Story Behind Vince Gill's Inspirational Song "Bread and Water"

Vince Gill

One of the most inspirational songs Vince Gill has ever recorded is "Bread and Water."  Lifted from his MCA Records album "Guitar Slinger," "Bread and Water" was written by Gill and Leslie Satcher. "Bread and Water" tells the story of a homeless man who stumbled into a church hoping to get his stomach filled with bread and water.  Instead, he got something more.  His thirst and hungry instead was fed by Jesus Christ. 

Here are some of the moving words:

Well she opened up the Word and started reading
About the Savior and the woman at the well
Said it ain't for me to judge this life you're leading

There's only two things can save your soul from hell

It's bread and water, man that's all you need
Bread and water, and a place to rest your feet
If you ain't too proud to get down on your knees
The bread and water's free

When he bowed his head he kinda choked up
They spoke every word of Our Lord's Prayer
He closed his eyes and never woke up
He'll find bread and water waiting there

In an interview with the Boot, Vince Gill talks about the inspiration behind this powerful song: ""Bread and Water" was a song I wrote with Leslie Satcher. I threw out this line: "One night, he wandered into that old mission ..."

The first lines of songs are the most important part of the songs. If you really want to tell a story, that first line has to capture you. I said that line and then got a big lump in my throat and almost teared up. It reminded me of my brother.

My brother had a rough stretch of life: He had a car wreck at age 21 and was almost killed. He was in a coma for many months and wasn't expected to live, and he never really fully recovered. He did pretty great considering the depth of the injuries, and as a result of it, he would spend some time kinda hobo-ing around and not checking in with us. We didn't know where he was for periods of time and [would find] out he's been down in the mission, or working at the Salvation Army or out picking fruit somewhere.

So the song is loosely based on my brother."





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