How are country artist George Strait and the Academy Award-winning Best Picture film, “Forrest Gump,” related?
For Strait, it had influenced his 1996 No. 1 hit called “Blue Clear Sky.” It was the very first single from the album of the same name. The song has been certified platinum three times and also earned the title of Album of the Year at both the CMAs and the ACMs.
The movie, also widely popular, has grossed over $677 million.
The song was written by Bob DiPiero, John Jarrard, and Mark D. Sanders.
So, what part of the song was inspired by the beloved character Forrest?
Story Behind the Hit
In a phone call with The Boot, songwriter DiPiero talks about how “Forrest Gump” inspired the song.
“This song got written because I went to see the movie Forrest Gump. In the movie, Forrest talks about, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates.’ And also, he was talking about his girlfriend, Jenny, and how she would come and go out of his life. At one point, he says, ‘And out of the blue clear sky, Jenny came back.’ And I was listening, thinking, ‘Hey! It’s clear blue sky, it’s not blue clear sky!’ Just that little turn of phrase stuck in my head,” DiPiero said.
It was at that moment in the film that Gump goes to see Jenny after she asks him to come. He discovers that he has a son. In the movie, the blue clear sky for Gump was reuniting with Jenny and a son he didn’t know he had.
While the phrasing is usually, clear blue sky, the unique turn of the phrase inspired the songwriters to go for it. The uniqueness would then draw George Strait in the same way.
George Strait Hears Song, Records It
DiPiero said that eventually George Strait heard the song and asked the same question others have about the wording of the song. He then explained to him that it came from “Forrest Gump.”
“And George was kind of quiet for a while, and then he says, ‘Well, you think there’s many Gumpsters out there? … I said, ‘Well, yeah, I do!’ And he says, ‘Well, all right then, we’ll be Gumpsters!’ … he said, ‘Adios,’ and he hung up,” DiPiero said.
Beyond just being based on a phrase from “Forrest Gump,” the song is about the feeling of giving up on love, but then suddenly being graced by the love of your life. It is a classic romantic country ballad.
“Ain’t love a funny thing, one day you’re givin’ up the dream / And the next you’re pickin’ out a ring out of the blue clear sky.”