January 23

A Certified Inspirational Winner: “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Paisley, Parton

A Certified Inspirational Winner: "When I Get Where I’m Going" by Paisley, Parton 1

Considered a sad song and mostly sang at funerals, this Paisley-Parton hit compares to ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Three Rugged Cross’, and others like no other.

Written by George Teren and Rivers Rutherford, When I Get Where I’m Going was recorded by Brad Paisley and was released in October 2005. The song features harmony vocals from Dolly Parton. Eventually, this song was Parton’s 24th Billboard Number One, and Paisley’s fifth.

The Song

This country track has Paisley imagining the afterlife on the far side of the sky, where he will meet his lost loved ones and “shed the sins and struggles I have carried all these years”.

Songwriter Rivers Rutherford used a memory from his childhood as the basis for the song, specifically the lyrics

“I’m gonna land beside a lion, and run my fingers through his mane”.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said,

“When I was about ten years old, I was sick one Sunday so my dad and I stayed home from church and watched the preacher on TV. And in the middle of his sermon, this guy comes out in karate outfit and attacks the preacher. Once they got the guy under control, the preacher got back up and said,

“I would’t worry for a minute. I know where I’m going, and I can’t wait to get there. The Bible says that the lion will lay down with the lamb. Can you imagine what it would be like to lay down with a lion and run your fingers through its mane?”

Rutherford continued,

“Something about that image just stuck in my head, and 25 years later I remembered that sermon when I was writing with George Teren.”


Reviewing the song for Country Universe, Kervin John Coyne gave it a negative rating. He said that Dolly Parton helped “get this song across the finish line”. On the other hand, he stated that Paisley is “essentially Bob Saget in a cowboy hat”.

Dan McIntosh of Country Standard Time was more positive. He called the song a “certified inspirational winner”.


The song won Country Music Association Award for Vocal Event of the Year. It was also nominated for Single and Video of the Year.

Also, it won 2 Academy of Country Music Awards for Video of the Year, Vocal Event of the Year, and was nominated for Song of the Year.

Moreover, the song was nominated for a Dove Award for Country Recorded Song of the Year at the 37th GMA Dove Awards.

Watch this Brad Paisley song below.

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