Beanie Babies and Furbies were flying off the shelves, McDonald’s was still asking if you wanted to Super Size your meal, and country music was absolutely kicking ass.
One artist that truly came into form in that decade was Tim McGraw, who debuted in 1993 with his self-titled album and added on four more projects throughout the decade.
Arguably one of his greatest albums to date was his second studio album, 1994’s Not a Moment Too Soon.
The breakthrough album is 6-time certified platinum and peaked at number one on three different charts: Billboard Top 200, U.S. country, and Canada country.
The Academy of Country Music even named Not a Moment Too Soon the album of the year.
Though there many country hits on the record (“Not a Moment Too Soon,” “Down on the Farm”), there was none bigger than “Don’t Take the Girl.”
The song was released as the album’s second single and quickly made its way to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Country songs. It even cracked the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #17.
The lyrics of the song tell a heart warming and heart breaking story about love and life. Though each verse takes place in different periods of life, the chorus always makes its way back to “please don’t take the girl.”
The first verse lays out the pattern and rhythm of the classic country song, setting the scene for the story to continue and grow more serious as it goes along. Written by Craig Martin and Larry W. Johnson, the song begins:
“Johnny’s daddy was takin’ him fishin’ When he was eight years old A little girl came through the front gate Holdin’ a fishin’ pole His dad looked down and smiled Said, “We can’t leave her behind Son, I know you don’t want her to go But someday you’ll change your mind
And Johnny said
Take Jimmy Johnson, take Tommy Thompson
Take my best friend, Bo
Take anybody that you want as
Long as she don’t go
Take any boy in the world
Daddy, please, don’t take the girl”