This was written by Tia Sillers and Mark Sanders. Sillers also wrote "There's Your Trouble" for The Dixie Chicks and "Blue On Black" for Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Sanders has written several country hits, including "Blue Clear Sky" for George Strait and "No News" for Lonestar.
In an interview with Songwriter Universe magazine, Sillers explained that she was going through a painful divorce when she wrote this song. Said Sillers: "For 'I Hope You Dance,' I had written the opening line, 'I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. I had just broken up with someone, going through a brutal divorce. I needed to get away, so I went to a beach on the Florida Gulf Coast. Sitting on the beach and reflecting about the breakup, I felt so small and inconsequential. But out of this difficult time came the inspiration to write 'I Hope You Dance.' As I was leaving the beach, I remember thinking that things weren't really so bad, that I would get through it. That's when I came up with the line, 'I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.'"
This song is about taking chances and not being afraid to try something new. Many listeners found it very inspirational, and the simple hook line made it memorable. In our interview with Bill Withers, who wrote "Lean On Me," he singled out this song as one that says something that everyone can understand and remember: "There are lines that are so profound... 'And when the time comes for you to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.' Come on man, you can't say that any better."
This won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song and also the Country Music Award for Song Of The Year. It was a #1 Country hit and also #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts.
After this became a hit, Sillers and Sanders released a book called I Hope You Dance with writings based on the song.
Irish tenor Ronan Keating released a version in 2004 that hit #2 in the UK.
Thomas from Santa Rosa Beach, FloridaTia Sillers stayed in Seaside, FL when she came to the Gulf coast of FL. My friend said he was called out to do a repair at the house Lee Ann was staying at. He was met at the door by her husband and he told him to go up to the bedroom to do the repair work. He said his wife was up there getting ready, but not to worry she was putting makeup on. He went up to the bedroom and did the repairs while having a nice chat with Lee Ann. I have a first page copy of her song "I Hope You Dance" with Lee Ann Womack's signature on it. I live and work about 3 miles down the road from where they stayed.
Ls Marie from Phoenix, Arizona UsaWhen my daughter graduated college I was on my own again, at a loss for what to do. I traveled across the country to find a peaceful and beautiful place of inspiration. In my trusty '97 Escort I traveled from Phoenix to Chicago to Davenport IA to Cincinnati and finally to Savannah GA, but never found a new home. That road-trip I heard many great songs, but my favorite to hear and sing was Lee Ann's "I Hope You Dance." I started over once more, and can say I learned to dance the dance of life with all my heart.
Susan from Atlanta, GeorgiaThis song makes me cry, too, because I didn't. Tammy from Port Huron, your daughter sounds amazing, and I know that she is all she is because she has a great support system (you and everyone else who loves her).
Maggie from St Paul, MnThis song makes me cry, because the first time I heard / saw it, was at the end of an episode of the tv show "Cold Case" -- It was about a girl named Roween or Rowena, something like that... very sad!
Camille from Toronto, OhOn a side note: Mark Sanders wrote the song "No News" and that is one of the most cleverly written country songs ever. What a gift to be a songwriter with such diverse talent!
Camille from Toronto, OhThe lyrics say it all, and Lee Ann Womack sings them to perfection. The accompanying video was also a thing of beauty; it visually captured the song's essence, pure, gentle, moving.
*darion~jade* from Woodstock, GaI love this song and everything it represents!
Audrey from Tallahassee, FlWhen I was little I was always 'Daddy's little Girl'. When this song first came out I was seven and my dad said if anything this is the song that he wished my life would be like. Three years later he passed away from lung cancer and ever since then this song gives me inspiration to be strong for him if I'm not going to be for myself and brings back the memories that I have of us dancing when I was the 'princess'.
Karen from Manchester, NhI sang this song at church when I was pregnant with my first child, who arrived two months after my husband and I celebrated our 17th anniversary. (Two years later, she was joined by a younger sister.) The song will always be significant to me because of that. I love how Lee Ann's two daughters are in the video with her. One part of the video that always gets me is near the end - it's just a shot of her looking off in the distance, but you can tell by her expression that she is looking at her daughters. That expression - so full of love and pride - gets me every time.
Steve from Bristol, United Kingdomthis song shall be played at my funeral as a message to everyone i love, especially my children and grandchildren - DANCE - do not sit down and miss life
Guy from Woodinville, WaThis amazing song stands out there as a profound statement between generations. Other greats include Forever Young by either Rod Stewart or Bob Dylan and The Living Years by Mike + The Mechanics.
Tammy from Port Huron, MiI bought the book for my daughter who had suffered a stroke as an infant and who has had to struggle through every phase of her life. She is now 18 and continues to amaze me with her zest for life. She's in the marching band, runs track, on the National Honor Society and is thoroughly enjoying life. She inspires everyone who knows her and this song is a gift to her. Tammy, Port Huron, Michigan
Charlene from Knoxville, Tn, TnI seen the Tyler Perry film "The Family that Preys" and this was the main song in the movie. This song was a perfectly complimented with the movie. There was not a dry eye in the theatre. I have always liked this song since I very first heard it, but when I heard it in the movie it brought about a real emotional effect.
Polly from Anna, IlThis song reminds me of a dear friend that can barely walk due to a vehicle accident but graciously offered to dance with me. He indeed "dances" in his life without fear of tomorrow. He never allows his inabilities to reign over his life! That is the way it should be for all of us, Dance again!!! I will always thank him in my heart for showing me the true meaning of this song!
Mickey from Mars, PaThis is a really inspiring song. I think of someone talking to their kid...
Leah from Cherry Valley, CaTHIS SONG HAS IN IT EVERY THING I HOPE FOR MY CHLDREN AS THEY GROW THROUGH LIFES ENEVITABLE UPS AND DOWNS .JOYS AND HEART ACHES,VICTORYS AND DISAPPOINTMENTS, BUT MOST OF ALL THEY COME TO LEAN ON GOD THROUGH IT ALL .ALWAYS GIVING HIM THE PRAISE AND GLORY. LEAH CHERRY VALLEY CA
Robert from Calgary, CanadaThank You , very informative!
Howard from St. Louis Park, MnIt's a very popular song at weddings. One of the first big country hits of the 21st century.