David Nail Finds the Right Time for ‘Forgiveness’ in Powerful Live Ballad [WATCH]
There's a complex range of emotions happening in David Nail's new ballad, "Forgiveness," but the artist's masterful songwriting skills boil it all down to a simple message.
Nail is no stranger to heartbreak songs, but for this song -- which is included on his 2019 EP, Oh, Mother -- the embittered, vengeful feelings that so often follow a breakup didn't seem quite accurate. While at the Taste of Country studio to give an acoustic performance of the song, he explained that the song was inspired an ex whose life he later watched spin out from afar.
After the pair parted ways, the singer explains, he was shocked to read about his past lover's troubles in the newspaper. It was an unexpected turn of events, he goes on to say, for someone that he "cared deeply about."
"[It's a] dire situation, it's bad, and I feel obligated not to shy away from that," Nail explains. "It just broke my heart, and it was the perfect storm of, 'How did this happen?' I wanted to tell my story from a standpoint of when you see somebody in that position and you know they know what kind of situation they're in, that whole process to get to that place, there's a lot of questions."
Nail shared the first demo of "Forgiveness" with friends back in his hometown of Kennett, Mo., where the whole story transpired. He says that those who know the story were powerfully affected by his song, and though he hasn't spoken about "Forgiveness" directly with its subject, he imagines she's heard it, too.
Even though the ballad clearly held a lot of meaning for those connected to its message, the singer admits he originally thought he might be a little too close to "Forgiveness"'s story line to write the song. However, he got a leg up from co-writer Donovan Woods, who had some experience writing songs about subject matter that hits a bit too close to home. Woods had previously written a song called "Our Friend Bobby," which tells the story of a childhood pal who died.
Anyone who's been privy to a complicated, painful story can attest to how difficult it is to articulate those feelings. However, Nail does so masterfully: He balances out the shock and sadness of the situation with a thread of tendernesss that runs throughout "Forgiveness."
"I wish I held the answers to all the questions in your mind / Wish I could say it will all get better, but I can't look at you and lie," he sings. "I know I've had my share of troubles, so who am I to give advice / But if you ain't felt forgiveness, seems like now's the time..."