Tim McGraw Reflects On Moving Memorial Day Track “If You’re Reading This”

Tim McGraw honors fallen heroes in single "If You're Reading This" and shares the unique inspiration behind the lyrics.

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and before families fire up their grills to celebrate the brave veterans who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom – Tim McGraw sat down with Big Machine Label Group to pay respect and to reflect on his 2007 patriotic single, “If You’re Reading This.”

The country music genre is filled with tribute tracks such as – Brooks & Dunn’s “Only In America,” Toby Keith’s “American Soldier,” The Chicks’ “Travelin’ Soldier,” Dolly Parton’s “Welcome Home,” “Ragged Old Flag” by Air Force vet Johnny Cash, and more. However, there are very few melodies from the perspective of a fallen soldier.

The legend told BMLG that an intriguing magazine article inspired him to write the letter-like single alongside Brad and Brett Warren.

“I remember I was on an airplane, and I think it was a Time magazine article – and it was early on during the Iraqi war – and there was a story called ’If You’re Reading This,'” McGraw explained. “It was about soldiers writing letters and puttin’ ’em in their pockets in case something was to happen.”

After flipping through numerous dairy entries submitted by courageous men and women overseas, McGraw’s creative wheels began to turn.

“When I got home, I called Brett and Brad, and they came over, and we sat in the living room and spent a day and wrote that song. And it impacted us when we finished writin’ it, but you’re so close to it when you write it.”

The touching subject matter tugged at their heartstrings, but the group of songsmiths were curious to see if the powerful lyrics would resonate with others. Without any hesitation, they turned to the closest individual for an unbiased opinion.

“Our nanny at the time, Jojo, was at the house, and we asked her to come in,” shared the hitmaker. “We said, ’Will you come in and listen to this song and see if it’s as good as we think it is?’ And then she just started crying when she heard it, so we felt like that we really had something special.”

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