Story Behind the Song: Brad Paisley, ‘Welcome to the Future’
In 2008, after hearing the news that Barack Obama had won the presidency, Brad Paisley was inspired -- and so, he and Chris DuBois co-wrote "Welcome to the Future."
The song, released in July of 2009 as the second single from Paisley's American Saturday Night album, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Shortly after the tune's release as a single, Paisley performed the song for President Obama himself, at the White House.
Below, Paisley explains the idea behind "Welcome to the Future," and how it brought his entire American Saturday Night album together.
This is a song that is my hopes and dreams, captured in three generations.
You have my grandfather's generation mentioned in the second verse, which fought World War II. He went to the Philippines to fight the Japanese in some of the most horrific times. The Great Depression, World War II -- he had to think it was the end of the world. If you were to go back in time and tell him, "Your grandson is going to play Japan on tour. Twice," he would have thought you were out of your mind.
Fast forward to my generation: Our idea of fighting was fighting for a place in line to play Pac-Man. The greatest attraction in my hometown was the Pac-Man game at the Kroger. It was a different time. And tell me one of these days I'm going to have a thing called an iPhone that has Pac-Man on it, and I can play it any time I want!
Then you've got my kids' generation, where you can explain to them that the president is black, and that's a remarkable thing. They're never going to understand; they're going to think, "Why is that a big deal?"
When I was making this record, [this song] was one of the last [songs] written. It became the glue of what made this an album to me. It didn't feel like a fully formed album until we wrote this. Then I thought, "Okay, this album is done."
This story was originally written by Joyce Rizer, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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