Kickin' And Screamin'

Album: In Pieces (1993)

Songfacts®:

  • Written by Tony Arata ("The Dance," "Face To Face"), this bluesy country track finds Garth Brooks pondering how we enter and leave life the same way: kicking and screaming. It's the same way we view all the things we think we don't want until we're about to lose them.

    Brooks explained in his 2017 book, The Anthology Part 1: The First Five Years: "[Arata] ties the circle of life in here, you know, telling us however you go out - you're going to go out - it'll be the same way you came in, kicking and screaming. You live your whole life kicking and screaming. What I love is this idea that, for all the changes, you never really grow up. You're just making noise, making sure everyone knows you're on this planet, trying to leave a mark with how much you're kicking the ground."
  • Arata wrote this while he was walking up and down the beach in St. Augustine, Florida, which is where he gets a lot of his songwriting done. The first verse about a reckless uncle who scrambles to change his ways and make peace at the end of his life was inspired by Arata's family reunions, where tension was always bubbling under the surface.

    "I had a couple of uncles that always made things a little dicey, like you were always walking around wondering when the other shoe was gonna drop and the fights were gonna start," he explained in The Anthology Part 1. "That's really something I'd never so much told to someone else, and the song gave it a place."
  • This is featured on Brooks' sixth studio album, In Pieces, which is known for the hit singles "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)" and "American Honky-Tonk Bar Association."
  • Brooks embarked on his first world tour in support of the album. The British press wasn't known for its love of country music and Brooks was roundly mocked in the media for being a "rooting tooting, cotton picking, Country and Western star," but he still managed to peak at #2 on the album chart and performed sold-out shows at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre and London's Wembley Arena - a first for a country singer. Back in the US, the album debuted at #1.

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