Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., the Defibulators are a band with a rootsy sound, drawing from the grit of both the country and the city. Bandleader Bug Jennings says “Get Yer Papers” was inspired by a boot maker and the woman Jennings thought was the man’s wife.
“I used to take my boots to him to get resoled. He lived in a studio in Hell’s Kitchen with this gal,” Jennings tells CMT Edge. “He told me they’d been together for years but that ‘she’d never get her papers on him.’”
The phrase stuck with Jennings. Years later, he wrote “Get Yer Papers” about a couple who refuses to get married despite living together indefinitely — and needing each other completely.
“Maybe they’ve had their hearts broken before or are just too stubborn and cynical to admit they need anybody,” Jennings said. “It’s a sort of marital standoff between the two, even though they both know deep down they’ll never leave one another.”
Sung as a duet between Jennings and bandmate Erin Bru, the rousing track comes from the Defibulators’ upcoming album, Debt’ll Get ‘Em, arriving Aug. 27. Check out the CMT Edge premiere of “Get Yer Papers.”