Live Like You Were Dying

Album: Live Like You Were Dying (2004)
Charted: 29
  • This Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman penned song was the longest-running country #1 of 2004 remaining at the summit for seven weeks. It was also named as the #1 country song of 2004 by Billboard.
  • The song tells the story of a man who gets the news that his father has a life-threatening illness. His dad's message is to live life to the fullest. When the demo was played to McGraw, it struck a chord with him as his own father, former Major League baseball pitcher Tug McGraw, was dying from cancer at the time.
  • McGraw's father passed away just two weeks before he came to record the song at Allaire studios in upstate New York. He recalled the recording session to American Songwriter magazine: "We were in the studio around midnight. My uncle was there – my dad's older brother. The studio was all decked out. We sent an interior designer up to the studio, which was at the top of a mountain with three feet of snow around it. There was a big fireplace and candles. I had a glass vocal booth built in the middle of the center of the room where I could conduct everybody in the band."

    "Anyway it was midnight or 1 o'clock in the morning when we decided to cut this song. No lights were on. All the candles were going. My uncle was sitting there on the couch. That was an inspired track."

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