Artist: Jason Isbell
Release date: June 11, 2013
Why this song was chosen: The lyrics are heartbreaking and haunting. The song is sung from the perspective of a school boy who is witnessing from afar a female classmate being sexually abused by her father. In the story of the song, the classmate kills the father, and promises Yvette that “he won’t hold you that way anymore”. The part of this song that I find specifically chilling and devastating is the line “your mother seems nice – I don’t understand why she won’t say anything”.
What the artist has to say about the song: In a release with PopMatters, Jason Isbell said “Everybody deals with things like romantic difficulties in relationships and death and cancer and abuse. Like the song “Yvette”, for example. It’s sort of a complement to “Daisy Mae” off the last record. I got to a point, I guess when I was probably 30, or 31 years old, where it occurred to me almost everyone you meet was sexually abused as a kid, almost everybody, by someone. That never happened to me, believe it or not, but the percentages are just staggering, and writing a song about something that’s that depressing I think it’s good to discuss it. Some people like to discuss those things, maybe they don’t want to start the conversation themselves, but sometimes those things help folks to relate and get those things out of their system a little bit.” (Source: PopMatters)
How do you think this song contributes to the conversation on sex crimes?
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Read the lyrics here.
Possible trigger warning. As with all of the content we post, the songs in the Every Day In May campaign should be listened to at your own discretion. Some may make you feel uplifted and others may make you feel angry, disturbed, or disgusted. The songs should also be considered not safe for work.