According to the This Ain't Nothin' Songfacts, the song tells the emotional story of an elderly man whose home has just been destroyed by a tornado. The man explains to reporter that having lost during his life a father, his baby brother, a best friend, and, most recently, his wife of fifty years, losing a house “ain’t nothin’” by comparison.
He was standin' in the rubble
Of an old farmhouse outside Birmingham
When some on-the-scene reporter
Stuck a camera in the face of that old man