Story Behind the Song: Kenny Chesney, ‘The Boys of Fall’
Casey Beathard and Dave Turnbull wrote “The Boys of Fall,” which Kenny Chesney released in July of 2010 as the first single from his 12th studio album, Hemmingway’s Whiskey. The song debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart — Chesney’s highest debut since September of 2007 — and hit No. 1 in October. It also earned a Top 20 (No. 18) spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Below, Beathard tells The Boot about the inspiration for the tune.
Football is my biggest passion, other than songwriting and the family stuff I do. 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.
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.
Dave and I were sitting around with nothing to write. It was one of those times where it was in the air; you knew football season was coming. When Dave and I started talking about football, that phrase came back to me. We wanted to write it.
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. 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.
I knew Kenny had the same passion for football as I did. I remember him being on ESPN doing all the college game-day interviews, and I’ve seen him on TV with Sean Payton, the coach of the New Orleans Saints. I sent the song to him the first chance I had. He immediately got back to me and said he was going to put it on his album.
This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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