George Strait’s ‘I Saw God Today’: Story Behind the Hit Song

by Thad Mitchell
george-straits-i-saw-god-today-story-behind-the-hit-song

When it comes to country music royalty, it doesn’t go much further up the ranks than the legendary George Strait. And in Strait’s extensive catalog, “I Saw God Today” stands out as one of the most legendary of the group.

The 68-year-old country music star puts out hit after hit with a career dating back several decades. Strait is largely considered not only one of country’s all-time greats but also one of the most influential artists in history. According to the RIAA, Strait is the 12th best-selling album recording artist in the United States overall. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

One of the singer’s most notable songs came from 2008 album “Troubador.” The lead single from the album is “I Saw God Today” and it instantly became one of Strait’s biggest hits. The song won a Single of the Year award at 2008 CMA Awards ceremony. It also received a Dove Award nomination for Country Recorded Song of the Year.

The song, which was put out in February 2008, made its debut at number 19 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The tune gave Strait the highest chart debut of his career, as well as his 43rd Billboard Number One song.

The song describes a man whose wife just gave birth to a new bay. Walking down the sidewalk, he begins to notice small things like a flower from a crack in the sidewalk and the color of the sunset. He later in the song cites these examples as “seeing God” through the beauty of the world.

“His fingerprints are everywhere,” the tune goes. “I just look down to stop and stare. Open my eyes and then I swear. I saw God today.”

George Strait Shares Thoughts on Hit Song

The country tune was co-written by Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell and Wade Kirby. Strait says the song is beautifully written and he takes great pride in singing it.

“I Saw God Today’ is such a well-written song. It means a lot,” Strait said in an interview with AOL. “Sometimes we take a lot of things for granted, especially anybody that’s had a child. When they first see that child — if they’re in the delivery room or not — it truly is a miracle. And you just realize that all of these things that God has given us, sometimes you just take for granted. But if you just step back and take a look around, you’ll see what beauty we have around us in the things that He has created for us.”

While Strait prefers to keep some of his world views to himself, he has on occasion spoken out on his faith. He says he was brought up in Christian family and taught to fear God at a young age. He notes the strength of his faith is one of the reasons “I Saw God Today” is one of his favorites.

“I’m a religious person,” he tells USA Today in a 2007 interview. “I honestly believe we will see each other in heaven someday.”

As evidenced by its nomination for a Dove Award, the song is incredibly popular among Christian audiences. Strait says that it is with intention and the song sends a message that God can be found anywhere if you look hard enough.

“I’ve been to church, I’ve read the book,” he says. “I know He’s here but I don’t look near as often as I should.”

‘I Saw God Today’ Producer Echoes Strait’s Sentiments

In an interview with “Behind the Boards: Nashville” Author Jake Brown, Producer Tony Brown talks about the process of recording the song. He says initially “I Saw God Today” was not one of his favorite George Strait tunes.

“I knew it was an important song for George, but having done 37 number one’s with him, I had my favorites,” he says. “This wasn’t necessarily my favorite, but I knew it was an important song because it won “Single of the Year.”

Like Strait, Brown says the songs share a message of hope and faith and resonates with believers, according to Wide Open Country. He thinks the song specifically strikes a chord with parents of newborn children and the emotions that come with having children.

“I think it spoke to what a parent feels when they have a baby,” the producer says. “It shows how deep and important the moment a baby is born is, and it spoke to both moms and dads.”

The song was a critical success for Strait, taking the top spot on the Hot Country Song Chart. It came in at number two at the end of the year U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart. It is certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, meaning it has sold at least one million copies.

H/T: songfacts.com

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