Friday, May 15, 2015


I had drafted this for my 2014 end of year post, but of course I took a two month long holiday at that time. The sentiment of I HOPE YOU DANCE works as well for Mothers Day, however. This is one of my many favorite songs about relationships; a reflection, sort of, on who you were, and who you are now, and all the hopes for the future.

In an interview with Songwriter Universe magazine, one of the song writers (Tia Sillers and Mark Sanders) says:
she was going through a painful divorce when she wrote this song. Said Sillers: "For 'I Hope You Dance,' I had written the opening line, 'I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. I had just broken up with someone, going through a brutal divorce. I needed to get away, so I went to a beach on the Florida Gulf Coast. Sitting on the beach and reflecting about the breakup, I felt so small and inconsequential. But out of this difficult time came the inspiration to write 'I Hope You Dance.' As I was leaving the beach, I remember thinking that things weren't really so bad, that I would get through it. That's when I came up with the line, 'I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.'"

I have been married and divorced three times in my life. I've had countless jobs and life experiences; successes and defeats. Through it all, I've survived to be the person I am today, at this moment in my life. Sometimes I wish I had a time machine to go back and change some decisions at critical moments in my life; but then I wonder what I would have missed without this specific journey. I'm not sure I want to know. Fate is a fickle thing, and I take my blessings in my life where I can.

Below is my two Battle of the Bands video's. I've tried to make all things equal in this battle; the lyrics, the orchestra, the video content.Open your eyes (and your heart) as you watch the videos this time; I don't feel either video will sway your vote. The content is the same. The only difference I present is: male or female vocals. As authors, and human beings, I think the message - love, beauty, hope - bears repeating, and I could use some of this sentiment in my life right now.

I HOPE YOU DANCE is considered Lee Ann Womack's signature song, originally recorded in 2000 on an album title the same, and it reached number 14 on Bill Boards top 100. It won CMA and BMI awards for best song of the year in 2001. Wommack told The Today Show: "You can't hear those lyrics and not think about children and—and—and hope for the future and things you want for them. And those are the things I want for them in life." In another interview with Bill Board she states: "Certainly, it can represent everything a parent hopes for their child, but it can also be for a relationship that's ending as a fond wish for the other person's happiness or for someone graduating, having a baby, or embarking on a new path. It fits almost every circumstance I can think of." (Wiki source)

Irish singer/songwriter, former Boyzone lead singer Ronan Keating covered this song as a non-album charity single. I was unable to locate a link to the charity, or the release year, but the video below is dated 2004. Keating is well known for his charity work, mainly in the UK for the Marie Keating cancer foundation. And yes, I do believe Dad's can be as lovingly sentimental with their children and grandchildren as Mother's. I am sure Keating was thinking of his own mother's dreams for his future after her death from breast cancer.

 I hope you enjoyed the sentiment of this song, even if you don't enjoy the music genre. This time of year makes me sentimental; makes me wish everyone feels they have lived a full and happy life. Leave your vote in the comments. And if you can't decide; at least leave a comment that shows you understand the song, and perhaps how it has touched your own life.

And do visit the list at Stephen McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog or Far Away Series for other BotB posts. Dance, and Live your life my friends, whatever that means to you.

Thanks for visiting today.


blogoratti said...

What a great song, and the lyrics are everything. It's great to know that you are standing tall even after going through so much in life. Hope is perhaps the only thing we can all hope for. Keep smiling always and best wishes!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not a fan of country music, but both singers did a good job. Ironic the videos are similar in style. I'd have to give the nod to Keating - his voice was smoother.

Nick Wilford said...

I don't know this song, and it's not my usual cup of tea, but I definitely appreciate the sentiment. We've got to keep an idea of hope that things will get better and look for the positive. Although I'm hardly the biggest fan of Ronan Keating, I'll vote for his delivery.

Cathy Kennedy said...

I really like this song and I do love Lee Ann's track. Unfortunately, I hear that country twang in her voice ever be it so small and am going to have to pick Keating this round of BoTB. A side note: More times than not, I prefer male voices to female on any given day. Good show-down, Donna!

Arlee Bird said...

This is truly a wonderful song that I like a great deal. My daughters like it a lot too. In fact, I recall this being played during my oldest daughter's wedding reception party. It was during one of the dances I believe.

I know what you're saying about that marital and life journey. Yours sounds similar to my own in several ways.

Both versions of the song are beautiful. The Keating version is nice but lacks the life of the Womack version. I really like the way she performs the song and the greater energy in the band behind her.

My vote goes to Lee Ann Womack.

Nice Battle!

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Road trippin' with A to Z
Tossing It Out

Pat Hatt said...

I vote for #1, a great song with a great message behind it indeed

Debbie D. said...

Beautiful sentiments expressed in the song! My vote would be for Ronan Keating, because I like his voice better. Not a fan of that country twang, although Lee Anne did sing it well. You have a wonderful attitude about life, Donna. Nice to meet you. ☺ I'm a new participant at BOTB. Cheers!

