“I Hope You Dance” was one of the most successful singles in several genres during the 2000s, and it is one of only a few songs in the past two decades that can really be considered a classic.
Released off Womack’s 2000 album of the same name, “I Hope You Dance” achieved every possible honor and accolade available. It hit No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts and had crossover success on the pop charts, ringing in at No. 14 on Billboard Hot 100.
Later in the year, the song danced away with CMA awards for both Song and Single of the Year. “I Hope You Dance” also took home a Grammy for Best Country Song. The Recording Industry Association of American even named “I Hope You Dance” as one of their “Songs of the Century.”
Billboard editors, on the other hand, highly praised Womack’s work on the album, too, saying, “This is a career record. Years from now, when critics are discussing Womack’s vocal gifts and impressive body of work, this is a song that will stand out. It’s one of those life-affirming songs that makes you pause and take stock of how you’re living.”
Womack later remarked that the single propelled her career to a new level, taking her places that she never dreamed possible.
An Inspiring Song That Will Remind You To Live Life To Its Fullest
Written by Nashville songwriters Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers, “I Hope You Dance” is a life-affirming song with an uplifting, timeless message. It was based on a mother’s narration, expressing her desire for her children to step out and embrace life, take a chance on love and faith.
“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger. May you never take one single breath for granted. God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed,” the song begins.
And no one could relate to the song better than Womack. The country superstar was just a young Texas girl when she first discovered her love for country music. It was not too long after Womack started helping her father, who used to be a radio disc jockey, choose which records to play on air.
From there, Womack quickly started to set her sights on a career in country music and moved to Nashville, Tennessee. However, she needed to take a break to raise her children. And when she finally returned to the music industry, she started flexing her incredible talent.
“It made me think about my daughters and the different times in their lives….But it can be so many things to different people,” Womack told Billboard. “Certainly, it can represent everything a parent hopes for their child, but it can also be for a relationship that’s ending as a fond wish for the other person’s happiness or for someone graduating, having a baby, or embarking on a new path. It fits almost every circumstance I can think of.”
Over time, “I Hope You Dance” has been adopted as a song for people who have lost someone and an encouraging piece to survivors – pushing them to live life to its fullest. In October 2000, a self-help book edition of “I Hope You Dance” was even published. It was written by none other than the songwriters Sillers and Sanders. It comes with Womack’s introduction, a CD with the acoustic version of the song performed by the country singer.
Indeed, “I Hope You Dance” earned Womack a seemingly endless number of awards and recognition – even if it’s been around for two decades! Tune in below and watch Womack’s heart-stopping performance for this timeless classic.
Lee Ann Womack