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‘Man Made A Bar’ by Morgan Wallen & Eric Church - Lyrics & Meaning

March 14, 2024 4:35 pm GMT

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Morgan Wallen & Eric Church - ‘Man Made A Bar’

Release Date: March 3rd, 2023

Songwriters: Rocky Block, Jordan Dozzi, Larry Fleet & Brett Tyler

Producer: Joey Moi

Chart Performance:

  • No. 5 on Mediabase Country
  • No. 7 on Billboard Country Airplay
  • No. 8 on Billboard Hot Country Songs
  • No. 15 on Billboard Hot 100

Certifications:

  • Platinum (December 4th, 2023)
  • Gold (December 4th, 2023)

The Background:

Long before they teamed up for ‘Man Made A Bar’, which arrived as part of Morgan Wallen's seismic, record-breaking 2023 One Thing At A Time project, Morgan and Eric were good buddies, with the duo regularly sharing photos from fishing and golfing trips. Now, they even run the outdoors-oriented brand, Field & Stream, together.

Morgan cut a song co-written by Eric, ‘Quittin’ Time’, for his 2021 double-album, Dangerous, with a collaboration between the two always feeling like a matter of when, not if.

‘Man Made A Bar’, penned by Morgan Wallen's Big Loud label-mate, Larry Fleet, alongside Rocky Block, Jordan Dozzi and Brett Tyler, quickly became one of the many fan-favourites from One Thing At A Time. After earning his 10th Country Radio No. 1 with the sultry, beat-driven ‘Thinkin’ Bout Me’, Morgan Wallen announced that ‘Man Made A Bar’ would be getting its shot at helping him add to this tally.

Later in 2023, Morgan Wallen was joined by Eric Church for a spellbinding live rendition of the spiritual ballad at the CMA Awards, with the chemistry between the two radiating throughout the set. Eric even delivered his final lines with such vigour that he went somewhat viral on TikTok, with users parodying the amusing moment.

The Sound:

‘Man Made A Bar’ epitomises the versatility Morgan Wallen showcases throughout One Thing At A Time, with the Sneedville crooner's go-to producer, Joey Moi, stripping things back to allow Morgan's distinctive vocals to carry the weight of the song.

While he incorporates Hip Hop, R&B and even Indie-leaning sonics throughout much of the album, ‘Man Made A Bar’ is anchored by a simple acoustic guitar and steel accompaniment, with a driving drum pattern upping the ante for the enchanting hook.

The easygoing, deliberate feel of the instrumentation, which doesn't deviate too jarringly or noticeably throughout each portion of the song, mirrors the cascading, step-by-step flow of the narrative that the entire track pivots around in the chorus.

The Meaning:

“I sat down on a barstool, like a darn fool
'Cause she walked out again
Bartender said, "I got you
Yeah, 'cause I, too, have been in your boots, my friend”

The curtain opens on a forlorn protagonist, who bemoans the fact that his lover has left him and decides to cope the only way he knows how - by heading to his local bar.

From the opening verse, it sounds like the relationship has been struggling for a while, with Morgan singing despondently about how this isn't the first time she's walked out. Thankfully, as in so many iconic country songs, such as Kenny Chesney's ‘The Good Stuff’, a bartender is on hand to offer some sage wisdom.

“Opened up back in '85, got me over my first wife
Been stayin' busy since the first night
It's a story old as time"”

The focus of the tale shifts to this bartender, as he regales Morgan with the origin story for the bar he's now drinking in, before explaining how it served as a sanctuary for him as he tried to work his way through the pain of his first divorce.

The final line about this being a ‘story old as time’ leads seamlessly into a very different origin story, as the bartender revamps the Biblical narrative of the creation of the world.

“God made the world in seven short days
He said it was good, I bet it was great
And God made a man, and man got lonely
He said, "Please, Lord, if I could only have an angel to hold in my arms"”

Throughout the chorus, he retells Christianity's seven-day tale of creation found in Genesis, fast-forwarding to the sixth day, when God made Adam, with Adam then pleading with God to give him ‘an angel’, i.e. a woman, which God made from Adam's rib.

