Bailey Zimmerman - Religiously: The Album Album Cover
news

‘Religiously’ by Bailey Zimmerman - Lyrics & Meaning

June 28, 2023 7:33 am GMT
Last Edited September 20, 2023 9:02 am GMT

t-logo
f-logo
email logo
link icon

Link copied

Content Sponsor

Bailey Zimmerman - ‘Religiously’

Label: Warner Nashville & Elektra Records

Release Date: April 17th 2023

Album: Religiously. The Album.

Producers: Austin Shawn & Joel Bruyere

Songwriters: Austin Shawn, Marty James, Alex Palmer, Frank Romano & Bailey Zimmerman

Chart Performance:

  • No. 1 on Mediabase Country
  • No. 4 on Billboard Hot Country Songs
  • No. 4 on Billboard Country Airplay
  • No. 14 on Billboard Hot 100

The Background:

Over the last few years, country music has entered some relatively uncharted waters.

We've watched in awe as behemoth entertainers like Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels of superstardom in the format, topping all-genre charts, selling out massive venues all across the country and putting out more music than nearly any artists ever has before.

On the other hand, we've also watched as previously obscure and unknown faces have quickly become household names in the genre, and none encompass this better than Bailey Zimmerman.

The 23-year-old singer-songwriter catapulted into country listeners' orbits in early 2022, with the release of his debut single, 'Fall In Love,' which caught the attention of his now label homes - Warner Nashville and Elektra Records.

Shortly after, the multi-Platinum, No. 1 tune gave way to the 6-week chart-topper, 'Rock And A Hard Place'. The follow-up single cracked the top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and proved that Zimmerman wasn't just a flash in the pan or a one hit country wonder.

After his record-shattering debut EP, Leave The Light On, made landfall in October of 2022, it quickly spawned Zimmerman's first attempt at a full-length record, Religiously. The Album., which arrived in May 2023.

Following the triumphant success of 'Rock And A Hard Place', Zimmerman upped the ante with the release of his record's title track in April of 2023. Utilizing a smattering of religious imagery, the song goes behind the scenes of a topic that Zimmerman has made his own across his discography: heartbreak.

After being shipped out to Country Radio stations far and wide in Spring 2023, the third single from the young country phenomenon quickly flew up the charts. Towards the latter half of September, ‘Religiously’ notched the Illinois native his third No. 1 at Country Radio.

The Sound:

Like we mentioned before, Zimmerman's specialty thus far in his young career centers around heartbreak and angst, which are pretty hot commodities in the country music marketplace.

So far, the pipeline-worker-turned-country-prodigy is three for three when it comes to love scorned singles, but 'Religiously' takes a slightly different approach from his more confrontational and devastating chart-toppers.

Co-written with frequent collaborator Austin Shawn, as well as Austin Palmer, Frank Romano and Marty James, Zimmerman draws out a blueprint of how the whole relationship went wrong and dives into just how much he's lost in the process, namely "the only woman who believed in [him]."

Taking the form and weight of a modern day country tragedy, Zimmerman delivers a raw and desperate vocal performance that's further accentuated by lonesome, eery production that grows to an arena-ready anthem.

Helmed by Shawn and Joel Bruyere, the sonic setting opens with a simple, strummed guitar and banjo pairing that take us through the first verse, with a chilling steel guitar floating around somewhere in the background.

Peppering in a little traditional drum beat and dialing up on the steel and other wistful string inclusions, the chorus sustains us into the second verse before it all swells around the song's climax, providing the perfect crescendo that has been blowing the roof off of venues since April of 2023.

What sets Zimmerman and his anthems about love lost apart from the rest of the modern country herd is his painstaking relatability and stunning conviction, which he makes full use of on 'Religiously', at times creating an almost spiritual feeling... fitting, huh?

Zimmerman and his crew of collaborators have masterfully tapped into the angst and emotions associated with your 20s. Zimmerman's well doesn't seem like it'll be running dry anytime soon either.

The Meaning:

"I went looking at pictures I didn't wanna see
They brought back memories
You look happy, I guess, got the life that you wanted
But it ain't with me
You would think by now that I wouldn't care
It's been a couple years
And yeah, I've had my share of other broken up hearts
But I only shed real tears over ours"

This song starts how most heartbreak relapses do: looking through Instagram photos of your former beloved.

Early on, we get the indication that something big happened between our two ex-lovers, since it would seem she's gotten the life "that she wanted". Even though it's been years and he's had other relationships since, this one cuts him the deepest and he still hasn't been able to shake it.

