Bright Eyes Take on Vic Chestnutt’s Heart-Wrenching ‘Flirted With You All My Life’

Bright Eyes have dropped a somber cover of Vic Chestnutt’s “Flirted With You All My Life.”

The rendition opens with mournful pedal steel and piano, as opposed to the original version’s drum intro. “I’ve flirted with you all my life/Even kissed you once or twice,” Conor Oberst sings. “And to this day I swear it was nice/But clearly I was not ready.”

“I had the pleasure of seeing Vic perform many times over the years and from a young age,” Oberst said of Chestnutt, who died in 2009. “I can truly say he deeply changed my worldview and what it meant to write a really unique and thought-provoking song. One of the greatest ever. Always missed. Here is our humble version of one of his best.”

Bright Eyes released Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was in August. The album marksed their first release in nearly a decade — a decision that the band said happened organically. Last fall, they released the song “Miracle of Life” for Planned Parenthood, while Oberst wrapped up 2020 by releasing the live album Live at O’Leavers with his country covers band Dolores Diaz and the Standby Club.