If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away

Album: Outlaw Like Me (2011)
Charted: 49


  • This Dallas Davidson, Rob Hatch and Brett Jones penned ballad was originally recorded by American Country artist Rhett Akins in 2006. His version was released as a single but did not chart. Justin Moore covered the song several years later and released it as the lead-off single to his second studio album, Outlaw Like Me.
  • The song finds the narrator imagining being able to spend a day in Heaven, visiting friends and family members who have died. Moore told The Bradenton Herald it was a track from his self-titled 2009 album that inspired this release. "The song 'Grandpa,' about losing my hero, was one I wanted to be a single," Moore said. "But when I found this song I wanted it to be the first single - to fill that void."
  • Moore told Nashville Music Scene the song struck an emotional chord with him because he felt his own life was reflected in the storyline. He explained: 'If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away' is one of those songs you hear one time, and know immediately that it's special. Everybody, unfortunately, can relate to the lyrics in this song. It's a part of life. You have to go through losing loved ones. Personally, I went through it a year ago losing my grandpa and aunt in the same week.
    The great thing about this song is that it will make you laugh and cry, and evoke every other emotion you can think of. To me, that's what Country music is all about. That's why I make it, love it, and live it."
  • Moore told The Boot how he came across this tune: "I heard the song awhile back, when Rhett [Akins] cut it," he explained. "Rhett and I are good friends, and he actually co-wrote three or four songs on my new album. I remember telling some people awhile back that I loved that song. We had the whole album cut and we were going through stuff to pick a first single, and my producer happened to see a clip on YouTube. He said, 'Remember, you liked this song awhile back?' I was like, 'Oh my gosh!' It was something that fell from the sky, going, 'You need to cut this song!' So even though I didn't write it, I cut it right away, and I was the main cheerleader to get it to be the first single, because it was very personal to me and a lot of people."
  • Dallas Davidson, Rob Hatch and Brett Jones recalled the writing of the song in an interview with The Boot:
    Davidson: "It was five years ago. We were all talking about Brett's brother who he lost in the Vietnam War. Rob and I brought up our granddads. We were all saying, 'I wish I could go see him. Once they are gone, they are gone.' I can't remember who first said it, but we all knew it was a good title. Then we started playing our guitars, and Brett already had a melody going. The lyrics just flew out. Once we had the ideas, we just painted the pictures. I really had a dog named Beau and I said, "I wish I could take him hunting one more time." We're all from small towns and being from small towns, there were fruit stands on every corner. We tried to make the characters such that everybody who hears the song can relate to it."

    Hatch: "We are so excited about it. When we wrote it, Dallas and I didn't even have publishing deals yet. A lot of the places in it are real. The Flint River Bridge is where Dallas and Brett are from – they are Georgia boys. We all hard our own images to add. When we got finished with the song, Brett said, 'Boys, this is a hit.' Even about a year ago I saw him at a wedding and he said 'I'm telling you, that song is going to be a hit. It's going to have its time.' It has personally meant a lot to us that after all this time it has been found again."

    Jones: "Dallas came in and said he saw a little girl on TV and she said, 'Heaven is so far away.' So then I said, 'I had a lot of people die in my life.' We started talking. My older brother was killed in Vietnam, and my little brother died in a motorcycle accident. My dad died when he was only 61. We all lost people we loved. We all started talking and the song sort of wrote itself. It magically came together. My sister can't listen to it. It makes her cry. Still, the song has an uplifting, subliminal message. The great things about songs is they don't die and they don't go away. When you have a great song, it will seem to find a way to get out there and become a hit."

Comments: 2

  • Jazmun from Indianapolis, IndianaThis song means a lot to me because I lost my dad when i was 8 and the my grandma over the next summer.
  • Amelia from Kansas City, MoThis song means a lot to me because my grandpa died on my 8th birthday due to lung cancer. This also happened in October to a close friend who was only 45 at death.
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