This song tells the story about a guy who is so sad, it seems like even the man in the moon is crying.
The story is a composite of ideas that Collie and his co-writer Don Cook came up with. When the song begins, the guy puts a girl on a plane and asked her to say hello to her mother. Later on, he's despondent over a broken romantic relationship. In our interview with Collie, he told the story:
"I was traveling on my first tours in those days and I was seeing the parts of America that I'd never seen up close and personal. And the west, Arizona and the desert at night, is magnificent the first time you get out and see it. Don Cook and I were working on the record and it was during the time when the country was dealing with the Gulf War. Don said, 'The world's in such a terrible place. It's like even the man in the moon is crying.'
I had just come from the desert at night. I was flying back home and I saw this guy putting his little girl on a plane. I watched that, and that's where that scene came from. But it was part of where I was and where Don and I were. And somewhere between where he was coming from and the heartache he was seeing and the beauty of the desert and the moon at night and the mystery of it became a song, a great song to my ears."
The TV show Cheers was nearly canceled after its first season, but the theme song, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name," was very popular. To satisfy viewer demand, the theme was made into a full song and released as a single.