Lee Ann Womack, “I Hope You Dance”

The song was something that every artist and writer dream of: a classic career record that was a success worldwide, and a song whose lyric genuinely touched people.

“I Hope You Dance,” recorded by Lee Ann Womack with Sons of the Desert, and written by Tia Sillers and Mark D. Sanders, was one of 2000’s most successful singles in several genres, and is one of only a handful of songs in the past two decades that can truly be considered a classic. A life-affirming song with an uplifting, timeless message, it’s based on the narration of a mother expressing the wish that her children will step out and embrace life, and take a chance on love and faith. When asked about each writer’s contribution to the song, Sillers diplomatically, and appropriately, doesn’t claim her input was any greater than her co-writer’s. But she does remember the origin of the line that opens the third verse – which is only half as long as the first two verses – I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. “I’m always kind of sheepish about that, about who did what, because I consider myself a real collaborator,” she said. “But the whole thing started when I was at the beach by myself, and I was standing at the ocean, feeling so tiny and inconsequential. And then I…

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