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June 22

Rodney Atkins Songs Offer An Endless Array Of Creativity

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Fans can always wait for an unending array of creativity from Rodney Atkins songs. The country singer has always delivered heartfelt lyrics ever since he started his country music career in 1997.

Born March 28, 1969, in Knoxville, Tennessee, Atkins learned how to play guitar during his high school years and even perform in his spare time at events and festivals. After graduating from college, he then went to Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee, where he became friends with a bunch of songwriters and soon started writing himself.

And just like everyone else, Rodney Atkins decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a career as a recording artist. He signed with Curb Records in 1996. However, it took him seven years before he was able to release his debut album. 

Even so, Atkins spent a couple of quiet years in country music, being absent from the country charts for the next two years. But things changed in 2006! Atkins came back with another album and a brand-new musical image – sporting baseball caps and singing songs about his life. And it was all worth it! Atkins then got his first No. 1 and quickly became the country superstar we know today.

Let’s check out some of his songs below.

1. “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)”

From” If You’re Going Through Hell (2006)

Released as the lead-off single to his sophomore album If You’re Going Through Hell, the song became Atkins’ first No. 1 hit on the Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart – holding that position for four weeks. It was also hailed as the No. 1 song of 2006 on the Billboard’s year-end chart.

2. “Caught Up in the Country”

From: Caught Up in the Country (2019)

Atkins shared his fondness for the country’s outskirts in the song, “Caught Up in the Country,” which lyric describes the picture-perfect country landscape: filled with “sky blue” and “barn red.” Without a doubt, Atkins was inspired by his country roots in this feel-good track featuring the talented Fisk Jubilee Singers.

3. “Take a Back Road”

From: Take a Back Road (2011)

How about leaving the city’s hectic life to enjoy life in a country and do what you want the most with the people who are important to you? Well, that’s what “Take a Back Road” is all about.

4. “These Are My People”

From: If You’re Going Through Hell (2006)

“These Are My People” is Atkins’ way of celebrating his favorite folks: those who “grew up down by the railroad tracks, shooting BBs at old beer cans,” including those who “take it all week on the chin with a grin ’til we make it to Friday night.”

5. “It’s America”

From: It’s America (2009)

Written by two talented and renowned songwriters, “It’s America” is a powerful patriotic anthem that touches on a variety of aspects of American life. The song pays tribute to the remarkable blessings we are given by living in this incredible land of freedom.

6. “Farmer’s Daughter”

From: It’s America’ re-release (2010)

Written by Rhett Akins, Marv Green, and Ben Hayslip, “Farmer’s Daughter” tells the tale of a confident young farmhand’s love for the strikingly gorgeous daughter of a farmer. 

When Rodney Atkins’ wife first heard the song, she told the country singer that he should “run as fast as you can and cut that song before someone else does.” So, he did!

7. “15 Minutes”

From: It’s America (2009)

Atkins finds himself attempting to quit smoking, drinking, and women – and it turned out to be the worst fifteen minutes of his life. It goes to show it was difficult for him to last long without these.

8. “Watching You”

From: If You’re Going Through Hell (2006)

Atkins wrote “Watching You” with his son Elijah in mind. It sings about the pleasures of fatherhood and the responsibility that comes with it – as his son will always look up to him to learn new things. After all, the little boy wants to grow up like his father.

9. “Honesty (Write Me a List)”

From: Honesty (2003)

This piano-driven ballad tells the tale of a couple getting divorced. The husband asked his wife to list down all the things she wants. However, instead of writing down material things, she wrote “honesty, sincerity, tenderness, and trust.”

10. “Invisibly Shaken”

From: If You’re Going Through Hell (2006)

This may be a heartbreaking ballad, but it has always been important to Atkins. So when the label wanted to get rid of the song from his album, Atkins pushed for it to remain.

11. “He’s Mine”

From: Take a Back Road (2011)

The song is about a father’s unconditional love for his son. The songwriters of “He’s Mine” incredibly mixed parts of their children’s memories when they were young into this heartwarming tune.

12. “Just Wanna Rock N’ Roll”

From: Take a Back Road (2011)

Atkins encouraged listeners not to get bogged down by life’s troubles in this uplifting song, reminding everyone that good days are just around the corner. 

13. “Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)”

From: If You’re Going Through Hell (2006)

All fathers out there might agree that having a daughter who begins to date is one of the most stressful things in the world, and that’s the subject of “Cleaning This Gun” – which Atkins described as “a funny joke that is true.”

14. “Lifelines”

From: Take a Back Road (2011)

Atkins co-wrote “Lifelines,” which he described as a song about someone that’s keeping you grounded as well as a time in your life when that person reaches out to you and grabs hold of you just when you need it.

15. “Growing Up Like That”

From: Take a Back Road (2011)

When Atkins told his writing colleagues about the moment he learned to play basketball in an old creosote pole out of the barn where there was nothing but dirt, his co-writer realized one thing. And it’s how they give their kids everything they can – especially the things they didn’t have when they were kids.

They “started talking about those kinds of things,” and it resulted in this song.

More Rodney Atkins Songs You Can Enjoy Listening

  • “Sing Along”
  • “Feet”
  • “Doin’ It Right”
  • “Thank God for You”
  • “Everybody’s Got Something”
  • “She’d Rather Fight”
  • “A Man on a Tractor”
  • “Wasted Whiskey”
  • “About the South”
  • “Forgiveness and Permission”

How about you? What are your favorite Rodney Atkins songs?


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Rodney Atkins


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