March 5

Did You Know What Made Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls” Controversial?


Most country fans who grew up in the 90’s country have probably heard “The Thunder Rolls” by Garth Brooks. However, few know the story of how that third verse came to be and that Tanya Tucker also recorded the song. Back in 1990, Garth Brooks and Pat Alger co-wrote “The Thunder Rolls”– a time Garth fondly remembered on stage at an award show. At that time, they didn’t realize the controversy it would face.

Did You Know What Made Garth Brooks’ "The Thunder Rolls" Controversial? 1

The Thunder Rolls by Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks’ No Fences album was released in 1991. One of its tracks includes his 6th number one hit song, “The Thunder Rolls.” Originally, Garth and Pat wanted Tanya Tucker or Reba McEntire to record the song. Tanya did record the song, but by the time it was released, Brooks had his own recording. The Country Music Association honored the controversial video he released in 1991. The video highlighted a cheating husband going home on a stormy night after spending time with another woman. The third verse of the song was not often heard. It narrates the wife quickly getting a gun, looking in the mirror and swearing her husband will never cheat again.

“She runs back down the hallway, and through the bedroom door
She reaches for the pistol, kept in the dresser drawer
Tells the lady in mirror, he won’t do this again
‘Cause tonight will be the last time, she’ll wonder where he’s been.”

Some Networks Won’t Allow To Show the Video

At first, Garth released a single (third verse not included) and created a music video for the song. It was not until Garth recorded his Double Live album that he included the song’s the third verse. Something in question? There definitely was.

During that time, the Nashville Network and Country Music Television prohibited the airing of the video. They stated that the network is committed to entertain, not endorse or disregard violence or social issues. Despite all these, the song got ample air time. Radio stations and women’s shelters community supported the song. Not just that. Believing that the song carried responsiveness to the problem of domestic violence, they solicited votes to “save the video”.

Although Brooks’ recorded version of “The Thunder Rolls” does not include it, Brooks perform the complete version of his live shows.



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