alan Jackson Shares Heavenly Send-Off For His Mother, 'Where Her Heart Has Always Been'

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, Pool

The first voice heard on Alan Jackson's "Where Her Heart Has Always Been" doesn't belong to the Country Music Hall of Famer. Instead, that's Mama Ruth, reading the Bible (Luke 2:9, to be exact) in a clip discovered by one of Jackson's sisters.

The song's full title, "Where Her Heart Has Always Been (Written for Mama's funeral with an old recording of her reading from The Bible)," should've better prepared us emotionally to hear Ruth Musick Jackson's voice before her son sets her send-off from Newnan, Georgia to the Pearly Gates to music.

It's not a complete heartbreaker, though, as Jackson's lyrics about his mom's passing offer hope that we'll see our loved ones again on the other side of eternity.

As he did with "Drive (For Daddy Gene)" back in 2002 and with the more recent "You'll Always Be My Baby (Written for Daughters' Weddings)," Jackson turned a heartfelt song about deeply personal memories into something relatable to the masses.

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More specifically, "Where Her Heart Has Always Been" and "You'll Always Be My Baby" appear on Jackson's new album Where Have You Gone (out May 14) and deal with two impactful events from 2017: his mother's funeral and his daughter Mattie's wedding.

It'll be Jackson's first new album since 2015's Angels & Alcohol.

Other new songs making the rounds online include the title track, which laments the lack of story-driven, tradition-grounded music from current Nashville stars.

Where Have You Gone Track Listing

1. "Where Have You Gone" (Alan Jackson)
2. "Wishful Drinkin'" (Alan Jackson)
3. "I Can Be That Something" (Alan Jackson)
4. "Where the Cottonwood Grows" (Alan Jackson)
5. "Way Down In My Whiskey" (Alan Jackson)
6. "Things That Matter" (Robert Keith Stegall, Michael White)
7. "Livin' On Empty" (Alan Jackson)
8. "You'll Always Be My Baby (Written for Daughters' Weddings)" (Alan Jackson)
9. "Where Her Heart Has Always Been (Written for Mama's funeral with an old recording of her reading from The Bible)" (Alan Jackson)
10. "The Boot" (Adam Wright)
11. "Back" (Alan Jackson)
12. "Write It In Red" (Alan Jackson)
13. "So Late So Soon" (Scotty Emerick, Daniel Tashian, Sarah Buxton)
14. "This Heart Of Mine" (Adam Wright)
15. "A Man Who Never Cries" (Alan Jackson)
16. "Chain" (Alan Jackson)
17. "I Was Tequila" (Alan Jackson)
18. "I Do (Written for Daughters' Weddings)" (Alan Jackson)
19. "Beer:10" (Alan Jackson)
20.  "The Older I Get"* (Hailey Whitters, Adam Wright, Sarah Turner)
Extra Track: "That's The Way Love Goes" (A Tribute to Merle Haggard) (Lefty Frizzell, Whitey Shafer)

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Alan Jackson Shares Heavenly Send-Off For His Mother, 'Where Her Heart Has Always Been'