Randy Travis’ ‘Lead Me Home’ is an Ode to His Wife, Mary [LISTEN]
In May of 2019, Randy Travis shared "One in a Row," a song that he recorded before his 2013 stroke severely impaired his powers of mobility and speech. Now, the country icon is dusting off another new tune from the archives -- and this time, it's a tribute to the woman who means everything to him.
"Lead Me Home," a gospel-inflected celebration of the power of lasting love, was recorded years before his stroke. However, its meaning may be all the more powerful in the aftermath of that difficult chapter of his life. When he was in the hospital, staring down significant odds on the road to recovery, it was his wife Mary who advocated tirelessly for Travis. When his outlook seemed bleak, she insisted to the doctors that he wanted to keep fighting. When he had to relearn basic motor skills, she was there to guide him. When his speech was impaired, she was there to speak on his behalf.
In hindsight, knowing all the challenges ahead, the lyrics to "Lead Me Home" seem almost prophetic. "But you know I need you woman, need your love to warm my bones / You know I need you woman / Take my hand and lead me home," Travis sings in the chorus.
In his 2019 memoir, Forever and Ever Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith and Braving the Storms of Life, Travis details just how much his relationship with his wife meant to him during those difficult first weeks and months after his stroke. "Mary was having to make life-or-death decisions about my situation all on her own, trusting God to guide her," he writes.
Travis' memoir, co-written with biographer Ken Abraham, details the iconic singer's life, from its happiest moments to its most difficult challenges. Travis opens up about his struggle with alcohol, his troubled marriage to longtime manager Lib Hatcher and the financial issues that dog him to this day, in addition to his health challenges. The audiobook version, narrated by Rory Feek, recently won AudioFiles' "Earbuds Award" for audiobook of memoir.
LOOK: Randy Travis Through the Years
5 Lessons We've Learned From Randy Travis