Country Rewind: Vince Gill Breaks Down in Tears Singing ‘Go Rest High on That Mountain’ at George Jones’ Funeral

by Clayton Edwards

Are you ready for a good cry? I certainly hope you are. Vince Gill and Patty Loveless’ performance at George Jones’ funeral will have you reaching for the tissues. Just when you think you can put the Kleenex away, the duo will have you reaching for them all over again. Then, Gill will drop your jaw with his skills. It’s an incredible performance. More importantly, it was a perfect tribute to George Jones.

Vince Gill Chose the Perfect Song

First, let’s look at the song selection. Vince Gill hit the nail on the head by choosing to play “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” in honor of George Jones. It’s a gorgeous song. On top of that, it’s a wonderful tribute to just about anyone who has passed on. However, if you look at the lyrics and know anything about Possum’s life. You see how fitting the song really is.

The first verse fits George Jones like a glove. He had a troubled life. Between his drinking and tumultuous relationships, he had a rough time. However, we only know what we’ve heard. Only Jones and those closest to him really know the depths of his strife. Hearing Vince Gill sing these words about Jones makes them hit a little differently.

“I know your life / On earth was troubled / And only you could know the pain / You weren’t afraid to face the devil / You were no stranger to the rain”

Then, a couple of lines in the second verse hit the nail on the head. George Jones was one of the greatest singers to ever walk the Earth. He wasn’t just one of the best in the genre. No. Jones’ voice was legendary, no matter what he sang. Vince Gill knew that just as well as, if not better than, the rest of us.

“Wish I could see the angels faces / When they hear your sweet voice sing”

Now, on to the performance.

Gill and Loveless Put on Touching, Heart-Breaking Performance

Vince Gill and Patty Loveless sing beautifully together. Even if their song choice wasn’t spot-on it would have been a wonderful tribute. The thing that really drives this home, though is watching the emotion wash over Vince as he sings.

Vince Gill gets through the first verse just fine. Which, is more than I can say for myself. Then, he reaches the second line of the chorus and is overwhelmed by emotion. His voice catches and he has to step away from the mic for a moment. Luckily, Patty Loveless is there to hold things together for him vocally.

You can hear the tears in Vince Gill’s voice throughout the second verse. However, it just adds more emotion to the song. Then, when the second chorus comes around, Gill is overpowered and has to let Loveless take over for him. She takes her mic off of its stand and walks closer to him, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder as he strums through an instrumental verse.

Then comes the truly impressive part of the performance. Vince Gill, overpowered by emotion, with tears in his eyes, breaks into a tasteful guitar solo. The break takes his hand up and down the fretboard of his guitar. He even moves his picking hand away for a moment to wipe his eyes and never misses a beat.

Vince Gill obviously took that time to compose himself. Because, as soon as the guitar break was over, he went back to the mic. He and Patty Loveless smashed the final chorus in perfect harmony. He finished the song with a huge bittersweet smile on his face. The entire crowd was on their feet.

Possum would have been proud.