Three decades later, “The Dance” is still considered to be Garth Brooks’ signature song. After all this time, the song could still stir up strong emotions every time it plays on the radio or whenever Brooks performs it at one of his concerts.
Without a doubt, it can really be challenging to walk on stage and cover this classic. However, during a Grand Ole Opry performance in 2012, Scotty McCreery was up for that challenge.
He knew he had such big shoes to fill, yet McCreery confidently walked on the infamous stage, and he asked the crowd, “Got any Garth fans in here tonight?! We’re going to sing you one of his songs tonight. It’s a little bit about heartbreak and a little bit about love, so here we go.”
And then he went on proving he was more than worthy of singing the song. For being so young at the time, McCreery managed to display an incredible sense of confidence and command of the stage. The crowd even got amazed by his voice that they all gasped the moment he opened his mouth to sing.
With his remarkable vocal skills and his smooth gestures, McCreery gave it the classic country feel it was meant to have, making the performance really something special.
The Song Garth Brooks Will Go To Grave With
Written by Tony Arata, “The Dance” was released by Garth Brooks as the tenth and final single from his self-titled debut album. The song then became Brooks’ second No. 1 hit of his career, topping the Hot Country Songs in early 1990.
“The Dance” also took home Song of the Year and Video of the Year by the Academy of Country Music that same year.
But did you know that singer-songwriter Arata wrote this song when he was still a little-known Nashville songwriter? During one random open-mic night at Nashville’s Douglas Corner, Arata met another little-known songwriter, and it turned out to be Brooks.
“We were both doing whatever we could to stay in Nashville, trying to get our songs heard by anybody. However, the only folks listening were other songwriters as no one else was usually at our shows,” Arata recalled on his website. When Brooks heard “The Dance,” he told Arata that he would cut it if he ever got a record deal. And the rest was history.
In 1994, Garth Brooks opened up about the song. Speaking of its significance, Brooks said, “Unless I am totally surprised, ‘The Dance’ will be the greatest success as a song we will ever do. I’ll go to my grave with ‘The Dance.'”
In this song, the country singer says that it would be best not knowing how things will end – because if you do, you might end up depriving yourself of certain experiences. Brooks has also explained that “The Dance” was written with a double meaning – both as a love song about a passionate relationship nearing its end and a story of a person dying because of something he believes in, after having a moment of glory.
“Looking back on the memory of the dance we shared ‘neath the stars above for a moment, all the world was right. How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye? And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance,” the song goes.
Tune in below and watch McCreery’s phenomenal cover of “The Dance.” But make sure you keep some tissues nearby; you might not be able to control your tears.