“So God made a girl, His best work of art
Oh, but He didn't make no place to go when she breaks your heart
So man madе a bar”

Morgan and Eric champion the creation of women as God's ‘best work of art’, echoing the earlier likening of Eve to an ‘angel’. However, the bartender either gets a little muddled as this point in his Biblical recall, or he decides to add his own, bar-centric flourish to the story, as he introduces a less uplifting twist to the tale.

Tragically, the woman breaks the man's heart, leaving him with no option but to build a bar and lean on alcohol to help see him through. There's a satisfyingly cyclical nature to the chorus, as we move from ‘God made the world’ to ‘Man made a bar’.

“For some guys it's a good time
The half pricе, half dozen buckets of beer
Some say it's a cover band, that's a cover man
I know why they're here”

As Eric Church takes the lead, he lists a few of the reasons men might cite for being eager to head down to the nearest dive, such as the cheap beer and the entertaining music.

However, through a witty play on the phrase ‘cover band’, Eric explains how this is all a ‘cover man’ - a disguise for the fact that they're really just drinking to drown their heartbreak.

“It didn't go the way he planned it
Damn, the Devil did some damage”

Eric brings another Biblical figure into the story at this point, blaming the Devil for the woes and anguish experienced by those suffering a broken relationship or a lost love.

“Sometimes an angel falls too hard
Loses more than just a piece of her heart
And she needs a place to go to make a brand new start”

Now, refreshingly, after spending most of the song expressing the pain a man feels when he suffers heartbreak, we get the woman's perspective too, as Morgan and Eric conclude by detailing how sometimes the angel in the hook is the one left hurt.

They depict this through the classic image of an angel falling from the heavens, which carries the double-meaning of a woman ‘falling’ for a man that then breaks her heart.

As they outline how she'll need somewhere she can ‘make a brand new start’, we return to the hook, with the implication being this idealised bar is the perfect place to do so.

What have the songwriters said about ‘Man Made A Bar’?

Speaking to Holler while in the UK supporting Morgan Wallen, Larry Fleet, one of the ‘Man Made A Bar’ songwriters, explained how Morgan came across the track, “I was a songwriter before I was an artist. I never really wanted to be an artist, I just wanted to write songs. So for me as a songwriter, it was a no-brainer. Morgan's a good friend of mine, and he was the only guy I sent [‘Man Made A Bar’] to. I knew he was looking for one more song to finish off his record, and I said, ‘Well, I’ve got one, and if you don't want it, that’s fine, because I'm gonna do it’”.

Larry teased that, although he was excited that Morgan decided to cut it, his producer was less enthused, “My producer was like, ‘Why did you let that song go!’ But for me, as a songwriter, I was so proud to have Morgan sing that song and then get Eric Church on it too…that was really special for me...and that meant more to me than me getting the No. 1 with it. As a songwriter, I want to get cuts for other artists”.

For the full lyrics so far to Morgan Wallen & Eric Church's ‘Man Made A Bar’, see below:

“I sat down on a barstool, like a darn fool
'Cause she walked out again
Bartender said, "I got you
Yeah, 'cause I, too, have been in your boots, my friend

Opened up back in '85, got me over my first wife
Been stayin' busy since the first night
It's a story old as time"

God made the world in seven short days
He said it was good, I bet it was great
And God made a man, and man got lonely
He said, "Please, Lord, if I could only have an angel to hold in my arms"

So God made a girl, His best work of art
Oh, but He didn't make no place to go when she breaks your heart
So man madе a bar

For some guys it's a good time
The half pricе, half dozen buckets of beer
Some say it's a cover band, that's a cover man
I know why they're here

It didn't go the way he planned it
Damn, the Devil did some damage

So God made the world in seven short days
He said it was good, I bet it was great
And God made man, and man got lonely
He said, "Please, Lord, if I could only have an angel to hold in my arms"

So God made a girl, His best work of art
Oh, but He didn't make no place to go when she breaks your heart
So man made a bar
Yeah, man made a bar

Sometimes an angel falls too hard
Loses more than just a piece of her heart
And she needs a place to go to make a brand new start

God made the world in seven short days
He said it was good, I bet it was great
And God made man, and man got lonely
He said, "Please, Lord, if I could only have an angel to hold in my arms"

So God made a girl, His best work of art
Oh, but He didn't make no place to go when she breaks your heart
So man made a bar

Man made a bar
Yeah, man made a bar”

For more on Morgan Wallen, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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