The Incredible Story Behind Garth Brooks The Dance Song

garth brooks in 1990

photo: Bob King/Redferns

Over 25 years later Garth Brooks still pinpoints "The Dance" as his favorite song he's ever recorded.

The Garth Brooks The Dance song was released in 1989 on his self titled album “Garth Brooks”.    Let’s shed some light on how the song ‘no one would touch’ became a massive hit that is still relevant today.  The iconic song is the work of singer-songwriter Tony Arata who painstakingly worked to perfectly compose the piece and champion his creation. The ballad blossomed into what we now know as Garth Brooks‘ “The Dance,” which originally appeared on the country star’s 1989 self-titled debut album and debuted on the country charts on May 5th, 1990.

According to Nashville-based music publisher Don Tolle, the song was inspired by the Kathleen Turner movie Peggy Sue Got Married. “It just hit me so hard,” Arata explained in a 2013 Tennessean interview about classic song. “It hit me that you don’t get to pick and choose your memories in life. You have to go with things as they play out. You don’t get to alter them.”

Initially, Nashville’s biggest labels passed on “The Dance” despite Tolle and Arata’s determined pitches. After three years of being turned down, the single went to country music newcomer Garth Brooks after the pair met the Oklahoma native at the Nashville’s famed Bluebird Cafe. Brooks has heard Arata playing “The Dance” and asked for permission to record the track once he singed with a major record label— the rest is history.   Watch the video and check out the lyrics for “The Dance” below.

Garth Brooks The Dance Video

“The Dance” held the number one spot on the charts for three straight weeks, won both Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year at the 1991 Academy of Country Music Awards, and Music Video of the Year at the 1991 Country Music Association Awards.

When asked if “The Dance” would have been a hit if Brooks hadn’t recorded it, Tolle is skeptical: “In retrospect, it was just meant to be. It’s hard to separate that now from Garth. Again, it was a great recording, great production; the simplicity of it matched the song. . . It was a song that was meant to be recorded by Garth.”

Amen to that.

Garth Brooks The Dance Lyrics

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d have to miss the dance
Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn’t I the king
But if I’d only known how the king would fall
Hey who’s to say you know I might have changed it all
And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I’d of had to miss the dance

Remember to “share” Garth Brooks The Dance with other Country Music fans.

 

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