"Lisa Sawyer" is named and inspired by Bridges' mother, Lisa Sawyer. The song is narrated by Bridges and is directed towards his listeners in order to communicate his mother's upbringing in the 9th ward in New Orleans. Bridges' and his family have deep roots in New Orleans and I see the song as Bridges' way of connecting with and expressing his admiration for his mother and her family.
In the line, "Her mother's name was Eartha/Swift as the wind/ Fierce as fire," Bridges' uses metaphors to describe his grandmother's personality and presence. Her name was Eartha, which means "of the earth." He compares her to air and fire, two of the other elements. The metaphors offer the comparison of his grandmother to "Mother Earth," which would suggest that she was a strong and powerful woman: the boss of Lisa Sawyer's family.
Bridges' then sings about his grandfather, "Her father's name was Victor/ Worked two jobs to provide for his flock." Although Bridges' grandfather's name was Victor, his name is a dimensional word as he is a real-life "victor" for working two jobs in order to support his large family.
In the line, "Small, but a mansion in her eyes/Eyes, eyes, mansion/Never had much money/Money/But was filthy rich/With the wealth you couldn't get from a dark casino/Or a lottery ticket/They had love/Love, love/Rich in love," Bridges' uses repetition on "eyes," "mansion," "money," and "love." The reiteration expresses how his mother was content growing up, even though their family was not rich. Money was not a necessity in his mother's household growing up, love was more valuable to their family.
Bridges' expresses his admiration for his mother in the lines,"She had the complexion of/The complexion of a sweet praline/Hair long as the sea/Heart warm like Louisiana sun/Voice like a symphony/Of the most beautiful instruments/Whoa, beautiful." In these lines, "sweet praline" is a dimensional word. Bridges' is comparing his mother's skin to the color of a praline, and also characterizing his mother as a warm-hearted, soft, and sweet woman. Bridges' also repeats the word "beautiful" to underscore his mother's incredible beauty. The pride in Bridges' voice when singing about his mother is inevitable.
Leon Bridges' unconventional structure and use of poetic devices in "Lisa Sawyer" reveal to his listeners his respect for his family, and the underlying message that family and love are the two most important things in life.