Dear Rodeo

Album: Ain't Nothin' to It (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • Cody Johnson is a former rodeo rider who was pursuing music on the side until he quit riding bulls because he realized he was better at music. However, Johnson struggled to get over the split until co-writer Dan Couch suggested he revisit that old relationship in a song.

    "He said, 'I feel like there's a side of you you've never dealt with. You've never actually addressed the open wound that is you don't have that dream anymore,'" Johnson recalled. "Dan said, let's write to her - but we wanted it to be in a way that if you've never rodeoed, you can still relate that to something in your life."
  • Johnson still found it painful to perform the song until he came to the realization just before the album's release that it was all part of God's plan. "All that rodeo, that intense high of riding bulls and thinking that was what I was going to do, and that intense low of that instant realization at a young age that I wasn't good enough and I didn't finish that," the Texan singer told Taste of Country. "That almost depressed area of my life... all that was allowed to happen to me for one song."
  • Cody Johnson released a duet version with Reba McEntire on October 2, 2020. The songstress is a fitting partner for Johnson on the song. Her grandfather and father were champion steer ropers (McEntire's dad was a World Champion steer roper in 1957, 1958 and 1961) and she was a rodeo rider herself.

    McEntire said that hearing the song brought her back to the '70s "when I realized that my rodeo career was going absolutely nowhere. And that I did have a God-given talent and I needed to be using it. This song was kind of a reminder that it's going to be okay, that if you do leave rodeo for the music, you're going to be okay. I knew I was going to miss it. And I was mad because I love that life of rodeo. I'm a third-generation rodeo brat."

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