Meaning of “Bury My Bones” by Whiskey Myers

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Bury My Bones” by Whiskey Myers is a raw, poetic ballad that delves into life, death, and the legacy one leaves behind. It talks about wanting a simple, honest end—no frills, just a burial under a tall pine tree in Anderson County. The song seems to be a heartfelt message from the songwriter to his family, particularly his mother, outlining his wishes should he die young. It explores themes of mortality, roots, and the simpler things in life that make us who we are.

Stick around as we break down the nitty-gritty of this soul-stirring song, line by line. Trust me, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

“Bury My Bones” Lyrics Meaning

The opening lines, “If I die young, write my mother / Tell her that I love her but my soul’s gone home,” set the tone for a song steeped in acceptance and vulnerability. The songwriter acknowledges the fragility of life, wanting his love for his mother conveyed even as he accepts the idea of his soul “going home,” possibly an allusion to an afterlife or a return to nature.

“Take my vessel to Anderson County / Drive real slow and take the long way home,” suggests a final, unhurried journey back to his roots, underscoring the importance of being buried where he came from. This isn’t just a place; it’s a part of his identity.

“Tell my kin to pick up a shovel / Wrestle that sugar sand and bury my bones,” shows he wants his family involved in his final send-off. No marble tombs or extravagant ceremonies—just the raw, manual labor of a grave dug by loved ones. The “sugar sand” paints a vivid picture of the land, connecting the soil to memories and family ties.

“Saw that fiddle, brother, pass that shine,” these lines signal a different kind of memorial—one filled with music and a shared bottle of ‘shine’, as opposed to a somber, tear-filled gathering. It’s an invitation to celebrate life, rather than mourn death.

“Deep down in the holler, pick the tallest pine / Dig it real deep where the roots touch mine,” here, the song shifts into an evocative metaphor. Being buried deep where “the roots touch mine” signifies a desire for eternal unity with the land, marking an enduring, primal connection with the earth itself.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in dissecting the heartfelt narrative of “Bury My Bones.”

Why Was “Bury My Bones” Written?

The state of mind during the writing of this song likely involved reflections on mortality and the essence of life itself. The lyrics paint a picture of someone who has considered their own impermanence and has clear ideas on how they wish to be remembered and celebrated. The song serves as a contemplative guidebook on how to navigate the complex emotions surrounding death, urging us to focus on the genuine, humble aspects of human existence. The songwriter doesn’t just tackle the topic of death; he embraces it, providing a route for both him and the listeners to explore their own beliefs about life, death, and legacy.