‘I Believe’ by George Strait: How a National Tragedy Spawned a Song of Faith

by Katie Maloney

Eight years ago, country legend George Strait released his song, “I Believe.”

The song is a track from his album, Love is Everything. Which is an appropriate title for an album that holds a song about grieving the loss of a child. Strait, his son Bubba, and Dean Dillon wrote the song in response to the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012.

On December 14, 2012, Shooter Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members before taking his own life at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“Like everybody, I was watching it on TV,” said Strait during an interview. “I’m just shaking my head. It was so sad, and … you know, I was thinking, ‘I know what these parents are going through.’ It’s just the worst thing that can happen to you in your life, to lose a child. There’s just nothing worse than that,” he said.

During the song, Strait sings, “The nights as clear as a big desert sky. But it’s hard to see stars with these tears in my eyes. It’s hard enough to cry, when there’s 26 reasons why. There’s broken hearts that’ll never beat the same. Shattered lives still reeling from the pain. Our plans and dreams now gone. Oh how did you move on.”

Strait said that, after starting to write down some lyrics, he called his son Bubba.

“So, I called Bubba and started talking to him about it. And he said ‘Dad, I’m thinking about the same thing.’ We started talking about it and I started writing more things down. So I said, ‘Okay, well, let’s try to write it.'”

There’s nothing better than a loving, father-son, George Strait collaboration.

George Strait’s “I Believe”

George Strait Lost His 13-Year-Old Daughter

During the same interview, Strait said that he was called to write and record “I Believe” because he understood what the parents of the children were going through.

 “Having been through something like that before myself, I just knew I kinda wanted to say a little something,” said Strait.

Strait and his wife Norma, lost their daughter to a car accident in San Marcos, Texas. She was only 13-years-old. Despite knowing that he could relate to the parents, Strait said that he was nervous about offending them.

“The whole time, I’m concerned, because I don’t know these people. I’m concerned about offending them,” said Strait. “I don’t want to cause them any more misery than they’ve already been through. I took it to the studio and I didn’t do it because I was just thinking, ‘Man I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do.'”

It wasn’t until Strait and his band had finished recording for the day and were listening to album that they decided to record the song. In fact, Strait’s wife, Norma, convinced George to record the song.

“She said, ‘you have to cut that,'” said Strait. “And I said, ‘Well Norma, we’re done. We’re finished for the day.’ But she said, ‘You have to do it.'”

So, his band unpacked their instruments again and they recorded the song. Despite almost not recording the song, Strait said that he loves the final song.

“I just love the way it turned out,” said. “Again, I hope they take it that way. Because in the end, it’s just a statement of faith — that’s really what it is,” he said.