Meaning of "Son of a Sinner" by Jelly Roll - Song Meanings and Facts (2024)

by Amanda London·Published · Updated

The reason the vocalist is referring to himself as a “son of a sinner” is because first and foremost, he has a drug addiction.So basically he perceives his dependency on co*ke, pills, smoking and drinking as a vice, especially considering that he has tried and failed to overcome such habits.

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You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Jelly Roll's Son of a Sinner at

But Jelly doesn’t go as far as to mention or allude to either of his parents.So perhaps what the title is getting at is the more general idea of him being fated, if you will, to be possessed by such shortcomings.

The singer also implies that his disposition is not all pessimism, i.e. there being two roads ahead of him – the booze-laden route to “the devil” or the more sober path “home”. And judging by the context in which he references alcohol in the chorus coupled with the nature of the cover art to“Ballads of the Broken”, what he may be referring to is a fear of dying due to drunk driving.

All of the above noted, the bridge also indicates that the vocalist has faith that he will ultimately be saved by a Higher Power.But perhaps it can be said that possessing such hope yet not backing it up with definitive action is akin to Jelly tempting fate.

That is to say the song basically ends where it begins, with the narrator feeling bad yet internally empathetic and implying that it is likely he going to re-commit the same regrets.

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“I’m just a long-haired son of a sinner
Searching for new ways I can get gone
I’m a pedal to the highway
If you ever wonder why we write these songs”

Jelly Roll

Jelly Roll is a rapper from Nashville who accordingly specializes in country-tinged hip-hop.To date he has dropped one solo single which managed to go platinum, that being 2020’s“Save Me”.But the vocalist’s discography dates back to 2011, and he already has nearly 20 albums under his belt (with about half of them being collaborative projects).

“Son of a Sinner”

Son of a Sinner, which the BBR Music Group put out on 17 September 2021, wasa notable hit. It appeared on four different US Billboard charts, in the process placing within the top 10 of theCountry AirplayandHot Country Songslists and in the top 5 of theHot Rock & Alternative Songsranking, where it remained on that chart for over 20 weeks.

This song is from 2021’s“Ballads of the Broken”, Jelly Roll’s eighth studio album as a soloist. “Son of a Sinner” was actually the second single to be released from that album. The first was “Dead Man Walking“.

Did Jelly Roll write “Son of a Sinner”?

Yes, he absolutely did. Actually, according to him, a good portion of the song’s lyrics are autobiographical.

That being said, it should be noted that Jelly isn’t this song’s sole writer. Two other songwriters who go by the names David Ray and Ernest K Smith co-wrote it with him. Co-writer Smith also handled the production of “Son of a Sinner” alongside a producer named Ilya Toshinskiy

Meaning of "Son of a Sinner" by Jelly Roll - Song Meanings and Facts (1)

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  1. Annie says:

    November 26, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    My son just passed away 3 weeks ago today. I knew that one day it would come to an end if he didn’t get the help he needed and wanted. This song says it all and reminds me of his struggles with his depression and the Percocet pills. It’s such a sad song and I pray that everyone gets help for their addictions, no matter what that/they may be.
    God bless everyone out there struggling.


  2. Michelle N Jasper Ga says:

    January 5, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Love the song soul of a sinner,we all can relate. Jelly Ro l God loves u man!


  3. Anonymous says:

    January 13, 2023 at 6:04 pm

    Beautiful, real and relatable song. My heart hurts listening to it and the tears begin to flow, as I think about my precious son, now gone forever. Thank you for sharing such a touching song. May God bless you now and forever.


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Meaning of "Son of a Sinner" by Jelly Roll - Song Meanings and Facts (2024)


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