"I said this to Bo, but I feel like it's a protest song, to me," Bridgers tells Billboard. "It's got some Bob Dylan sh-t going on … 'You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows'-type of genius," she says, referencing lyrics in Dylan's 1965 classic "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
Burnham's original "Feeling" appears in his Netflix special Inside, which recently won Emmy Awards for outstanding directing for a variety special, outstanding writing for a variety special and outstanding music direction. Its corresponding album Inside (The Songs) reached No. 7 on the Billboard 200 in June and has spent 18 weeks and counting at No. 1, dating to its debut, on the Comedy Albums chart.
"The way I feel about that special, it didn't even need to be that good," Bridgers muses. "I feel like [Burnham] is competing with himself. It could've been funny, and he could've made half as many songs and put 20% less time into it and people would've f--king loved it, but there's that extra mile of, 'I just needed to make it a masterpiece.' That is what I found so compelling about it. That song, it hit me immediately, and I was like, 'I've got to do this.'"
Bridgers has been performing the song on her fall tour of the United States in recent months. Burnham even joined her for a duet of it at Largo in Los Angeles in August.
This isn't the first time that a Bridgers charity cover has hit a Billboard chart. Last November, she and Maggie Rogers teamed up on a cover of Goo Goo Dolls' 1998 hit "Iris" in celebration of Donald Trump losing the presidential election. Proceeds benefited Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight organization, which promotes fair elections in her home state of Georgia and encourages voter participation and voting rights education. After selling 38,000 downloads after just one day of availability, the song (billed as by Phoebe & Maggie) debuted at No. 57 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking each artist's first entry on the chart.