Hardy’s “JACK” Makes My Kids Want To Run Through A (LEGO) Brick Wall


“Hey kid, let me introduce myself…”

“Daddy, can you turn it up?’”

Once my kids are in their car seats, a familiar guitar riff and an enticing opening line from Hardy are all that’s needed to get them stoked for their favorite song. Although neither of them is in kindergarten yet, they both love “JACK,” a joyous, disturbing anthem about the intoxicating and destructive power of alcohol, the perfect message to enjoy as a family on our way home from Sunday School.

It’s my fault because it’s one of my favorites too.

And after a few hundred listens in the car, my kids are even more hooked than I am:

“Hey, kid, let me introduce myself
I’s a friend of your dad’s when he had no one else
I’ll put the party in your life, boy, you know I can
Have you ever wanted to feel like Superman?”

It’s almost like HARDY is directly speaking to my young listeners.

He cites me, their father, for credibility, and promises they’ll feel like a superhero. The only things missing are details about snacks and whether Blippi is on the agenda.

Released as a rock single, and appearing on HARDY’s latest album, the mockingbird and THE CROW, “JACK” is an exhilarating banger written from the perspective of a certain bottle born and raised in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The bottle whispers promises of fame, courage, and invincibility at the beginning, reeling small children and their fathers into the story.

But as the song progresses, growing faster, louder, and angrier with every verse, a parallel promise of judgment and brokenness emerges.

“All the people in your circle, man, they’re pissing me off
Say you’re broken and you’re soulless and it’s all my fault
So tell me old friend, is it such a sin
All I did was make you happy so to hell with them and

Don’t listen to momma
Hell, I ain’t the devil
Ditch me when you wanna
But if you need a little
I can fix your problems
I always got your back
I can make you famous
By the way my name is…

Hardy’s hard rock scream delivers “JACK”’s sonic knockout punch and madness descends on my kids’ car seats.

The climax evokes a frenetic, faded night out while under the influence of the brown stuff in a square bottle, and my kids somehow seem to understand. They’re kicking seatbacks and making weird hand gestures (did he just flip me off?) and throwing clouds of graham cracker crumbs onto the floor mats. HARDY just told them to cast their preschool problems aside, ignore Momma, and lose their minds for a couple minutes. Meanwhile, I peek at the chaos through my rearview mirror with pride… and a little apprehension.

“Rock bottom ain’t as bad when you’re rockin’ with me!” HARDY reminds me between the choruses, and I start to wonder if my kids are deteriorating into degenerates before my eyes.

It’s a sneaky sad song about the dangerous allure of alcohol, and I’m not sure my kids understand that part yet. The listener succumbs to JACK’s message, slipping into an escalating, exhilarating, yet losing battle with the bottle. Is the chaotic crescendo into madness a welcome escape, or is it a cautionary cry from the darkness of a wasted life?

Heavy thoughts for a sunny, Sunday afternoon drive with your kids.

“Daddy, what is ‘JACK’ about?” asks my oldest once we’re back in the house, blindsiding me with a disturbingly mature question for someone with chocolate smudged around the corners of his mouth.

“Um… it’s about… HARDY’s favorite drink.”

“What kind?

“… It’s for grown-ups… It’s fun to drink sometimes, but it’s also really bad for you.”

“Like juice?”

“That’s right, son. Just like juice.”

And to celebrate yet another crowning, parenting moment, I fire up “JACK” on the speakers and wait for that satisfying, hard rock crescendo. And then I teach my kids what a mosh pit is and knock them (gently) on their asses to clarify the lesson:

Loving “JACK” can be fun, but there are consequences.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock