For the First Time

Album: When Was the Last Time (2017)
Charted: 58

Songfacts®:

  • This upbeat, driving tune is about stepping out of your comfort zone and living life to the fullest.

    When was the last time you did something for the first time?
    Yeah, let yourself go
    Baby, follow that feeling
  • Darius Rucker wrote the song with Derek George and Travis Hill after coming up with the phrase, "when was the last time I did something for the first time?"

    "As a songwriter, sometimes the smallest idea can elicit a feeling and then you have this daunting task of trying to relay that emotion and energy into a three-minute song," said Rucker. "When we wrote 'For The First Time,' we each had to dig deep for that moment – for me it was 'you say you've never danced to a dashboard singin' REM under summer stars.' After that it was all over."
  • Did you catch Rucker's tribute to labelmate Gary Allan during the song? One of the lyrics in the first verse "smoke rings in the dark" is also the title of Allan's 1999 hit single.
  • The track made Rucker think about some of the things he wanted to accomplish. "It's a song about taking chances and doing something you wouldn't normally do and something that's totally out of the ordinary for you," he said. "That song really made me sit down and write out a list of things that I want to do that I've never done."
  • This was released as the second single from When Was the Last Time? The album title comes from the song's big payoff: "When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
  • Darius Rucker recalled to reporters the songwriting session that produced this song:

    "Derek George brought it in to me. We were writing together, and he had this idea and this great chorus about doing stuff for the first time. I just thought it was such a great idea. I had to Google it because I was like, 'No one's really written a song called "For the First Time"?' It was crazy.

    And so we wrote it, and when we finished it, it was the first thing I said to him - it was just one of those songs that I knew: 'That's a song.' And the way he did the kick in the beginning with that little verse there - I'm talking like a producer, like I know what I'm doing [laughs]."

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