Big and Rich, ‘That’s Why I Pray’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Big and Rich are back at country radio with a beautiful new song, ‘That’s Why I Pray,’ with powerful lyrics. Some of Nashville’s finest writers are responsible for penning the tune — Sarah Buxton, Danelle Leverett and Blair Daly.
“‘That’s Why I Pray’ was a title that was in my head for a few months before we had this co-write,” Buxton tells Taste of Country. “I tried with a few different co-writers to write it. They would just go, ‘Hmm … ‘That’s Why I Pray.’ It could sound kind of cheesy … ‘Oh, here’s another country title for you.’ I knew if you made it something very real and about real life then it would be cool. I knew somebody would think it was a good idea. I took it to at least three or four co-writes, and people didn’t quite get it.”
“The day that I wrote with Blair and Danelle, we were writing for Danelle’s duo, the JaneDear Girls,” Buxton continues. “We tried for a couple of hours to write. Danelle had an idea for a song that she wanted to write, but she just wasn’t digging anything that we were coming up with. After trying for a half hour, we started talking about new ideas.”
“We wrote this while I was out on tour with Jason Aldean,” adds Leverett. “It was our first big touring situation. I came back from that tour and was in between shows. I had like one day at home. I was in a dark place [the day of the co-write]. I don’t know what was wrong with me that day [laughs]. I think I was exhausted from being out on the road, and you see so many crazy things when you’re out there. Finally, I asked Blair if I could play his electric guitar, and then I started playing this little lick, and Blair had this little loop going.”
“When Danielle started playing that riff, and I said, ‘You know what? I’ve got the title,’” recalls Buxton, who suggested ‘That’s Why I Pray.’ “I just had a feeling that it might be right. I kind of spouted out the first verse, here and there … like a skeleton of it. They just totally loved it. We started talking about what kind of song we wanted it to be.”
“Man on the TV’s gone insane, everybody’s just laughing / People across the world holding on / The earth caved in, the ocean came down crashing / My neighbor lost his house ’cause he can’t find a job / Don’t you dare pledge allegiance, don’t you dare speak of God,” they wrote in Big and Rich ‘That’s Why I Pray’ opening lyrics.
“We wrote it really fast, once it started happening,” notes Leverett. “It was crazy. I think all of us were just in that place where there’s so many things. You can’t turn on your TV without being completely brought down. I, at the time, didn’t really watch a lot of TV, but when you’re on a tour bus with other people, they always have the TV on. I had so much on my brain and so did Sarah and Blair. It wasn’t really that hard to piece it together once we got rolling on it because there are so many things going on in our world today that we wanted to shed light on. I felt like we did that with this song.”
“Oh I’m begging for forgiveness / I wanna make a difference, even in the smallest way / I’m only one person, but I can feel it working / I believe in better days / That’s why I pray,” they wrote in the moving chorus.
“God has a plan for us,” Buxton says. “I don’t think that we’re doomed. I don’t think America’s doomed. The more that we can tap into our spirituality and treat people with love and kindness and more importantly, treat ourselves with love and kindness, because then we’re able to treat others with love and kindness and have compassion for them. The only way to do that is stop and take a second away from your phone, away from your TV, and just give thanks for where we’re at right now. Yeah, it’s a crazy world out there, but it’s always been a crazy world and it’s always going to be a crazy world. We knew that it was a special song when we wrote it. The way Big and Rich cut it makes me love the song even more, which is a rare thing, because most people love their version best. I thought they turned it into a smash.”