In 2001, country music band Lonestar released “I’m Already There” as the lead-off single to their studio album of the same name.
It quickly went No. 1 on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs chart, where it stayed on top for six weeks, and No. 2 on the Billboard US Adult Contemporary chart.
To The Family Members Who Have Always Been Away
Written by Lonestar’s lead singer Richie McDonald together with singer-songwriters Gary Baker and Frank J. Myers, “I’m Already There” tells the tale of a man who has always been on the road. He tells his family that even though he is away from them, he will always be beside them in spirit.
“A little voice came on the phone. Said, ‘Daddy, when you coming home?’ He said the first thing that came to his mind: I’m already there. Take a look around. I’m the sunshine in your hair. I’m the shadow on the ground. I’m the whisper in the wind. I’m your imaginary friend. And I know I’m in your prayers. Oh, I’m already there,” the song goes.
The song was actually inspired by McDonald’s personal experience on the road while touring with the band. In fact, the song’s title was something he came up with after calling home and talking with his son Rhett, who was only four years old then.
“I remember that night clearly to this day, just hearing that little squeaky voice saying, ‘Daddy, when you comin’ home?'” McDonald said. “And when you’re gone for six weeks at that point, you just hang up the phone, and you cry, and you think, you know what, physically maybe I’m not there, but mentally I’m already there. I’ll never forget sitting in that hotel room in Southern California and just thinking, ‘I’m already there.’ There’s an idea. And that’s where it came from.”
Being an established songwriter that he is, McDonald “spill my guts out on a piece of paper or a computer or whatever it is and to put it to music.” “I’m Already There” became his way to endure being separated from his family at that time.
Soon after, the song became very popular with the September 11 attacks. The tragic event took the song on a whole new meaning, especially for family members being deployed and those who are coming back from deployment. It has also been played several times on Good Morning America.
The song’s music video also premiered in 2001, but another version was released two years later, which they modified as a tribute to the military. This version was the most played one on TV. You can watch it below.
Lonestar, Richie McDonald