Keith Urban’s ‘Burden’ Cover Is an Original Because He’s Played Both Parts [Listen]
"Break on Me," "The Fighter" and now "Burden" make a fine trilogy of Keith Urban songs that find the singer providing shelter in a storm. It's a point of view that fits the husband and father well, but his performance on this newest recording is convincing because he has played both roles.
Urban has at times needed to fall into the arms of others for absolute emotional recovery. In talking to the Tennessean about why he felt he needed to record this Foy Vance original, he merely alluded to his past troubles. Recently he's been the pillar, most visibly when wife Nicole Kidman's father died in 2014.
Compared to the 2016 original by Irish singer-songwriter Vance, Urban's vision for "Burden" is less brooding. Vance's vocals are more immediately compelling, but as this new version progresses, Urban leans hard into the message, repeating: "I could carry your burden" again and again with almost reckless conviction.
It's as much a catharsis for him as it is for whomever he's singing to. His version — unlike Vance's — works as a generous offering of support as much as it does an expression of gratitude to someone in need who's carried the load before. That's how you make a cover song an original.
Watch: Keith Urban Performs "Burden" at the 2019 ACM Awards
Keith Urban's "Burden" Lyrics:
Let me carry your burden / If something's ain’t right I will let you know / Like the paint that's drying on a heart that's broke / Let me carry your burden / Get you back on a high when you're feeling low / When the weight’s too heavy but you won't let go.
Come to me, my brother, and I will sit with you awhile / Pretty soon I'll see you smile and you know you will / No matter how much you're hurting right now / You know that everything will change in time / So let me carry your burden / Let me carry your burden.
When your mouth’s on fire but your mind is cold / And you're fanning flames that won't keep you warm.
Let me carry your burden / Come tomorrow you'll be right as rain / It will quench of fire wash away your stain, yes it will.
Oh come to me, my brother, and I will sit with you a while / Pretty soon I see you smile and you know you will / No matter how much you're hurting right now / You know that everything will change in time / Oh, I just might see you in another light / Got no dog here in the fight / I could carry your burden, oh brother of mine / I could carry your burden / I could carry your burden.