My First Country Song

Several years ago, to my surprise, I found myself listening to a significant amount of country music in my (radio-only) car. I appreciated the way country songs told stories, usually sad ones, which often smuggled important ideas into the heads of unsuspecting listeners. (For what it’s worth, I also like the songs about nothing and dogs and pickups and girls…)

One day I had the thought, “I bet I could do that.” (Humble, I know.) So I sat down over my lunch hour and whipped out a story-poem about a boy and his big brother — “I Have a Champion.” I emailed it to my friend Jeff Bourque, trusting his Nashville-sense could tell me if it was any good. He wrote back, “Made me cry. ‘Nuff said,” and went to work on a tune. Though it is one of my favorite collaborations with Jeff, we haven’t done anything with it in the years since.

I Have a Champion (book)Last June, my wife and children surprised me with a Father’s Day gift, one they had evidently worked on for some time—a storybook containing the song lyrics with illustrations by my kids. (Probably my favorite Father’s Day gift ever.)

At the encouragement of another friend, I decided to enter a few songs in American Songwriter‘s Lyric Contest this winter. I learned in January that the contest judges selected “I Have a Champion” for Honorable Mention in their March/April contest.

So that we could share it with you, Jeff graciously worked up a recording of the song. I’ve set his recording to a video of my kids’ illustrations, which is below. (The lyrics are available on the song page.)

I hope you enjoy the song and consider sharing it with friends and family who might enjoy it too.

(And don’t forget to enter this month’s giveaway!)