‘When I Get Where I’m Going’ by Brad Paisley: Story Behind Epic Duet with Dolly Parton

by Thad Mitchell

Two of country music’s brightest stars, Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton, got together to record one of the genre’s most popular tunes.

“When I get where I’m going” was released in 2005 and brought together two of the industry’s biggest names. The song was written by George Teren and Rivers Rutherford and recorded by Paisley for his “Time Well Wasted” album. It features harmony vocals from Parton.

The song won numerous awards, including two Academy of Country Music awards for best video and vocal event of the year. It also took CMA Award nominations for single of the year and video of the year.

The song and video earned Paisley another level of success, earning him his fifth Billboard number one hit single. It was Parton’s 25th number one hit on the country chart.

Brad Paisley Talks Inspiration for Hit Song

He says the inspiration for the song came from his childhood when missing a church service.

“When I was about ten years old, I was sick one Sunday so my dad and I stayed home from church and watched the preacher on TV,” he recalls. “And in the middle of his sermon, this guy comes out in a karate outfit and attacks the preacher. Once they got the guy under control, the preacher got back up and said, ‘I wouldn’t worry for a minute. I know where I’m going, and I can’t wait to get there.'”

The country music star says he remembered the moment 25 years later when writing the song. He says scripture from the Bible describing a person petting a lion put the visual in his head for the lyrics.

“The Bible says that the lion will lay down with the lamb,” he said. “Can you imagine what it would be like to lay down with a lion and run your fingers through its mane? Something about that image just stuck in my head, and 25 years later I remembered that sermon when I was writing with George Teren.”

In 2007, Paisley’s video for the song was dedicated to victims of the Virginia Tech massacre.

H/T: Song Facts