You Don't Know A Thing

Album: Indianola (2008)

Songfacts®:

  • This poignant song about not really knowing about something until you experience it was written two of the more eloquent songwriters in Nashville: Steve Azar and Radney Foster. Azar told Songfacts: "'You Don't Know A Thing' was our second effort. The last verse about the baby, that was a personal deal to Radney. Not as far as the child being sick, but… I won't go into detail, but it was definitely affected. And then with me having kids and then having to deal with some of that, I totally got that. And it sort of glued the song together. I remember when it was all said and done and we got through with it, we looked at each other and said, 'Whoa!' I really love that song. As a songwriter you don't love a lot of your songs. You just appreciate 'em. But I love that song. And it was another step forward as a songwriter for me. And also being around Radney was educational to say the least. It was moving and spiritual and everything that goes with it. It was cool."
  • The video is set on a golf course, and features John Daly, who has risen to the top of the game but also experienced great struggle. Azar is a scratch golfer, ranked 5th among musicians by Golf Digest, so the theme was a natural fit. He told us: "I think in our lives, there's a sports thing: the win, the lose. It's biographical for anybody that's lived long enough to go through all of that. It becomes dead-on for all of us once you've reached a certain time period in your life. I think it eliminates nobody. We wrote a song that encapsulated anybody that's lived a certain amount of time in their life, and they will experience it, because everybody will."
  • Radney Foster told us about how his ex-wife took his son to France, which was devastating to the songwriter. Azar told us how this came out in the song: "I remember seeing him tear up a little bit, and we talked about that. He didn't get to see his son sometimes, because his ex – she was in another country. And so that last verse was driven from that. And Radney, I remember, was driving the boat at that time of the song. It took us there, and it was important that he went there. So I got to experience what he felt. I felt like I understood all the emotions right there. It was a very moving moment. And as a songwriter you have to be able to share that. Even with a co-writer, you've got to be able to totally open up, because you're gonna share it with the world afterwards, with whoever will take the time to listen. So it's important that you're honest, and not afraid to talk about it and sing about it."

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