Elephant Ears

Album: Sara Smile (2009)
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Songfacts®:

  • Wayne co-wrote four of the tracks on Sara Smile. He told Billboard magazine that this one holds special significance. "It's a combination of my own personal experience and my sister adopting a little girl and just thinking about what kids out there go through in foster homes," he explained. "It's a song to bring awareness that those kids need our help. Sometimes those are the hardest ones for me to write. I love the song. It's one of my favorites."
  • Wayne explained the song's title to Roughstock: "I've been there. I didn't say I loved someone until I was a teenager, because I wasn't used to hearing it. I remember how it felt to move around so much to so many different foster homes. I mean, I went to 12 schools in two years. I chose to make the character a little girl, because it just sort of fit that she was carrying around a little stuffed elephant. When I was in the fourth grade, there was a girl across the room. She looked at me and mouthed the words, 'elephant ears.' I thought she had said, 'I love you,' and I was so incredibly excited. She laughed at me, 'Ha-ha, I said 'elephant ears!' I was so embarrassed, and I never forgot it."
  • Wayne co-wrote this with veteran singer-songwriter Don Henry, who in 1990 co-penned Kathy Mattea's Grammy-winning version of "Where've You Been." Wayne told Roughstock about his collaboration with Henry. "Don Henry is a very creative and different writer. I thought he'd probably get into this idea. I had all this paper and all these notes about the song, and we started writing based on them. It unfolded like it had already been written. I couldn't believe that we pulled it off."

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