The first time I heard “Church Clothes” was when Kelleigh Bannen sang it live on Sirius XM The Highway. That was probably two years ago, and the song is one I have not forgotten. Written by the insanely talented Nicolle Galyon & Liz Rose, Bannen’s powerhouse vocals bring it to life. The journey of “Church Clothes” has not been an easy one. Bannen’s podcast, “This Nashville Life” , (which is amazing) has 2 episodes with Nicolle Galyon where they discuss this song & its journey. I highly encourage you to take a listen! [part 1 || part 2] Thankfully she has believed in it, and it’s finally here for us to enjoy.
The quick version of the inspiration behind “Church Clothes” comes from Galyon and her time spent as the church pianist. She spent much time facing the congregation and studying the faces of her fellow church goers. She said she would never reveal the actual people who inspired her lyrics, but it is a song to which many can relate.
“Church Clothes” is about a couple who is having problems. They aren’t even speaking when they are at home, but Sunday roles around and it’s time to head to church. They get to church and hold hands “just like we’re supposed to.” They pray for other friends… They smile and “give it their Sunday best.” No one has a clue of their problems while they’re wearing their “Church Clothes.”
“These days I don’t even know ya. We fight like hell, but nobody knows – when we’re wearin’ our church clothes.”
I’ve never been married, yet I can relate to the lyrics. I can remember Sundays as a kid when arguments were going on at home, or on the way to church. We would pull into the parking lot and all put smiles on our faces. Our “church clothes” were our shield that we hid behind. It’s more than just the clothing we wear, it’s the armor to guard ourselves from what others think. Anyone who has ever put on a “front” can easily relate to “Church Clothes.” It’s heart wrenching and beautiful and real.
“That’s the stuff nobody knows when we’re wearing our church clothes. All week, don’t speak. Don’t touch as if nobody’s watching us. Lord knows we’ve got it down. What would they say if we gave up?”
Written by: Stefanie Richardson [ @stefanie0518 ]