July 18

The Story Behind Anne Murray’s “Could I Have This Dance”

There’s something about wedding songs that always seems to provoke a certain dose of sentimentality in their audience. With lyrics that put a smile on people’s faces, Anne Murray’s “Could I Have This Dance” is certainly no different. 

The famous line, “Could I have this dance for the rest of my life,” in particular, has hooked millions. So how did that line emerge? 

Here’s the story behind Anne Murray‘s “Could I have This Dance.” 

Wayland Holyfield, a prominent country music songwriter and record artist, was in his office playing songs with Bob House, who Holyfield said he has taken under his wing after learning they had both come from Arkansas. 

House was playing a song when a verse that he sang caught Holyfield’s attention. House sang along the lines “Could I have this dance forever?” or something similar. Holyfield immediately thought House was on to something. 

Then, like a light bulb switched on, a line went through Holyfield’s mind—” Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?” That exact line hooked listeners and became the foundation of the song. 

Holyfield and House went on and wrote some more lines until the song, in its entirety, was finished. Anne Murray, a Canadian country music artist, recorded the song and released it in August 1980 as a single. 

It’s safe to say that it is one of Anne Murray’s Songs that generated positive results as it reached # 33 on the US Billboard Hot 100, # 3 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart, and #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles. 

The single became the fifth number one country hit for Murray as a solo artist. On top of that, “Could I Have This Dance” was also notably used in Urban Cowboy, a 1980 film, and Anne Murray’s Greatest Hits

Listen to Anne Murray’s “Could I Have This Dance” below. 


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