NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - MAY 15: Mavis Staples and Jason Isbell perform during the Mavis & Friends Celebrating 80 Years Of Mavis Staples concert at the Ryman Auditorium on May 15, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

“What’ve I Done to Help” lyrics by Jason Isbell from the 2020 album Reunions

What’ve I done to help?
What’ve I done to help?
Somebody saved me
What’ve I done to help?
What’ve I done to help?
And not myself?

I thought I was alone in the world
Until my memories
Gathered round me in the night
I thought I was strong
Until I finally had to fight
If I kept my head down
And showed up to work on time
Watched my appetite
Put the money in the mattress
Lock the doors at night
And we’ll all be alright

What’ve I done to help?
What’ve I done to help?
Somebody saved me
What’ve I done to help?
What’ve I done to help?
And not myself?

See I’ve made mistakes
That I can’t erase
Some of the love I’ve lost
Will not come back to me
I broke my word, I lied on a Bible
Just to feel a little free
She didn’t deserve it
Nobody ever deserves it
But I cut anchor
And I drifted out to sea
You found me busted
And somehow you trusted
I was not what I could be

What’ve I done to help?
What’ve I done to help?
Somebody saved me
What’ve I done to help?
What’ve I done to help?
And not myself?

We climbed to safety
You and me and the baby
Sent our thoughts and prayers
To loved ones on the ground
And as the days went by
We just stopped looking down
Now the world’s on fire
And we just climb higher
Until we’re no longer bothered
By the smoke and sound
Good people suffer
And the heart gets tougher
Nothing given nothing found

What’ve I done to help?
What’ve I done to help?
Somebody saved me
What’ve I done to help?
What’ve I done to help?
And not myself?

Reunions Track List

  1. What’ve I Done to Help
  2. Dreamsicle
  3. Only Children
  4. Overseas
  5. Running With Our Eyes Closed
  6. River
  7. Be Afraid
  8. St. Peter’s Autograph
  9. It Gets Easier
  10. Letting You Go

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.