Keith Urban on the London Bike Ride That Changed Everything

There is nothing like a two-hour bike ride through London to clear your head, right? I mean, I’ve never done it, but I believe Keith Urban when he shares the story of how he first discovered the man behind “Burden,” Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance. (Twitter bio: I do know something. We know nothing at all.)

“We played at the 02 in London, and Ed Sheeran came out to see us play. We talked about Foy (Vance), who’s an incredible musician and songwriter. The next day, I had a day off in London, so I got on my bike and put my headphones on and rode around London for like two hours listening to Foy Vance non-stop,” Urban says in a new video that details the story behind his cover of the song.

“And when I got back to Nashville, I realized that I had never even seen him play live — he must be fantastic — so I jumped on YouTube and heard this song ’Burden,’ and just fell in love with him. I thought, ‘I’d love to be able to do a version of the song,’” he added, “the way that I was feeling it in my heart.” If Urban does in fact want to see Vance live, his next show is on May 25 at Ward Park in Northern Ireland.

Embedded from

Urban, the Academy of Country Music’s newly crowned entertainer of the year, performed the song on the ACM Awards on April 7.

“The brevity of the song spoke to me as someone that has needed to hear that in my life and needed to hear that offered to me. I love songs that speak to the human condition of struggle and the idea that it’s okay, I can help you…let me carry your burden,” Urban said of the song he thinks of as a beautifully written, minimalist prayer and/or a beautiful gospel hymn.

Vance must approved, because he’s recently been retweeting all the posts about Urban’s version of “Burden.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.