Zach Bryan Tells The Story Behind “Billy Stay” From His ‘American Heartbreak’ Album

Zach Bryan country music

Even though Zach Bryan released his major label debut album American Heartbreak back in May, I still find myself listening to it multiple times a week.

The man made a strong case for best country album of 2022 pretty early, and that still remains true today, even four months later.

One of those songs I still find myself spinning a ton is “Billy Stay,” an gut-wrenching song about an elderly couple coming to the end of their journey together, as Billy battles his fading mind.

Reminiscent of The Notebook, Billy talks about this girl, not fully realizing that he’s talking to his wife about his younger days with her. It’s painfully beautiful and eEasily one of the best songs on the entire record.

With that being said, a fan asked Bryan the following question on Twitter:

“Please tell the story of writing ‘Billy Stay,’ that song hits me harder every time I listen to it”

Sure enough, Bryan told the story of how “Billy Stay” came to be:

“My fiddle player’s name was Billy, he was leaving New York the same night my producer told me the story of his grandmother and grandpa.

We stayed up all night talking love stories and I wrote this song that night”

First off, can we talk about the talent you gotta have to hear a story for the first time, and immediately write a song about it that same night?

We’re talking about a guy who wrote one of his most well-known OG hits, “Heading South,” in only five minutes. 

Some people just have it.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock