It’s hard not to relate to music. Especially good music. Usually, this rings true with love songs, especially when you’re going through a breakup or something, but what about other songs? Don’t you wonder how musicians come up with some of their music? Well, from their life and true stories.
Here are five country songs and the true stories behind the music:
Garth Brooks // “Unanswered Prayers”
Garth Brooks was inspired by his own life when he co-wrote “Unanswered Prayers.” In the song, a married man sees his old girlfriend at a football game. When they were dating, the man had prayed that they’d be together forever. He then reflects that God knew the right way to answer that prayer because the former couple was no longer compatible. Although Brooks’ first marriage ended in divorce, “Unanswered Prayers” is still an excellent reminder that sometimes you don’t know what will make you the happiest.
Lee Brice // “I Drive Your Truck”
Nashville songwriter Connie Harrington was driving when she first heard the story of a father who drove his deceased son’s truck. The son was a soldier who had been killed in Afghanistan, and his father used the truck as a way to process his grief. The song “I Drive Your Truck” quickly took shape; while the songwriters changed the father to a brother in the ballad, the themes of family love and loss still remain.
Jeannie C. Riley // “Harper Valley PTA”
Jeannie C. Riley’s most famous song was inspired by a woman she met when she was nine years old. That woman, a single mother, was the talk of the town after she stood up to some gossips in the local PTA. Riley combined elements of that story with bits of Sinclair Lewis’ “Elmer Gantry” to create one of the most popular pop and country songs of 1968. To this day, the song still reminds listeners to avoid hypocrisy.
Alan Jackson // “Sissy’s Song”
When Alan Jackson lost his 26-year-old housekeeper in a motorcycle accident, he wanted a way to commemorate the person she had been. The resulting ballad, called “Sissy’s Song,” allows Jackson to contemplate the senselessness of death from the perspective of the deceased’s loved ones. Some critics thought Jackson’s song was trite and overly saccharine, but the song reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Kellie Pickler // “The Letter (To Daddy)”
Fans of Kellie Pickler may not know that her alcoholic father spent some of her childhood in prison. This situation inspired what Pickler claims is the most personal track on her album “100 Proof.” In the song, the North Carolina songstress is able to convey the sorrow of losing the ability to see her father, as well as the pride she feels over his later triumphs. Not everyone may have a family member in prison, but it’s easy to respond to Pickler’s pride in her father’s redemption.