Released as part of his 2020 LP, What You See Ain’t Always What You Get, “Forever After All” quickly became a fan favorite. Despite not being released as a single, the track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart—continuing Combs’ 10-song run at the top.
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While Combs has no shortage of loved-up odes to his relationship, “Forever After All” is arguably his most assured affirmation. A sort of pre-wedding vow, check out the meaning behind the song below.
Behind the Meaning
When Luke Combs sat down to write this track with Drew Parker and Rob Williford, he had been recently engaged to his now-wife, Nicole Hocking. The trio decided to brainstorm in the couple’s home together, clearly inspired by their post-engagement glow.
“I think there was something special in that moment of it being the first song in their house together, and we kind of just started chasing a love song, and it really took on its own thing,” Parker told The Boot. “It was like, ‘Hey, I think this is something important to say in a time like this—I mean, we just bought a house together,’ that kind of thing. And at that point, it’s like, “Hey, let me just step out of the way and watch where he’s wanting to go with this and be there to support wherever that song goes.”
At this point, Combs and Hocking had been together for several years. The track developed into a testament to how durable their relationship is even when “the new wears off.”
To illustrate that point, he uses the first verse to compare their bond to things that are fleeting: a cold beer, Duracell batteries, and a truck. Continuing in that vein, he references blue jeans after years of shift work and an FM station on the outskirts in the second verse. In contrast, one thing that will outlast all of those things is his love for his wife.
Combs once said that the song is a continuation of the love story between him and Nicole that was started in “Beautiful Crazy” and “Better Together.”
“‘Forever After All’ doesn’t happen without my wife, Nicole,” Combs told Billboard around the time of the song’s release. “This song is the next chapter in our story, but it’s awesome to see so many people are able to connect in the same way I feel about her in their own lives. And, it will always mean a lot to us because it’s the first song I wrote in our home together, but even more so now with the reaction from the fans.”
A cold beer’s got 12 ounces
A good truck’s got maybe three hundred thousand
You only get so much until it’s gone
Duracells in a Maglite
A needle drop on a 45
Are the kinda things that only last so long
When the new wears off, and they get to getting old
Sooner or later, time’s gonna take its toll
They say nothing lasts forever
But they ain’t seen us together
Or the way the moonlight dances in your eyes
Just a t-shirt in the kitchen
With no make-up and a million
Other things that I could look at my whole life
A love like that makes a man have second thoughts
Maybe some things last forever after all
The accompanying music video for “Forever After All” features footage of Combs’ real-life marriage. In the candid spirit of Chris Lane’s “Big, Big Plans,” the video sees Luke and Nicole gearing up for the big day in Key West, Florida—laying out her white dress and looking at family photos.
We get to see all the action of the day with the video culminating with the couple saying their “I do’s” and swaying through their reception. It’s an apt video for such a sweet song.
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)