I was pretty new to country music in 1989. I’d listened to Garth Brooks’ debut hit “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” and really, really loved it.
But then later that year — on Aug. 21 — he released “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” And, well, that song taught me I wasn’t just a country music fan. I was a sad country song fan.
Even now, 25 years later, how can you not tear up at the thought of someone you love not knowing how you feel if you die? It’s a little morbid and kind of terrifying, but for some reason, those are the songs that seem to get to me.
And this one managed to be clever without getting too preachy. Brooks and co-writer Kent Blazy found a way to rhyme “circumstance” with “second chance,” which is so imperfect, it’s perfect.
Another essential lyric — and an important question to ask yourself — is, “Is the love I gave her in the past gonna be enough to last?”
“If Tomorrow Never Comes” was Brooks’ first No. 1 single. It was the first time Brooks and Blazy wrote a song together, but after that chart topper, Blazy went on to co-write some of Brooks’ biggest hits, including “Ain’t Goin’ Down (’Til the Sun Comes Up),” “It’s Midnight Cinderella,” “She’s Gonna Make It” and “Somewhere Other Than the Night.”
So let’s throw it all the way back to Aug. 21, 1989 today, and tell someone you love just what you’re thinking of. In case tomorrow never comes.