The Meaning Behind "Follow You To Virgie" By Tyler Childers Thursday May 2 2024, 5:30 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
The Meaning Behind "Follow You To Virgie" By Tyler Childers

Follow You To Virgie Meaning

This song serves as a perfect example of Tyler Childers' talent in storytelling through music, capturing the essence of Appalachian life and the universal themes of loss and memory.

"Follow You to Virgie" is part of Tyler Childers' breakthrough album "Purgatory," which was released in 2017. The album helped establish Childers as a significant voice in the Americana and country music scenes.

In this song, like many of his others, Tyler draws inspiration from his upbringing in the Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky.

What was the exact inspiration and story behind this one? Let's dive into it.

The Story Behind The Songwriting 

The "Purgatory" album, which includes "Follow You to Virgie," was produced by Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson. Simpson, a well-known musician in his own right, brought a distinctive touch to the album, blending traditional roots with a more contemporary sound.

"Follow You to Virgie" is an introspective acoustic song that reflects on the passing of friends and the impact they had on the narrator's life. The song is notable for its poignant storytelling and emotional depth, characteristics that define much of Childers' work.

It has been mentioned before that one of the inspirations behind this one was the passing of his friend's grandmother. He said in an interview:

"I used to sit around the house and it took forever before I could get through a song. I’d be crying and thinking about Mamaw Johnson. I didn’t play that out until I was ready to get up in front of somebody and play that, you know?"

Unlike some of the more full-band arrangements on "Purgatory," "Follow You to Virgie" relies heavily on acoustic guitar and minimalistic production. This approach emphasizes the lyrical content and emotional weight of the song.

Childers employs a narrative style that is both vivid and evocative. He uses specific details and imagery that not only paint a picture of the scene but also gives you the emotional landscape of the moment. This technique allows listeners to be drawn into the story, experiencing the emotions alongside the narrator.

Lyrical Breakdowns

Yeah, I reckon we were heathensBut in her eyes, we were saintsNow you're calling all the boys home'Cause heaven's angels carried her away

Tyler Childers reminisces about the grandmother who viewed him and his friends as "saints" despite their rough exterior. Her passing prompts a reunion of these friends ("calling all the boys home") as they gather to mourn and honor her, reflecting on how she has now been taken to a peaceful afterlife by "heaven's angels."

So, I will follow you to VirgieAlthough it hurts me soTo lay to rest this mountain beautyThat the Lord's called homeAnd I can't see her up in gloryI can see her through the pines

Tyler expresses his deep sorrow as he prepares to attend the funeral in Virgie, Kentucky, for a beloved woman from his community, describing her as a "mountain beauty" whom God has called to heaven.

Although he struggles with the idea of her being in heaven where he can't physically see her, he finds solace in feeling her presence and envisioning her spirit when he looks through the natural landscape of the pines surrounding him.

Back when all us boys were tryin'To make sense of all these stringsI can see her in the cornerSinging along to all our crazy dreams

He reminisces about the past when he and his friends were young, possibly learning to play musical instruments ("make sense of all these strings"). This memory highlights her nurturing role, showing her as an encouraging presence in their lives as they explored their creativity and ambitions.

And I will follow you to Virgie'Cause that's what us boys are forTo help you out when you get wearyAnd you can't go no more

Tyler's dedication to supporting and being there for the community, especially in helping carry the burden during moments of emotional fatigue or when someone feels they can't continue on their own.

The phrase "that's what us boys are for" speaks to a deep sense of duty and camaraderie within his group, showing their readiness to come together and provide support, particularly in the wake of losing a loved one.

The Impact Of This Project

Childers gained significant attention with his 2017 album "Purgatory," which was produced by Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson.

The album’s success marked a turning point in his career, earning him a wider audience and critical acclaim. Before "Purgatory," Childers released a few independent albums, including "Bottles and Bibles" in 2011.

The song, along with the rest of the album, received critical acclaim for its authenticity and lyrical craftsmanship. Critics and fans alike praised Childers for his ability to convey deep, personal stories in a relatable manner.

"Follow You to Virgie" is a staple in Childers’ live performances, where it often resonates with audiences due to its heartfelt narrative and the raw, emotional delivery of Childers.

Despite the specific regional and personal origins of the song, its themes are universal, allowing it to reach and affect a broad audience.

Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

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