McGraw recently sat down with the Big Machine Label Group, as reported by CMT, to revisit the lyrics of the song and explain how they mean even more to him now six years later.
“To me, the message of that song and the scope of that song grows exponentially every day in the world that we live in now,” McGraw said.
Lori McKenna, the successful songwriter who penned the mid-tempo masterpiece, said she wrote the song for her children.
“I sat at my dining room table with my coffee. And I started thinking about all the things that Gene [her husband] and I wanted to make sure we told the kids,” McKenna said, noting that she had just dropped her kids off at school when inspiration struck. “There’s so much information there. A parent can go on and on and on forever about what they want their kids to know. I was writing this for myself and for my kids.”
Tim McGraw wants the song to encourage more humility and more kindness
McGraw, who has brought life to many other songwriters’ poems over the years, said he knew the song was special immediately.
“We certainly had a sense of that when we recorded the song, of what it said. I mean, it started out as sort of a microscope into your life, into your world; and to how you teach your kids and what you want your kids to learn from you,” he said in the same interview. “Then it turned into this sort of worldview of how the world needs to look at each other; and how people, in general, need to look at each other differently than they look at each other now.”
The singer said he hopes the song encourages more grace in this world full of snap judgments.
“We all could use a little grace and look at each other with a little humility and a little kindness,” McGraw said. “And I think that song’s taken on more and more meaning, and I think it’s got a bigger megaphone. And I don’t think that I’m the megaphone. I think the song is.”
McGraw also shared a special story about a young boy who listened to the song every night before bedtime.
“This cute little curly-haired kid, fourth-grade guy, was singing the song, and he came up to my daughter, Audrey, and he tugged her on the arm and said, ‘I listen to this song every night before I go to bed,’” the father of three said in 2016. “To me, that was the best thing I could have heard.”