Alan Jackson is now weeks away from releasing his first album of new music in six years, Where Have You Gone, and the country star gave fans another new song ahead of time on Friday when he shared "Where Her Heart Has Always Been (Written For Mama's Funeral With An Old Recording Of Her Reading The Bible)." Jackson's mother, Ruth Musick Jackson, died in January 2017, and he wrote the song for her funeral service.
The song begins with a recording of Musick Jackson reading from the Bible before her son begins to sing over an acoustic guitar. "I could hear the roses sing / A bluebird softly flapped its wings / The sun seemed brighter than it's ever been," Jackson reflects in the chorus. "And now she's dancing in the wind with her true love again / Where her heart has always been / Where her heart has always been." A pedal steel and fiddle add layers to the song but keep the focus on Jackson's voice as he remembers his late mom.
"Where Her Heart Has Always Been" is one of multiple personal songs on Where Have You Gone, which also includes "You'll Always Be My Baby," a track Jackson penned for his daughters' wedding days. "I wrote the song for Mattie’s wedding the summer of 2017, but it was so hard to do," he said in a statement. "I told ’em, ‘I wrote this for all of you.'" See the full tracklist below and pre-order Where Have You Gone here.
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)