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‘Make Me A Mop’ by Cody Johnson - Lyrics & Meaning

November 3, 2023 12:01 am GMT

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Cody Johnson - ‘Make Me A Mop’

Label: CoJo Music / Warner Music Nashville

Release Date: November 3rd 2023

Album: Leather

Producers: Trent Willmon

Songwriters: Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Alan Shamblin

The Background:

‘Make Me A Mop’ is the spiritual, hymnal finale to Cody Johnson's 2023 album, Leather, with the Texan underlining ahead of the project's release that this is one of his most personal songs to date.

The intricate, stripped-back ballad finds CoJo vulnerably accepting his flaws and mistakes as he prays to God for forgiveness, before asking Him to use him in whichever way he sees fit.

The Sound:

‘Make Me A Mop’ feels more intimate than any song in CoJo's stellar discography, and the sonic texture Trent Willmon gives the track helps to build this sense of fragility and confidentiality.

With the simple, quietly hopeful strum of the acoustic guitar and the ethereal cry of steel, combined with Cody Johnson's distinctly drawn-in vocal delivery, ‘Make Me A Mop’ is given the ambience of a confession, with the listener feeling as though they're eavesdropping.

The Meaning:

“Make me a mop to clean up the messes

That I’ve made in my life

Lord make me a spoon, smooth on the edges

When my words wanna reach for a knife”

Throughout ‘Make Me A Mop’, Cody Johnson pleads with God to use him for whatever purpose He sees fit, with the protagonist relinquishing all attempts to cling onto a false sense of control.

He asks to be made into a mop, so that he can clean up all the mistakes he's made in his life. The metaphor shifts viscerally as Cody Johnson requests to be made into a smooth spoon, instead of an incisive ‘knife’ that uses words as weapons. He utilises this image to symbolise the way he speaks harshly to those he loves when he gets frustrated, and asks for God's help to become kinder in this respect.

“Make me a shovel, make me whatever

A handle on a cup you glue back together

If breakin’ a man just makes him better

Then do what you gotta do”

Then, the protagonist asks to be made into a shovel, before suggesting he could be turned into a cup that's been stuck back together, representing Cody's perception of himself as ‘broken’.

He doubles-down on his willingness to follow God's plans for him, even if it means ‘breaking’ him all over again in order to become stronger. This captures the essence of ‘Make Me A Mop’, with Cody Johnson essentially saying, “Thy will be done”.

“Make me the nail, you hold the hammer

Drive me straight, drive me true

Lord build me a heart with room for forgiveness

And just let me live there for a minute or two”

Cody Johnson uses imagery from Jesus’ crucifixion, as he outlines how he will gladly nail himself to a cross and sacrifice himself, if this is the path God sets out for him.

He asks God to give him a heart that's more loving and forgiving, before he requests to be able to spend some time ‘in that heart’, so to speak. Endearingly, Cody is effectively asking God to help him forgive himself as well as to aid him in becoming more forgiving of others.

“And I know I’ll never be shiny and perfect

But give me a bucket and I’ll get to workin’

Take all this pain and give me a purpose

I’ll be whatever you choose”

Once again, Cody Johnson reiterates how he wishes to be moulded and sculpted according to God's will, rather than his own, as he seeks to direct his pain towards a worthy purpose.

“Make me a mop, just use me for somethin’

More than just cleanin’ up my own puddle of tears

Lord make me a song in some old dusty jukebox

Just make me feel somethin’ I ain’t felt in years”

Cody Johnson repeats his titular request to be made into a mop, as he reminds the listener of all the times he's fallen down. He goes a step further than he did in the first verse, though.

Rather than only asking for help in cleaning up his own messes, here, Cody wants to be of use to others too, as he looks to do “More than just cleanin’ up my own puddle of tears”.

After floating the possibility of being a song that brings people joy in a jukebox, Cody Johnson returns to the crux of his petitionary prayer. Heartbreakingly, beneath all the colourful and imaginative requests, the protagonist is merely asking to feel “somethin’ I ain't felt in years”, implying he misses feeling in touch with and led by God.

“Take me, break me, Lord make me”

With the poignant closing lyric, the beautifully dexterous songwriting that underpins ‘Make Me A Mop’ returns to the fore. Cody transitions from his request for God to ‘Take me’, to asking for him to ‘Break me’, before concluding with the plea, ‘Lord make me’.

Instead of asking for God to make him into something, as he's spent the entirety of the song doing, Cody Johnson ends by simply requesting that God ‘makes him’, underlining how he aspires to become the man he was always meant to become.

What has Cody Johnson said about ‘Make Me A Mop’?

Speaking to Billboard ahead of Leather's release date, Cody Johnson explained why ‘Make Me A Mop’ is so special to him, “I think it’s highly ironic that there’s a song called ‘Jesus Loves You’ and it’s nowhere near a gospel song, and then there’s a gospel song, but it’s called ‘Make Me a Mop.’ But I got four lines into this song and just started weeping”.

He then emphasised how relatable it felt when he first head it, “This song was kind of my first step toward saying, ‘I do need to be more malleable and loosen the reins a bit, and let God shape me, my family and career and address those things in my past that I’ve never forgiven myself for’. When I recorded this, for me it was a prayer, not a song”.

@hollercountry Cody Johnson performed ‘Nothin’ On You’ last night in Pittsburgh 🎶 What a special moment for CoJo and his fans! 🌟 📹 @kassidybayer (insta) #codyjohnson #livemusic #countrymusic ♬ original sound - Holler

For the full lyrics to Cody Johnson's ‘Make Me A Mop’, see below:

“Make me a mop to clean up the messes

That I’ve made in my life

Lord make me a spoon, smooth on the edges

When my words wanna reach for a knife

Make me a shovel, make me whatever

A handle on a cup you glue back together

If breakin’ a man just makes him better

Then do what you gotta do

Make me the nail, you hold the hammer

Drive me straight, drive me true

Lord build me a heart with room for forgiveness

And just let me live there for a minute or two

Make me a shovel, make me whatever

A handle on a cup you glue back together

If breakin’ a man just makes him better

Then do what you gotta do

And I know I’ll never be shiny and perfect

But give me a bucket and I’ll get to workin’

Take all this pain and give me a purpose

I’ll be whatever you choose

Make me a mop, just use me for somethin’

More than just cleanin’ up my own puddle of tears

Lord make me a song in some old dusty jukebox

Just make me feel somethin’ I ain’t felt in years

Make me a shovel, make me whatever

A handle on a cup you glue back together

If breakin’ a man just makes him better

Then do what you gotta do

Take me, break me, Lord make me”

For more on Cody Johnson, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
Author - Cody Johnson
Cody Johnson
Artist