Here’s to a Good Life: Jerry Williams’ Raw & Intimate Song “David at the Bar”

Jerry Williams © Phoebe Fox music
A raw, intimate tale aching with hope and sincerity, Jerry Williams’ “David at the Bar” tells the true story of a brief, but powerful encounter with a sweet-hearted man struggling to stay afloat.

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David said he’d give up drink if I wrote a song about him.

It’s January 11th, 2019, and the search is on for a British gentleman named David. He’s got sad, honest eyes and a baby on the way, he was last seen in a bar in Portsmouth, UK, and he promised he would quit drinking if 23-year-old singer/songwriter Jerry Williams wrote a song about him.

Today sees the release of that song: A raw, intimate tale aching with hope and sincerity, Jerry Williams’ “David at the Bar” tells the true story of a brief, but powerful encounter with a sweet-hearted man struggling to keep himself together and stay afloat.

David at the bar,
you’ve been 20 months clean
You dropped the ball,
but that doesn’t have to mean nothing
David at the bar,
you’ve got a baby on the way
Sharing your blood,
surely that must mean something
Stream: “David at the Bar” – Jerry Williams


Hailing from Portsmouth at the southern tip of the United Kingdom, Jerry Williams has been avidly pursuing her musical career for the past five years – and she’s now on the point of truly breaking out. She earned a hit with her catchy 2016 single “Mother,” which has accumulated over five million Spotify streams alone, and her releases since then have consistently expanded her fan base.

With her debut album set for release this fall, “David at the Bar” asserts Jerry Williams’ artistic and storytelling talents, promising great things to come throughout the year and making her an easy choice as one of Atwood Magazine’s 2019 artists to watch.

David At The Bar - Jerry Williams art

David At The Bar – Jerry Williams

“’David At The Bar’ is one of the most honest songs I’ve ever written,” Williams explains. “Each line is so true as to what happened this night when I just got speaking to this man at a bar. I just got talking to him about life and dreams, and I went on to say that I’m a singer and I write songs and I’m giving this a good go… He went on to say that he’s an alcoholic, he’s got a baby on the way, he’s really scared about it and he feels like he’s ruined his life.”

David at the bar,
man, you made me cry
Cheersed our pint to you
telling me you’re dead inside

Williams brings this memory to life with vivid detail as she recounts, through vulnerable lyrics and an impassioned performance, the night she met “David at the Bar.” The song reaches its peak as the somber, downtrodden David raises a glass in a stirring moment of truth:

And you were honest as true could be
Looked me right in the eyes and said to me:
Here’s to a good life
Here’s to a long life
You’re gonna have a good life
just don’t do what I did

It’s the kind of breathtaking toast you read about in books, or see in the movies. Here’s a man weighed down by life, working with the cards he was dealt and the choices he’s made, and yet he’s still got a little glimmer in his eyes. It goes to show that there’s hope and possibility for each and every one of us, no matter where you are in your journey. We may not know what the road ahead looks like, nor do we know how things will end up for us; but here’s to a good life, and here’s to a long life.

Maybe David will hear this song; maybe things will turn around for him, too. Here’s to him, and his baby; may they both have a good life, and a long life, too.

Stream “David at the Bar” now, and get to know Jerry Williams in Atwood Magazine‘s exclusive interview with the up-and-coming singer/songwriter!

:: stream/purchase “David at the Bar” here ::
Jerry Williams © Phoebe Fox music

Jerry Williams © Phoebe Fox music

A CONVERSATION WITH JERRY WILLIAMS

Atwood Magazine: Hi Jerry! Who are you? Where are you from?

Jerry Williams: Hey, I’m Jerry Williams. A 23 year old singer/songwriter from Portsmouth who plays guitars and writes about mine and others peoples lives.

What inspired you to start writing songs?

Jerry Williams: I’ve always loved music. When I was younger, I was really into Avril Lavigne and Busted. I guess I was inspired by them. But my true passion for songwriting started after watching Tommy Reilly on Orange Unsigned on T4 when I was like 13. I loved him and loved the way he sang his songs with true passion. I’ve always loved lyrics and listening to relatable songs. I just naturally write like that.

How do you describe your music to your parents/grandparents?

Jerry Williams: They listen to my songs and make their own minds up, haha. They are so supportive and I’m super lucky to have the family I have. I explain my sound as indie pop and roll, always with a story.

Why are you debuting in 2019 with “David at the Bar”?

Jerry Williams: This song is one of the most truest songs I’ve ever written. Every line is about a man called David who I met in a bar and got talking to about life and dreams… [It’s] absolutely based on one person. Everything he said is basically in the song. The fact he vanished, we cheersed our pints, he said I’m gonna have a good life. And his name was David…. I think it shows everyone how I incorporate real life into my songs.

David at the bar, when you shook my hand
Yourskin was rough like the sign of a working man
David at the bar, you were gone in a flash
I thought about you and telling me how you relapsed
David at the bar, man, you made me cry
Hearing you sad when I knew you were a decent guy
And you were honest as true could be
Looked me right in the eyes and said to me…

What’s important about this song, for you?

Jerry Williams: David said he’d give up drink if I wrote a song about him. I’ve written the song, but haven’t found him to tell him. He just vanished. It’s one of the first songs I’ve written which is truly about someone else, another experience which I have no personal connection to, but this man was so human and lovely –  he really inspired me.

How does “David at the Bar” capture your “sound” and style?

Jerry Williams: I think my sound is quite eclectic, so this song really shows my reflective, narrative side of my songwriting as opposed to the more indie pop side. It still has the electric guitar and sound build up at the end, which I love. The sound fits around the story.

This song really shows my reflective, narrative side of my songwriting as opposed to the more indie pop side.

How has this song changed over time?

Jerry Williams: It was written acoustically! During the writing process with James Earp (Lewis Capaldi – Bruises), we layered some guitars and bass and I loved how the track grew. When it came to recording it completely with Mike Smith at RYP Production, I wanted the ending to become more and more frantic, like I’m trying to get my message through to David! I think the song and lyrics do most of the talking though, and I’ve always wanted it that way.

I feel like this song is at once bittersweet, and also full of revelry; can you speak to this quality of being happy and sad?

Jerry Williams: I kinda like that! To me, this song is about someone who’s a bit lost, but someone who was so friendly and warm. It’s like, ‘it’s gonna be ok’. Happy sad is good to write about sometimes.

Happy sad is good to write about sometimes.

Jerry Williams

Jerry Williams

There’s a freshness to “David at the Bar” that works fluidly with January’s theme of new beginnings. What compelled you to introduce it now, in this month and at the start of the new year?

Jerry Williams: I’ve been doing this for about 5 years, but I’m so excited for this year in particular. My debut album will be out at the end of the year and I think this song shows people who are new to me, the way I write songs. Starting this year how I mean to go on.

Thanks so much Jerry, and congrats!

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Stream: “David at the Bar” – Jerry Williams

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David At The Bar - Jerry Williams art

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com