Garth Brooks reveals during The Kelly Clarkson Show that he almost didn’t record “The Dance.”
There are some songs that truly encapsulate what it’s like to fully love and then lose it all. Songs that make us question, “If we knew how it would end, would we still have done it?” For many, Garth Brooks’ song “The Dance” is the epitome of lost love songs.
“The Dance” Isn’t Only A Love Song
However, the star says that, to him, the song’s meaning expands beyond just the loss of love.
“To a lot of people, I guess ‘The Dance’ is a love gone bad song,” Brooks said during an interview. “Which, you know, that it is. But to me, it’s always been a song about life. Or maybe the loss of those people that have given the ultimate sacrifice for a dream that they believed in, like the John F. Kennedy’s or the Martin Luther King’s. John Wayne’s or the Keith Whitley’s. And if they could come back, I think they would say to us what the lyrics of ‘The Dance’ say.”
Following it’s release in 1990, the song earned Garth Brooks the Academy of Country Music Award for both Song of the Year and Video of the Year. However, Brooks says that “The Dance,” was almost “the biggest hit he never had.” During an interview with The Kelly Clarkson Show, Brooks revealed that he almost didn’t record the song.
Garth Brooks Almost Didn’t Record “The Dance”
“I was sitting at the Bluebird. A guy named Tony Arata was sitting there playing. Tony starts in on this song. And when he gets done with it, I’m just amazed and no one else in the room seems to be getting the same reaction that I’m getting. So, I brought it to Allen Reynolds. Allen Reynolds said he loves it. So we keep waiting and waiting and finally, Allen Reynolds asks why we haven’t cut “The Dance” yet because we were almost done with the record,” said Brooks.
Garth Brooks said that he didn’t think the song fit in with the rest of his music.
“I said, ‘I’m not sure that it’s country enough,” said Brooks. To which a shocked Clarkson questioned, “What!?”
Brooks laughed as he continued, “Just being from Oklahoma, it had piano in it, which you know, I had moved to Nashville. I didn’t know what a piano was. It was always just steel and fiddle…Then Allen Reynolds told me, ‘Pal’ – he always called me pal. ‘Pal, if you don’t cut “The Dance.” If you don’t record this song. It will be the biggest hit you never had.'”
The song spent 46 weeks on the Billboard Charts and peaked at number one. During the song, Garth Brooks sings, “And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end. The way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I coulda missed the pain. But I’d had to miss the dance.”
We’re glad we didn’t miss this song. Thanks for recording, Garth.