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LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
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Song for His Father
A Parent's Life—and Final Days—inspired Alan Jackson's Latest Hit, "Small Town Southern Man"
Jackson rewrote the second line of the chorus from "he proudly served Uncle Sam" to "he stood for Uncle Sam." "'Stood for' has two different meanings: You stand up for a flag and you stand up as a soldier in war too," he says.
"The first verse is the hardest thing to write," says Jackson. "It's hard to find the right way to open a song. The other verses go a little better."
The last verse is based on Jackson's final moments with his dad, Eugene. "He was on his deathbed and we were all there singing hymns and my sister finally told him, 'Daddy, Mama's all right. We're going to take care of her. Just go home.' And a minute later, he went home. It was sad but sweet."
SMALL TOWN SOUTHERN MAN
Born the middle son of a farmer and A small town southern man Like his daddy's daddy before him brought up workin' on the land Fell in love with a small town woman and they married up and settled down Natural way of life if you're lucky for A small town southern man
First there came four pretty daughters for this small town southern man. Then a few years later came another, little boy he wasn't planned Seven people livin' all together in a house built with his own hands Little words with love and understanding from a small town southern man
And he bowed his head to Jesus And he stood for Uncle Sam And he only loved one woman Was always proud of what he had He said his greatest contribution is the ones he'll leave behind Raised on the ways and gentle kindness of a small town southern man
Calloused hands told the story for this small town southern man He gave it all to keep it all together and keep his family on his land Like his daddy, years wore out his body made it hard just to walk or stand. You can break the back but you can't break the spirit of a small town southern man
Finally death came calling for The small town southern man He said it's alright 'cause I see angels and they got me by the hand don't you cry, and don't you worry I'm blessed and I know I am 'cause God has a place in heaven for a small town southern man
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