The Impossible

Album: Man With a Memory (2002)
Charted: 29
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Songfacts®:

  • This Kelley Lovelace and Lee Thomas Miller penned mid-tempo ballad was recorded by Joe Nichols and released in March 2002 as the first single from his second album, 2002'sMan With a Memory. It became his first hit, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Country chart and #29 on the Hot 100. Nichols recalled to The Boot in a 2011 interview: "'The Impossible' was huge for me for a number of different reasons. It was my introduction to Country music. It was the first thing everybody saw of me, this brand new guy with this voice. I heard a lot of people say when they met me, 'Wow! We just pictured somebody a lot older, because it's a really country-sounding voice.' So, it was my introduction. It got people familiar with me."
  • The song tells of two events in which the impossible happens: first the narrator's father, who never cries, does so when his own father dies; then a friend who is told he'd never walk again after a car accident later stands up to speak at graduation. In the bridge, the narrator draws hope from these two situations and relates it to his own recent broken relationship, saying that if such situations are possible, then it is also possible for him and his lover to make up.
  • In a 2011 interview with The Boot, Nichols related the song's message to America's recovery from the trauma of the September 11, 2001 attacks. "I think the meaning of the song, the message of the song, was humongous," he said. "We were coming out of 9-11. We were still kind of young in the first year of recovery after 9-11. A lot of things had changed and people were still very, very aware of that, so the message of the song is kind of rebuilding; don't give up, never underestimate things that you think are impossible. That had a lot of hidden correlation with what was going on with the country."
  • The song's music video was directed by Eric Welch and was filmed in April 2002 on Los Angeles' Long Beach Pier.

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