Tyler Childers - Rustin' In The Rain Album Cover
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‘In Your Love’ by Tyler Childers - Lyrics & Meaning

August 11, 2023 4:33 pm GMT
Last Edited December 19, 2023 9:51 pm GMT

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Tyler Childers - ‘In Your Love'

Label: Hickman Holler Records/RCA Records

Release Date: July 27th 2023

Album: Rustin’ In The Rain

Producers: Tyler Childers & The Food Stamps

Songwriters: Tyler Childers & Geno Seale

Chart Performance:

  • No. 7 on Billboard Hot Country Songs
  • No. 43 on Billboard Hot 100

The Background:

‘In Your Love’ flickered to life from the kindling of a series of social media teasers and live performances of the song under a different name. After dropping a number of hints that new music was on the way, Tyler Childers then revealed towards the end of July that his next song, ‘In Your Love’, would be released on July 27.

The sweet, romantic track introduced fans to the Kentucky maverick's latest musical era, with ‘In Your Love’ serving as the lead single from his September 2023 album, Rustin’ In The Rain.

Originally thought to be called ’I'll Wait For You’, Tyler Childers performed ‘In Your Love’ during his electrifying Bonnaroo 2023 headlining set, with fans immediately calling for the song to be made available. Unlike the ‘In Your Love’ protagonist, they didn't have to wait too long, with Tyler releasing the track shortly after.

It was accompanied by a powerful music video, which follows two male coal-miners as they navigate the challenges of being in a gay relationship in 1950s Appalachia.

All the difficulties of their situation are countered by the moments of joy and celebration that are pointedly showcased throughout the video, which was written by Tyler's close friend and Kentucky's poet laureate, Silas House. Silas underlined they were keen to highlight the happier aspects of the couple's relationship, as well as presenting the hardships of being gay in that era and profession.

The video opens with an elderly gentleman tending his field, before he stumbles across a four-leaf clover. We then get a flashback to him as a young coal-miner, where he meets the love of his life, who plucks a four-leaf clover for him during a picnic.

Tragically, later in life his partner succumbs to black lung disease, otherwise known as Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis. After he passes, he sits with him in front of their home for a while, before we flash forward to the old man sat alone on the same front porch swing, wistfully staring at the clover. The two young men are played by Colton Haynes and James Scully.

‘In Your Love’ became Tyler Childers’ first ever song to chart on the prestigious Billboard Hot 100, entering at No. 43 upon its release. The track also earned the celebrated singer-songwriter his first Top Ten on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.

The Sound:

Opening with nothing but a gentle piano, ’In Your Love’ carries a much more tender and less angsty feel compared to much of Tyler Childers’ previous record.

As the song builds, Tyler's distinctive voice is cushioned by a soft guitar and a sauntering drum beat. The ‘All Your'n’ hitmaker is known for the intensity he so often laces into his vocal delivery, as demonstrated on the likes of ‘Nose On The Grindstone’ and ‘Angel Band’.

However, on ‘In Your Love’, Tyler Childers adopts a comparatively understated singing style, which accentuates the rawness and vulnerability of the protagonist's professions of devotion.

The song is the epitome of why Tyler Childers’ has blossomed into one of the figureheads of the contemporary alt-country scene. Not only does he adjust his delivery to ensure ‘In Your Love’ is as affecting as possible, but the track is also a masterclass in lyrical penmanship.

On the surface of it, ‘In Your Love’ is a simple, wide-eyed love-song, but Tyler injects an edge into the verses, leaving traces of the obstacles and opposition the two lovers face.

The easy-going and - perhaps atypically - radio-friendly nature of ‘In Your Love’ is exacerbated by the experimental, outlandish and at times jarring sonic textures that brought Tyler's 2022 triple-album, Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven?, to life.

The Meaning:

“I will wait for you
'Til the sun turns into ashes
And bows down to the moon
I will wait for you”

When it comes to ‘In Your Love’, it's important to distinguish between the meaning behind the song and the accompanying music video. Although the evocative visuals have gained widespread prominence and have dominated much of the conversation surrounding ‘In Your Love’, the track itself could easily be interpreted as an ode to Tyler Childers’ wife, Senora May, in the mould of ‘Lady May’.

“It's a long, hard war
Oh, but I can grin and bear it
'Cause I know what the hell I'm fighting for
And I will wait for you”

At the same time, the lyrics lend themselves to the story captured in the deeply moving music video. The relentless battle Tyler references throughout could be interpreted as the fight against the discrimination and oppression the two lovers experience as a result of their sexuality.

The repetition of the key lyric, “I will wait for you”, suggests the couple cannot fully enjoy their love at the present moment. This can be seen to transcend the specific tale of the music video, and could easily be applied to any long-distance relationship.

An alternative interpretation is that we are hearing the song from the perspective of the man who has been left behind after his lover sadly passed away. On this reading, the resilient affirmation of “I will wait for you” could be a reference to his unwavering resolution to hold onto their love until they meet again in Heaven.

