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Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle

Album: Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace)Released: 1997Charted:
  • The Contemporary Christian singer Bob Carlisle wrote this song for his daughter, Brooke. He wrote it after looking through some family photos, and realizing that Brooke, who was about to turn 16, would be leaving home in a few years.

    Carlisle says the song just "poured out" of him, and he recorded it on a cassette for Brooke, who played it for her friends. At first, he wasn't planning on doing a proper recording of the song, but he decided to include it on his third album, which was eventually named after the song.
  • Bob Carlisle said on the liner notes of Wow #1 Hits: "'Butterfly Kisses' is not so much a song about fatherhood. It's more a song about gratitude and imperfection - 'for all I've done wrong, I must have done something right.' It's also a song about appreciation of time well spent. As with any good thing, there is a bittersweet sadness in letting go. I hoped to capture in this song the beauty of the relationship between father and daughter as well as its inevitable change.

    This song affected more than dads. After the first concert where I sang it, women surrounded me telling me stories about their fathers. I had always thought of the song from the perspective of a dad but I hadn't thought of its impact upon daughters."
  • Carlisle wrote this song with Randy Thomas, who was his bandmate in the group Allies.
  • This won the 1997 Grammy for Best Country Song. It also won Song of the Year at the Dove Awards.
  • This song was huge in the summer of 1997. Carlisle's version was getting steady airplay at this time, and by the end of June, a version by the Raybon Brothers brothers made #22 on the Hot 100 on its way to becoming a Gold single. Jeff Carson's version was also big, charting at #103 in July.
  • In America, Carlisle's version was not released for sale as a single, a shrewd strategy because it meant that you had to buy the album to own the song (legal downloads were a few years away). Many listeners made a strong connection with the song, so the album sold exceptionally well, going to #1 for two weeks and moving over 2 million copies.

    The song also got airplay across a range of formats, reaching #10 on Billboard's Airplay chart. This was surprising, since Carlisle was unknown outside of Christian music, and the song is much longer than most radio hits, running 5:37.

    Carlisle's next album, Stories from the Heart (1998), stalled at #191. He never again hit the Hot 100, making him a one-hit-wonder on that chart.
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Comments: 15

If you know Bob Carlisle only for his daddy ballad "Butterfly Kisses", you may not realize he made his mark first as a pop/rocker rather than an adult contemporary crooner.The Christian group "Allies" paired Carlisle with Randy Thomas in a band that sold respectably in Christian circles through the 80s and early 90s.
Lee - Mayodan, Nc
This song came out just weeks before my daughter was born. Hard to put a crib together when you're eyes are teary.

She'll be "trying her wings out" soon.
Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
I was almost 40 when this song came on the radio and my dad said he liked it. I thought it so odd at the time because my dad was not the sweet, sentimental type but a recovering alcoholic who'd made both good & bad choices in his life. And we were not a huggy, kissy family. But he had 7 kids and through everything we all still loved him altho we were each very independent of him. Well, it was later that I figured the song probably put into words what he felt. Especially the part "with all that I've done wrong I musta done something right". Because all his kids turned out okay. I think he told me he liked the song because he knew I'd figure out the deeper meaning as it applied to his life and that of his wife & kids.Camille - Toronto, Oh
the first time i heard this song was at my Husband's brother's wedding in Colorado. Eric and Ashleigh Yamoah were getting married. And Ashleigh danced with her Dad Bob Thiele, almost everyone was in tears including me. And i heard it again today 13 Jan 2010 here in South Africa on the radio, i was driving to work and i could not stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks. I Love this Song. And one day when my daughter gets married, i would like her to dance with her father to this song.
Tryphina Yamoah. South Africa
Tryphina - Johannesburg, South Africa
My husband couldn't make it (not through lack of trying) to his oldest daughter's wedding. She totally understood, but made a beautiful gesture. When the "Daddy/Daughter" dance was announced, "Butterfly Kisses" came on...but she asked that no one enter the dance floor. She and my husband called it "Missing Man Formation". The song will always be special between them, and also between him and the 2 daughters he and I have together.Karen - Manchester, Nh
I love this song...I am thinking about dancing to this song for my senior song and inviting my dad because he wants to dance with me to this song at my wedding and I think that it would be nice to dance to it for him and show him that I love him cause my love for my father can't be explained in words. I know I have hurt him but I can't forgive myself for what I have done. I love you Daddy!!!Johnna - Helsinki, Finland
My father has been gone for 11 years and it is still hard to believe. Before he passed away we went to my cousins wedding and him and I dance to this song together. He said this will be your wedding song day when you find that right guy. Everytime I hear this song it brings tears to my eyes because I miss my dad a lot . Even at holidays and everyday .I love you daddy.Have a good night and have happy dreams daddy. Your daughter loves youJoanne - Sault Ste Marie, On
Completely gorgeous. I remember I had a real tough guy friend who had lost his baby girl when his wife tried to have abortion. Obviously, he didn't support this but he didn't seem to be trouble about it either. But when I showed him this song he cried which showed just how much really he missed his little girl. That's how good this song is.Blake - London, United Kingdom
This song is so beautiful. The first time i heard it i cried, It reminds me of me and my father when i was little.....I am definately playing this song at my wedding!!!!

-Donna, Ohio
Donns - Salineville, Oh
I own both of Bob Carlisle's albums and this song is by far my favourite. It brings both my father and i to tears everytime we hear it. The first time i heard it...when i was about 12 i decided that i would use it for my father daughter dance at my wedding...eight years later i still haven't changed my mindCaitlin - Brisbane, Australia
**good one**
This song os exquiside, i love the fact it is written by Bob carlisle and written for his daughter.
i am 15 years old and my father passed away when i was 6. I recently learnt this was his favourite song. I feel like he wants me to know how much he loves me.
i can't remember very much about my father, but i do know how much he loved me, this song just made me realise it even more.
i am going to play this song for many years to come and dedicate it to my father.
Caitlin - Adelaide, Australia
This song is exquiside, i love the fact it is written by Bob Carlisle and written for his daughter. im 15 years old and my father passed away when i was 6. I recently learnt this was his favourite song. I feel like he wants me to know how much he loves me. I can't remember very much about my father, but i do know how much, this song just made me realise it even more. I am going to play this song for many years to come!!Caitlin - Adelaide, Australia
There are several versions of this song, including one by "The Raybons" (former Shenandoah lead singer Marty Raybon and his brother) and Jeff Carson. Carlisle himself has said that he brought his daughter and wife to tears when he played this for her for the first time (she was 16 at the time).

Carlisle's version was the biggest hit on the Country charts, though the others did make some noise.
Cory - Morden, Canada
This song is awsome!! I love it! It is my dad and i's song. I am going to play it at my wedding!!Amanda - Tiption, In
this song is so beautiful. when i first heard this song i just fell in love and i am playing this song for my wedding no doubt!!Destiny - Gresham, Or
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