Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: I Hope You DanceReleased: 2000Charted:
This was written by Tia Sillers and Mark Sanders. Sillers also wrote "There's Your Trouble" for The Dixie Chicks and "Blue On Black
" for Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Sanders has written several country hits, including "Blue Clear Sky" for George Strait and "No News" for Lonestar.
In an interview with Songwriter Universe magazine, Sillers explained that she was going through a painful divorce when she wrote this song. Said Sillers: "For 'I Hope You Dance,' I had written the opening line, 'I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. I had just broken up with someone, going through a brutal divorce. I needed to get away, so I went to a beach on the Florida Gulf Coast. Sitting on the beach and reflecting about the breakup, I felt so small and inconsequential. But out of this difficult time came the inspiration to write 'I Hope You Dance.' As I was leaving the beach, I remember thinking that things weren't really so bad, that I would get through it. That's when I came up with the line, 'I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.'"
This song is about taking chances and not being afraid to try something new. Many listeners found it very inspirational, and the simple hook line made it memorable. In our interview with Bill Withers, who wrote "Lean On Me
," he singled out this song as one that says something that everyone can understand and remember: "There are lines that are so profound... 'And when the time comes for you to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.' Come on man, you can't say that any better."
This won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song and also the Country Music Award for Song Of The Year. It was a #1 Country hit and also #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts.
After this became a hit, Sillers and Sanders released a book called I Hope You Dance
with writings based on the song.
Irish tenor Ronan Keating released a version in 2004 that hit #2 in the UK.