Cody Johnson’s ”Til You Can’t’ Is the Big Country Performance 2021 Needs [Listen]
Cody Johnson has the rare ability to sing your hat off, but his new single "'Til You Can't" combines that power with a message that's just so on-the-nose for his hardcore fans.
The Texan isn't singing to a younger, pop-hungry crowd on any songs from his new Human: The Double Album project, but this song in particular targets men and women who've lived a little. Only those who've wasted a few good opportunities will appreciate the devastating tag line that comes after each verse. Speaking of time spent with a grandfather, he sings: "You can always get around to fixing up that Pontiac" before pausing just long enough to hit us with "'Til you can’t."
These subtleties barely translate on paper. Lost too is the quiet decisions he and producer Trent Willmon make across the arrangement to keep it country. At the chorus, where another singer might echo "Take it" with progressive effects, Johnson adds a steel-guitar response. Organic instruments drench this song, meaning that when fans pay to see him sing it live, they'll get a pretty good facsimile. It's the urgency of his message that will resonate long after, however.
Did You Know?: Cody Johnson didn't write "'Til You Can't," but his performance was inspired by a plane ride he took that almost ended in disaster. He shares his story at the top of this page.
Cody Johnson's "'Til You Can't" Lyrics:
You can tell your old man you'll do some largemouth fishing another time / You just got too much on your plate to bait and cast a line / You can always put a rain check in his hand / 'Til you can’t.
You can keep putting off forever with that girl who's heart you hold / Swearing that you'll ask some day further down the road / You can always put a diamond on her hand / 'Til you can’t.
If you got a chance, take it, take it while you got a chance / If you got a dream, chase it, 'cause a dream won't chase you back / If you're gonna love somebody / Hold 'em as long and as strong and as close as you can / 'Til you can’t.
There's a box of greasy parts sitting in the trunk of that '65 / Still waiting on you and your granddad to bring it back to life / You can always get around to fixing up that Pontiac / 'Til you can’t.
So take that phone call from your momma and just talk away / 'Cause you'll never know how bad you wanna 'til you can't someday / Don't wait on tomorrow 'cause tomorrow may not show / Say your sorries, your I love yous, 'cause man you never know.