In 2010, Kenny Chesney released “The Boys of Fall,” and it quickly became the unofficial anthem for high school football, celebrating the teamwork and dedication it takes to play the sport.
The song was off Chesney’s 12th studio album, Hemingway’s Whiskey. It debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts at No. 17, making it the singer’s highest debut on the charts since 2007. It climbed up to No. 1 after a few months and also peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the 2010 high school football season commenced across the nation.
A Song Every Football Lovers Could Relate To
Written by Nashville songwriters Dave Turnbull and Casey Beathard, “The Boys of Fall” was inspired by their love for football, as well as the players and fans as they prepare for the commencement of the season.
Co-writer Casey Beathard walked us through the story behind this song.
He revealed that football is his biggest passion, in addition to songwriting and being the family man he is. “If I’m not with my family or writing, I’m at home, just watching football. That’s my background: My dad and brothers were in football, and I have a big passion for it. I’m coaching my kids all through it,” he told The Boot.
“That phrase, “the boys of fall,” is something I’d heard a while back. It was something about, “I miss the boys of fall.” I wrote it down and sat on it for a while.”
Fast forward to the day of Turnbull and Beathard’s songwriting session, the duo found themselves with nothing to write. Luckily, football season was coming, and the two songwriters started talking about football. That’s when the phrase came back to Beathard, and the rest was history!
“It was not so much about football as much as we were talking about life. I always coordinate football with life anyway — leaning on each other and all that stuff you face in life,” Beathard added. “There’s not a small town — or any town — in this country that doesn’t get it. This is where football came from. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a big song about football until now.”
And the moment country singer Kenny Chesney heard the song; he knew he wanted to record it. After all, its subject matter of a love of high school football is close to his heart.
“I just stopped right there and played it over and over again,” the singer said. “I knew – as maybe only someone who has felt that thrill of rushing out onto the field on a cold Friday night can – that was exactly how it is. It also gives you a sense of why playing football in high school is such a powerful thing for anyone who does it. It’s life-changing. For anyone who’s never experienced that, this song helps them understand why.”
In another interview, Chesney also revealed that “The Boys of Fall” is the perfect description of how he grew up and where he grew up. “There’s a line in the song that says, ‘In little towns like mine, that’s all we got.’ And that’s the way it was in East Tennessee, and still is. I’ve got a lot of guys from East Tennessee out on the road [with me] that grew up the same way,” Chesney said.
Indeed, the song meant so much to Chesney. You can watch one of Chesney’s remarkable performances of “The Boys of Fall” in the video below.