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Atkins wrote this about his son Elijah. The song is about the joys of fatherhood and the responsibility that comes with it - his son is always watching him and learning new things; he wants to be just like his dad. (thanks, Savanah - Waller, TX)
Atkins' son Elijah appears in the video. He was 4 years old at the time.
The video was voted as the Fan's Choice for Video of the Year at the 2008 ACM awards.
The song was written by Atkins with Brian Gene White and Steve Dean. White explained to The Boot
that the origins of the song lay in Atkins discovering that his son, Elijah had been singing his 2006 hit "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)" to his teachers. Said White: "I wrote the song with a buddy of mine, Steve Dean and Rodney. Rodney was coming into the writing appointment and he was late by a few minutes. He said, 'I'm sorry guys, I had to stop by the daycare and talk to Elijah's teacher. She wanted to talk to me because Elijah was standing in line going, "If you're going through Hell, hell, hell." And I said, "You know, you probably don't want him saying that."' Rodney said, 'I want him to understand the sentiment of the song, but I have to teach him not to say that.' I told him, 'Man, he's just watching you. He's picking up on what Dad does.'
Rodney's eyes lit up and he goes, 'Wow. We need to write that.' We wrote that that day, wrote the verse and the chorus and talked about what the second verse would be about, and the fact that it's not always the things we see our parents do that we pick up on that are bad habits. I remember seeing my Dad praying, kneeling at the bed. We all said those are the things that impact us that we remember. Rodney went home that night and we kind of fed those directions to him. He wrote it that night. He said, 'I played it for [my wife] Tammy Jo. She laughed. She cried. I think we did it.'"
White has penned tunes for a number of artists including Trace Adkins, Blackhawk and Earl Scruggs. However, he told The Boot that this is his favorite of all the songs he penned. He explained why: "I still to this day get e-mails, and we run into people all the time who say, 'That song changed the way I parent my child. It impacted me.' I've had pastors write to me and say, 'I used it in a Father's Day message at church. We played the video.' And country radio embraced it. We got emails from country radio saying we needed a song like this. Rodney did a great job with it."
The song was a big hit peaking at #36 on the Hot 100 and was named the #1 song of 2007 on Billboard's Country year-end chart.
When Atkins performed this song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2007, he was preceded by Bill Maher, who said, "The only use I have for country music is to make fun of it." Atkins didn't react to the comment on the show, but said afterward, "I was very proud to be the guy singing a song about family values when one of the talking heads gets on there and makes a stupid blanket statement. It makes you mad when someone takes it lightly like that."
Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James
, and Running On Empty
. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."
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