Story Behind the Song: Jason Eady, ’40 Years’
Jason Eady's 2017 self-titled album closes with the slow, stripped-down song "40 Years." Written by Eady, it's a reflective tune that finds the Texas singer-songwriter looking back on what he's learned throughout the first half of his life, and how it will help him in his next 40 years. Below, Eady talks with The Boot about the personal writing and recording processes that led to "40 Years."
It was December of '14. A friend of mine has a retreat -- a resort -- out in the [Texas] Hill Country, west of Fort Worth, and he always said if I wanted to have a time to have a writers' retreat or something -- you know, just get away -- I could come out, and if he had space, he would let me stay in one of the cabins out there. So, that's what I did ... I had a few days off in the middle of the week, and I just packed up my guitar and bought some groceries and grabbed a notepad and just locked myself in this house for about two days, just to write.
I started a lot of things, but late at night -- I was going to turn 40 in January; so, the next month was my 40th birthday -- and it was just hitting me that that date was coming. So I was just thinking about that a lot, and so I decided to write about it. I sat down and just sort of started strumming on the guitar, and that was one of the few songs that just, it kind of came out all at once; it came out the way it is ... This one just, start to finish, just kinda rolled out.
Something that personal, it wasn't me creating a song; it wasn't me sitting down and coming up with a story or trying to say something. It really was just me getting out what was going on in my head, and so there wasn't really any crafting to be done ... I probably wrote the whole song in about 30 minutes.
I knew, it was definitely one of the most personal things I had ever done. I don't usually write that blatantly about myself ... but this was pretty overt; it was just me saying what I thought. And I really wanted to come at it at this angle of, for one, 40 wasn't scary or anything to me; it was actually kind of refreshing -- almost a do-over, you know? ... so I tried to go at it from that angle, of what I'd learned up until that point, good and bad ...
Now, when I wrote the song, I didn't know if I would record it or not; I really thought I probably wouldn't record it. I just didn't think anybody would -- it was more a song for me; it was a cathartic thing for me. But when I put it in the context of everything else that we had done on the [Jason Eady] album, then it made sense ... It just really, really seemed to go along with the theme of the rest of the record.