Behind the Song Lyrics: “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive,” Travis Tritt

There are some songs that can instantly put a smile on anyone’s face and “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” by Travis Tritt is one of them. The optimistic lyrics serve as a cheerful reminder that good things can be found in every day, even in the worst ones. Released by Tritt in 2000, “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” is tooth-achingly sweet in all the best ways. 

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I’m feeling pretty good and that’s the truth
It’s neither drink nor drug induced, no
I’m just doing alright
And it’s a great day to be alive

Singer/songwriter Darrell Scott originally wrote the song in the early ’90s, and it was passed around by several artists throughout the decade. Jon Randall initially recorded “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” for an album, but the album fell through and the song went unreleased. It was then recorded by country-rock band The Sky Kings in the mid-’90s, but their cover was not released until 2000. Additionally, Scott put out his own recording of the song on his 1997 album, Aloha From Nashville, but it never quite took off. 

Then, the uplifting tune found its way to Tritt. 

The song was the fourth track on the country artist’s eighth studio album, Down the Road I Go. After it debuted in December 2000, “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” exploded in popularity. Hitting No. 2 on the Billboard Country Hot Singles and No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song’s message resonated deeply with listeners. 

The playful guitar and violin melodies paired with Tritt’s bright, joyful vocal delivery make the perfect feel-good song. The lyrics provide hope for listeners, with Tritt ensuring them that the sun’s still shining when I close my eyes. 

There’s some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can’t every day be just this good

The song remains a fan favorite in Tritt’s discography. It not only has over 137.7 million streams on Spotify, but an incalculable number of fans use it as inspiration to get through hard times. In the comments on a video of Tritt performing the song in 2017, one fan wrote, “This song helped me out so much through rehab and now that that battle is over, it really is a great day to be alive.”

Thirty years after it was written and 20 years after it entered the mainstream, “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” continues to spread a message of finding happiness in the small, everyday moments.

Photo by David Abbott/Courtesy Aristo PR.

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