Jamey Johnson is a man of strong opinions, whether he is talking about the songs he writes and records or the career path he has set for himself. However, winning a contract with BNA Records, a division of RCA Records, was not easy for him. He had to audition seven times before he finally got permission. But, it sure was worth the wait. His first single, “The Dollar”, from his debut album of the same title, has crawled its way to Top 14 on the Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart where it remained for two consecutive weeks.
“The Dollar”, Stirring Song
“The Dollar” might seem to be an awakening to working fathers. It tells the story of a boy seeing his father leaving for work. He asks his mother why his father has to go to work. The mother then explains that, at work, they pay his father for his time. A real heart-breaker, the boy then collects all of his spare change, hopeful that it can buy him some time with his father. As he gathered his money, his mother called his father. She tells him that he does not have to chase that dollar because the son has one at home.
However, Johnson wrote “The Dollar” from his personal experience, inspired by the time he had to spend away from his daughter while working a construction job.
Say, mama, how much time will this buy me?
Is it enough to take me fishin’ or throw a football in the street?
“If I’m a little short, then how much more does Daddy need
To spend some time with me?
Jamey Johnson admits that the song has touched a lot of people, but he is also mindful that its sentimentality puts him in an unsafe place. Some gentle and tender people can fall easily into the overemotional. He was careful to write a touching song like this but was hesitant that nobody would also really care about it.
Listen how its title – “The Dollar”, does not really speak how we expected the song to be about. If this Alabama native sounds like an expert on his instantly catchy debut single, that is because he is one.
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Jamey Johnson, The Dollar
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