Mackenzie Carpenter’s “Jesus I’m Jealous” is a Heartfelt Take on Finding Hope in Disappointment
Real life, they say, is what happens when you’re dreaming your dreams. For Georgia-born and-raised Mackenzie Carpenter, though, real life is something to watch closely and weave into songs. Having co-written Lily Rose’s “Villain,” the 23-year-old vocalist embraces both the humor and the reality around her.
Opening with “Is it okay to pray in a bar?,” Carpenter’s “Jesus I’m Jealous” unpacks the feeling of watching other people’s romantic fairy tales play out before her. Over a winsome melody, the song and its accompanying music video are both heartfelt takes on trying to find hope in disappointment; It’s also about trusting a larger plan that seems to defy mere mortal reason.
“I think everyone can relate to being jealous of something or someone at some point in their lives. This song is an emotional dive into wanting what someone else has while also believing that everything is going to turn out exactly as it should.”
The queen of “soulful country style” (Country Standard Time), Carpenter’s sunny alto meanders around one couple, first date, falling in love, tracing the details of their moment. The title is actually the songwriter opening up a vulnerable conversation with God.
Not the standard heartbreak in a bar approach, but it’s in keeping with the young preacher’s daughter’s world view. The lyric shows that Carpenter is too smart to play the victim, knowing that it won’t take away the twinges of desire, the ache of lonely or the unknown timetable faith requires.
“I know you have a plan, and it’ll all work out some day/ but tonight, it feels so far away...” she sings on a bridge that drops right back into the suddenly more vulnerable look at what someone else has. “Jesus I’m jealous, just had to tell you/ watching the two of them head over heels...I guess I was hoping I wouldn’t be lonely...”
Carpenter understands the unconventional path. Signed without ever being an influencer or doing a tv talent contest, she put her focus on songwriting – trying to get songs to feel as true as possible. Seeking something that felt right for an introspective, but happy girl, it was a path that made her a SiriusXM Highway Find early on, but it meant a completely different journey than most.
In today’s constant rush, the conversational “Jesus I’m Jealous” slows down to continue Carpenter’s faith in her own kind of country music. Digging a little deeper and drawing on a relatable struggle, she’s delivered this song just in time for the holidays, striking a chord for all who might be waiting for their happily ever after!