Kenny Chesney’s ‘Back Where I Come From’: Story Behind the Song Celebrating Our Hometowns

by Keeli Parkey

Kenny Chesney had a huge hit during the late 1990s with the song “Back Where I Come From.” But, do you know the story behind this classic song?

Kenny Chesney was not the first country music artist to record “Back Where I Come From.” The song was actually first recorded by Mac McAnally in 1990. The legendary Muscle Shoals-based musician also wrote the song. It was the first single to be released from his album “Simple Life” that year.

“Back Where I Come From” is a song about loving the place where you grew up. It’s about remembering the special places and moments that made your childhood and youth. It’s a song about friends, family, and faith. All the kind of things that all of us Country fans can identify with. The kind of simple things that speak to our souls.

Check out these lyrics: “Well, in the town where I was raised / The clock ticks and the cattle graze / Time passed with amazing grace / Back where I come from.”

There’s also: “We learned in the Sunday school / Who made the sun shine through / I know who made the moonshine, too / Back where I come from.”

McAnally had considerable success with this song. According to the article, the song reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. McAnally knew what he was doing when he wrote the song.

“I thought that it was a hit, but also that it said something that I personally wanted to be the first to say,” McAnally said of the song, according to Country Thang Daily.

Kenny Chesney Records Cover of Mac McAnally’s ‘Back Where I Come From’

Flash forward to 1996. That year, Kenny Chesney recorded a cover of “Back Where I Come From” for his “Me and You” album. Four years later, he included a live recording of the song on his “Greatest Hits” album. Chesney’s version was a big hit for him. And, according to the article, McAnally was happy to see Kenny Chesney have success with his song.

“As a publisher, I knew I was devaluing the copyright by singing it myself instead of passing it onto better and bigger singers, but I did it anyway,” McAnally reportedly said. “One of many of my classically bad business choices, but thankfully Kenny Chesney was kind enough to bail me out and cut it again.”

You can watch Kenny Chesney perform “Back Where I Come From” live at Farm Aid during 2005 below. “This song goes out to anybody out there that grew up in the country,” Kenny Chesney says before breaking out into the popular song. Make sure to give this a watch – it will give you the feels for home!

Want to see more from Kenny Chesney? has you covered! You can check out the singer performing “Better as a Memory” from 2009, “I Go Back” during a rainstorm, or “Young” from 2005.