"And now I'm in this cold bright light
And this don't even feel like life
'Cause I don't have the only woman who believed in me
Religiously
And now I'm in the back of the church
Praying just to stop the hurt
'Cause I don't have the only woman who was there for me
Religiously"

It's a tale as old as time: does he want to follow the highway and his neon-tinged dreams or does he want to keep the woman of his dreams?

From what we can tell, he decided to chase the spotlight and it's landed him center stage, singing for thousands of screaming fans, but none of it feels right or real because she's not there with him.

While it should be one of his crowning achievements, the pain of this heartbreak and the loss of what could've been the love of his life dulls all the joy, leaving him with only the emptiness of her not being by his side.

"Remember watching you play me our song on guitar
I thought I'd marry you
Act like I'm happier now
But all of my friends know that ain't the truth
And lately life's been good to me
Mama's healthy and I'm helping out the whole family
A lot of people know my name, I made a little change
But that don't mean nothing"

For the second verse, Zimmerman pulls back the layers and lowers the mask to explain that, though everything is falling into place in his life, it also feels like he's falling apart.

His family is happy, heathy and taken care of. People all over the world know his name and scream the lyrics to his songs. His dreams are coming true, but it all falls flat because one thing is missing.

"'Cause now I'm in this cold bright light
And this don't even feel like life
'Cause I don't have the only woman who believed in me
Religiously
And now I'm in the back of the church
Praying hard just to stop the hurt
'Cause I don't have the only woman who was there for me
Religiously"

What has Bailey Zimmerman said about ‘Religiously’?

While 'Religiously' is written in a broad enough fashion that anyone could relate to it (even if you aren't a big name superstar), the tune was actually based on real events.

Zimmerman teased American Songwriter, saying, "['Religiously'] tells the story of a guy that now knows what he could have done to save the relationship but it’s too late... and it’s a true story.”

Elsewhere, he went into a deeper explanation of the song's origin with iHeartCountry. Zimmerman explained that it was based on a situation that one of the song's co-writers, Marty James, went though in his marriage, but also shed light on how he had interpreted the song's meaning for himself.

"To me, personally, 'Religiously' [is about] taking your pride and putting it to the side, because it may help you in the long run," Zimmerman shared. "I gave up a relationship to really chase what I'm doing now, and now that I'm here, it's like I might still have somebody that truly cared about me, but instead I've chased this dream. I'm very honored to be here, but not having her is rough, which is where Marty was coming from. [His wife] left him because he was working and writing so much and was on the road all of the time. Now he's realized that he would give it all back if he could just have her."

He summed up; "'Religiously' means putting your pride aside and not letting your ego get in the way".

lists ESSENTIALS • The Best Bailey Zimmerman Songs

Bailey Zimmerman never dreamed of being a singer, let alone becoming one of the hottest new country artists of the moment. Now, he’s both.

For the full lyrics to Bailey Zimmerman’s ‘Religiously’, see below:

"And now I'm in this cold bright light
And this don't even feel like life
'Cause I don't have the only woman who believed in me
Religiously
And now I'm in the back of the church
Praying just to stop the hurt
'Cause I don't have the only woman who was there for me
Religiously

Remember watching you play me our song on guitar
I thought I'd marry you
Act like I'm happier now
But all of my friends know that ain't the truth
And lately life's been good to me
Mama's healthy and I'm helping out the whole family
A lot of people know my name, I made a little change
But that don't mean nothing

'Cause now I'm in this cold bright light
And this don't even feel like life
'Cause I don't have the only woman who believed in me
Religiously
And now I'm in the back of the church
Praying hard just to stop the hurt
'Cause I don't have the only woman who was there for me
Religiously

You brought me to God and I put you through Hell
You were all about us, I was all about myself
What kind of man would lose a woman like that?
If my soul could be forgiven, I would give it all back

Now I'm in this cold bright light
And this don't even feel like life
'Cause I don't have the only woman who believed in me
Religiously
And now I'm in the back of the church
Begging God just to stop the hurt
'Cause I don't have the only woman who believed in me
Religiously

I ain't got the only woman who was there for me
Religiously"

For more on Bailey Zimmerman, see below:

Written by Lydia Farthing
Content Sponsor
Holler's New & Upcoming Country Albums 2023: Release Dates Graphic
news

New & Upcoming Country Albums In 2024: Release Dates

Artist - Hailey Whitters Live
news

Hailey Whitters Covers Tyler Childers’ ‘Feathered Indians’

Artist - HARDY 6
news

HARDY Hints at New Songs; “More Are Coming”

Charles Wesley Godwin at the Opry
news

Charles Wesley Godwin, Wyatt Flores, 49 Winchester and More Announced as Opry NextStage Class of 2024