Six years ago this week, Tim McGraw graced the top of the Billboard Country Airplay chart with his 2016 smash hit, “Humble And Kind.” The golden rules penned by critically acclaimed songwriter Lori McKenna instantly tugged at heartstrings and became a universal message. McGraw recently (June 21) caught up with Big Machine Label Group to explain how the poignant lyrics tend to hold more influence today than ever before.
“To me, the message of that song and the scope of that song grows exponentially every day in the world that we live in now,” McGraw told BMLG.
While many country fans live by the significant lessons projected throughout the mid-tempo melody, the impactful lyrics were originally for McKenna’s five children. The seasoned songsmith shared with The Tennessean, that she wrote the poem-like single after dropping her children off at school.
“I sat at my dining room table with my coffee and started thinking about all the things that Gene [her husband] and I wanted to make sure we told the kids,” she said to the publication. “There’s so much information there. A Parent can go on and on and on forever about what they want their kids to know. I was writing this for myself and for my kids.”
When McGraw first received the track from McKenna, he knew he had a special song on his hands. Following the release, the multi-platinum artist said that “Humble And Kind” took on a life of its own and developed a new meaning.
“We certainly had a sense of that when we recorded the song, of what it said. I mean, it started out as sort of a microscope into your life, into your world, and to how you teach your kids and what you want your kids to learn from you,” he said to the label. “And then it turned into this sort of worldview of how the world needs to look at each other, and how people, in general, need to look at each other differently than they look at each other now.
In today’s climate, the hitmaker hopes listeners take the weighted words into consideration and treat not only loved ones with kindness, but strangers as well.
“We all could use a little grace and look at each other with a little humility and a little kindness,” stressed McGraw. “And I think that song’s taken on more and more meaning, and I think it’s got a bigger megaphone. And I don’t think that I’m the megaphone. I think the song is.”
In 2016 McGraw received a small glimpse of the power behind the tune, as a young boy nonchalantly acknowledged the message.
“This cute little curly-haired kid, fourth-grade guy, was singing the song, and he came up to my daughter, Audrey, and he tugged her on the arm and said, ‘I listen to this song every night before I go to bed,’” the father of three once revealed to People. “To me, that was the best thing I could have heard.”
“Humble And Kind” lives on McGraw’s fourteenth studio album, “Damn Country Music.” The No.1 single that encourages individuals to be careful with their actions and words, scored the country crooner several prestigious accolades. McGraw took home Best Country Song of The Year at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, a CMT Music Award for Video of The Year in 2016, a CMA Award, and an American Music Award.
The classic has become a staple and fan-favorite out on tour. McGraw is currently performing “Humble And Kind” on his nationwide trek with high-energy performer Russell Dickerson, Brandon Davis, and breakout star Alexandra Kay.