Outskirts of Heaven

Album: See You Try (2015)
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Songfacts®:

  • Craig Campbell's ideal heaven is one that harkens back to his own rural Georgia upbringing. He paints a picture on this song of his perfect eternal paradise. "I was laying in bed, thinking about heaven one night. What I have been taught about heaven is all pearly gates and golden streets - very big-city," Campbell explained to Rolling Stone. "So I had this idea to write a song about how, maybe, when I get to heaven I want to live in the outskirts, and how I can write this song as a request to the good lord. Maybe he'll set aside me a few acres on the outside of town for me."
  • Campbell wrote the song with Dave Turnbull, whose other credits include Brad Paisley's "Anything Like Me," Kenny Chesney's "The Boys of Fall" and Blake Shelton's "Lay Low."
  • Craig Campbell first suggested the song idea to Dave Turnbull after they'd both taken part in an annual benefit for Bethel Bible Village at the Chattanooga Convention Center on May 14, 2015. Turnbull asked Campbell to hold it for the next time that they wrote together.

    Their next writing appointment was at Turnbull's suburban home in the last week of July 2015. It happened to be just days after Turnbull's uncle had died, which naturally had him thinking about what happens in the next life, and gave them a starting place for the song. "On average, I take between two and four appointments to feel like a song's completed," Turnbull recalled to Billboard magazine, "but this one came out in that one day. I think we wrote it in three or four hours. It's weird for me to actually look back that night or the next morning and go, 'I think that one's done.'"
  • Campbell chose this as the second single off his third album in part because he sees how much his fans enjoy it when he performs it live. "We were getting so much great feedback from people who hear it at the live shows," the singer explained to The Boot. "I fought, but I didn't have to fight hard for it. I had so much evidence showing that it was a hit song, so it was hard to deny that. It's fun to see the song doing as well as it's doing. There's no doubt we made the best choice."

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