We were never made to run forever
We were just meant to go long enough
To find what we were chasin' after
I believe I found it here in your love”

In the hook, Tyler beautifully conveys the feeling of longing and yearning that the protagonist has felt all his life, without really knowing exactly what he was “chasin’ after”.

Touchingly, the answer is found in his partner's love, as is portrayed by the juxtaposition between the exhaustingly incessant pursuit of happiness of the first three lines, compared to the presence of the final lyric (“I believe I found it here in your love”).

“I will stand my ground
I'm a bad man looking for takers
You're the finest thing around
So I will stand my ground

'Cause it's cold out there
And you know some men search for ages
For the love that I have found
So I will stand my ground”

Once again, Tyler frames the relationship in terms of being a battle or quest, with the protagonist emphasising his unwillingness to back down in the face of adversity.

The reiteration of “I will stand my ground” carries a heartwarming feeling of dedication and commitment to his love, as well as an ominous sense of acceptance that embarking on the journey of this relationship is not for the faint-hearted.

In the context of the music video, this is most likely because of the pervasive stigma against gay love in the 1950s Appalachia, as is spotlighted in the abuse suffered at the hands of their co-workers.

“I will work for you
'Til my hands are tired and bleedin'
I know what it is from us I'm needin'
I will work for you

Like a team of mules
Pulling hell off from its hinges
It's the love that I'll keep tendin'
I will work for you”

When speaking to NPR about the creative impetus behind the new album, Tyler Childers explained that mules and donkeys were a running theme throughout, along with love.

He described Rustin’ In The Rain as “Angsty. It [also] has all these allusions to horse-drawn equipment and pieces of harnessing. I was spending a lot of COVID time working these two mules. My grandpa grew up as a tenant farmer in Lawrence County, and always kept a horse up until he passed. And his favourite brother Lucian, lived down the road and he worked mules up until the '90s. And so it was a part of my history. And then the world shut down. I was like, no better time than now. And that was a lot of fun, so that was kind of where my head was at. The album has a lot of love songs, but if there's a thread, it's the mules”.

At the start of the ‘In Your Love’ music video, the elderly man is ploughing the field alongside his trusty four-legged partner, with Silas House underlining that the only requirement Tyler made when creating the visuals was that mules were featured.

What has Tyler Childers said about ‘In Your Love’?

During his conversation with NPR, Tyler Childers explained why he wanted to centre the ‘In Your Love’ music video around a gay love story, “[One] reason that I wanted to do this music video was my cousin growing up, who's like my big brother, is gay. And he graduated from Northern Kentucky, went to Chicago and never came back. He taught me so much about singing; he was my first tough critic. And just thinking about him not having a music video on CMT that spoke to him”.

He went on to stress the importance of standing up for what you believe in, even if it is met with resistance, “I think that people are doing it. Margo Price is very vocal and outspoken in her music. Steve Earle's been that way for years. There is risk in it, though. The good old boys and people that I run into — to them, Steve established himself with these songs, and [now] they're just like, "Ah Steve, he's just barkin'." Is it possible to be taken seriously? I do think so, if you're coming from a place that's less preachy and more real. That's what I hoped to accomplish with this video”.

Tyler then expanded, “For all the ugliness that it's going to bring out that just can't be helped, this video is going to make real conversations possible. This is a story of two people sharing their love and living a life together and experiencing loss. That's pretty powerful. Once you take away the flash card phrases and like the knee-jerk reactions, how does that make you feel? How are you going to feel when you get to those points in your life? And what are you going to need when you're going through loss? Are you going to need people to be hateful with you, when your partner in this world dies and you're alone?”

The trailblazing artist concluded his discussion with NPR by setting out his hopes for the ‘In Your Love’ visuals, “When I was younger, sometimes I didn't think that the way some people were telling me things were was necessarily how they were. Then somebody I looked up to helped steer me in a way that made it clear that things could be different. Maybe this video will do that for some people”.

For the full lyrics to Tyler Childers’ ‘In Your Love,’ see below:

“I will wait for you
'Til the sun turns into ashes
And bows down to the moon
I will wait for you

It's a long, hard war
Oh, but I can grin and bear it
'Cause I know what the hell I'm fighting for
And I will wait for you

We were never made to run forever
We were just meant to go long enough
To find what we were chasin' after
I believe I found it here in your love

I will stand my ground
I'm a bad man looking for takers
You're the finest thing around
So I will stand my ground

'Cause it's cold out there
And you know some men search for ages
For the love that I have found
So I will stand my ground

We were never made to run forever
We were just meant to go long enough
To find what we were chasin' after
I believe I found it here in your love

Honey, I will wait for you
Honey, I will stand my ground

I will work for you
'Til my hands are tired and bleedin'
I know what it is from us I'm needin'
I will work for you

Like a team of mules
Pulling hell off from its hinges
It's the love that I'll keep tendin'
I will work for you

We were never made to run forever
We were just meant to go long enough
To find what we were chasin' after
I believe I found it here in your love

Honey, I will wait for you
Honey, I will stand my ground
I will work for you
I will stand my ground”

For more on Tyler Childers, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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