Carrie Underwood’s ‘The Girl You Think I Am’: Story Behind the Song She Wrote for Her Dad

by Josh Lanier

You’ll never be as good as your parents think you are or as bad as you think you are. That’s something Carrie Underwood realized as she grew up and understood what unconditional love meant.

She said she now aspires to be the person her dad, Stephen, believes she is.

“He thinks I’m brave,” she said. “He thinks I’m beautiful, he thinks I can do anything, he thinks I’m fearless, and he is my biggest fan.”

It’s the basis of her song “The Girl You Think I am.”

“When we were writing it, myself and Hillary Lindsey and David Hodges, we were all channeling our own experiences and there are certain lines that apply to our fathers,” Underwood explained to People, according to Songfacts. “Anybody that knows my family will probably be able to very much pick out the lines that are about my dad. And it’s about how great a father is in a daughter’s life.”

Underwood recalled a time when she was 14, and, without cause, her dad complimented her after dinner.

“At dinner that night, for no reason at all, my dad told me that I looked really pretty,” she said. “He had no clue about what happened that day, nor is he exactly the kind of guy to give out compliments like that freely. But those words turned a bad day into a really good one.”

Underwood wrote a song about her mother as well. Her 2009 hit “Mama’s Song.”

“So many people might not even know that their parents put them on a pedestal,” she told People. “When I realized that, I was just kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh, he just thinks I’m better than I actually am.’ I want to be the person he thinks I am.'”

Underwood Posts Video of Son Seeing her Perform

Carrie Underwood says that now she’s a mother, she feels that unconditional love toward her boys. And she wants to make them as proud of her as she is of them.

She posted the adorable video to her Instagram of the first time her oldest, Isaiah, got to see her sing. She sang the national anthem at a hockey game that her husband, Mike Fisher, was playing in.

“As a child, I wanted nothing more than to make my parents proud of me…and now, as a mother, I want to make my child proud… He never really gets to see me sing because he’s in bed before I go on stage, but last night he was there to watch his daddy play…and he also got to see his mommy sing for a minute. Thanks, @iveychilders for catching this little moment…my heart is happy.”

Isaiah has gone on to perform with his mother on her album of Christmas music My Gift.