Jacob's Ladder (Mark Wills song)

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"Jacob's Ladder"
Mark Wills - Jacobs Ladder single.png
Single by Mark Wills
from the album Mark Wills
B-side "High Low and In Between"
Released May 27, 1996
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 3:05
Label Mercury Nashville
Songwriter(s) Cal Sweat
Brenda Sweat
Tony Martin
Producer(s) Keith Stegall
Carson Chamberlain
Mark Wills singles chronology
"Jacob's Ladder"
"High Low and In Between"
"Jacob's Ladder"
"High Low and In Between"

"Jacob's Ladder" is the title of a debut song written by Cal Sweat, Brenda Sweat, and Tony Martin, and recorded by American country music artist Mark Wills. It was released in May 1996 as the first single from his self-titled debut album. It reached a peak of number 6 on both the U.S. Billboard country singles chart and the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.


"Jacob's Ladder" is a mid-tempo recalling two lovers, a rich girl named Rachel and a poor boy named Jacob. Although Rachel's father does not want her to fall in love with Jacob, she does anyway. The title is a play on words, as in the chorus, Jacob climbs up to Rachel's bedroom window with a ladder ("'Cause Heaven was waiting at the top of Jacob's ladder"). In the second verse, Jacob and Rachel are now married with a daughter. The daughter asks Rachel's father to recall the story of their meeting, which he does.

Critical reception[edit]

Alanna Nash of Entertainment Weekly cited "Jacob's Ladder" as a "radio-ready" track in her review of the album.[1] Jeffrey B. Remz of Country Standard Time called it "another breezy song about cross-class love, nothing you haven't heard before."[2] Deborah Evans Price, of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that Wills has a "warm, likeable voice and charmingly delivers this sweet tune about a poor boy wooing a rich girl." She goes on to say that while it is a story we have all heard before, it is written and delivered in "such a winning fashion."[3]

Chart performance[edit]

"Jacob's Ladder" debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts at number 56 on the chart week of June 8, 1996. It spent 20 weeks on that chart, peaking at number 6 on the chart week of September 28. The song's B-side, "High Low and In Between," was released in October 1996 as the second single from Wills' debut.[4]

Chart (1996) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[5] 6
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 6

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[7] 40


Irish country singer Gerry Guthrie covered the song in his 2012 country covers album Good Country Songs.


  1. ^ Nash, Alanna (June 21, 1996). "Mark Wills review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  2. ^ Remz, Jeffrey B. "Mark Wills review". Country Standard Time. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  3. ^ Billboard, May 25, 1996 - Vol. 104, No. 2.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 470–471. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  5. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 9517." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. September 16, 1996. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  6. ^ "Mark Wills – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Mark Wills.
  7. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1996". RPM. December 16, 1996. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 

External links[edit]