Treasuring Time With Loved Ones in Kathy Mattea's "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses"


James Lambert


January 18, 2023


January 18, 2023


January 18, 2023

In life, we have to let things that kept us company for a long time to give way to the ones who have already been there since the beginning.

From her 1988 album, Untasted Honey, Kathy Mattea released “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses,” which immediately became a chart-topper.

The piece, written by Gene Nelson and Paul Nelson, topped the US Billboard Hot Country Songs and the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts. 

The songwriters’ inspiration for this was their aunt and uncle. The latter was a trucker, and his wife waited until retirement to spend more time with him and travel in a Winnebago.

Meaning Behind the Song

“Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” is among Kathy Mattea’s sentimental songs because it talks and celebrates the stories about truckers while on the road.

In “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses,” Kathy Mattea sings about a truck driver, Charlie, who finally retires from the road to spend more quality time with his wife. The catchy part of the song is where the chorus counts down from 18 until it eventually reaches Charlie’s love of his life.

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What we have, sometimes, is already there, yet we feel like it’s still too far. Maybe because we are into another thing that almost takes our attention, time, and commitment, we forget to spend more time with the people who truly treasure and love us.

Retirement is treasured by most of us, as it signals the time to focus more on the self and love from family and friends. After all, it’s our loved ones and families that we always run to in the end.

Listen to Kathy Mattea in her #1 hit song, “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses,” right here.


Kathy Mattea



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