Cherdo said...

I've always loved this song for it's message and timelessness. Both version are great and I usually shy away from Country music, but in this case:

I vote for Womack!

Robin said...

I've loved this song for a long time, and I NEVER shy away from country music (that was for you, Cherdo!).

I was already very familiar with Lee Ann's version of this song, so I played the other one first. It was nice. But not nicer than Ms. Womack.

So give my vote to Lee Ann Womack!

Michele Truhlik said...

Great battle and great song. Beautiful lyrics and words to live by. I especially like the line "...give faith a fighting chance."
Both versions are fabulous but I have to say that I like Lee Ann Womack's version better. But I also really like Ronan Keating. I'm still voting with Lee Ann as I like her band too.
I also wanted to introduce myself: I'm a new participant in the BOTB and I'm looking forward to getting to know you. I hope you'll come visit me when you have a chance.
Great battle!
Michele at Angels Bark

farawayeyes said...

I love this song and I love your post.

You my friend, have such a way of getting right to the heart of things. Whether you're writing a review, discussing a song, or talking about MY life. The upbeat way you approach life, even in your own darker moments, makes me take a step back and reassess whatever is going on in mine at the moment.

Last night I took a little stumble down memory lane to a very dark place in my life. This morning, as I lay in bed waking up, I began to wonder if that was such a good idea. In an effort to take my mind off of those musings, I picked up the phone and started surfing BOTB posts. No chance encounter that I landed at your space first. Absolutely no coinkidink here, for sure.

When I first heard this song it made me feel sorry for those who say; 'I don't dance'. It also gave me a new appreciation for those you would see on the dance floor jerking around like a piece of bacon on a hot griddle. I'm a trained dancer and have always enjoyed it, but do understand how intimidating 'social dance' is for many. I know the song is speaking metaphorically and yet no matter your musical inclination, ability to 'feel the beat', whether or not you have a 'natural rhythm, dancing is an expression of the soul, and I inwardly give a hearty round of applause to anyone who gets up and allows their heart to express itself through movement around the room(life).

OK, now I have to vote, right? I am very familiar with the Lee Ann Womack version, so I listened to the Ronan Keating, first. He does a wonderful job. It still sounds like a country song to my ears minus the definitive twang of Ms. Womack's voice.

I admit that I never much cared for the usual fare offered up by Lee Ann. She seemed to be your usual female country singer with the 'my man done me wrong' songs and vengeful tales of girlfriends who 'stole her man'. When she came out with 'I Hope You Dance', I really wondered how she managed to latch onto such a marvelous piece of music with this incredible sentiment. The group that backed her gave a great instrumentation and those background vocals are haunting.

So...I simply can't take away from Ms. Womack, her acuity in recognizing a fabulous song, and putting her 'spin' on it; twang and all. My vote goes to Lee Ann with a great big 'atta boy' to Ronan.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Hi Donna. I really love your battle. In fact I can now cross it off my June list, (smile). It was going to be tough because I could not decide which one pulled me more. I really like both versions. I reasoned that even a tie would be welcome. So in a wonderful sense I am relieved. I cannot help but be touched by the words, music and video contents. These two artists do the song beautifully. Thank you.

My choice seems easier, watching this battle on your page. For me one does not replace the other. It is simply today's choice... and my vote goes to Ronan Keating.

I'm so glad you could post a battle today, and what a good one!!

Cate Masters said...

I think this song goes beyond the country genre to touch all listeners. Both versions are great, but if I had to pick, probably the first.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

First and foremost, I want to say WELCOME BACK TO BOTB! I missed you.

I'd never heard this song before but I really liked it. (Lee Ann Womack, is she related to Dionne Warwick?)

I enjoyed both versions, and while I generally prefer male vocals to female vocals, in this case I'm gonna vote for Dionne's sister, LEE ANN. I just felt more sincerity in her delivery.

A wonderful Battle, and I hope you'll participate on a regular basis again.

Your song choice today made me think of another song that I dearly love. And so I am dedicating [Link:->] THIS SONG to you, DONNA, my friend!

~ D-FensDogG
'Loyal American Underground'

dolorah said...

Blogo: thank you. It is lovely to meet you.

Alex: yeah, the similarity shocked me too. I thought he would have more from a son to his mother.

Nick: I see hope in you every time I visit your blog.

Ms Curiosity: for the most part I have to agree with you, males usually has so much more emotion in their singing.

Lee: sometimes you just gotta take life as it presents itself. Thanks for your vote.

Thanks Pat :)

Debbie: nice to meet you too. I will stop by.

Cherdo: good choice, thanks. Nice to meet you.

Robin: I never shy from country twang either. It is my first love, lol. Tanya Tucker, Loretta Lynn, Reba . .

Michelle: lovely to meet you too. The backup is Desert Storm, and they have plenty of hits of their own. Of course, I will be by soon. Glad to have you aboard.

FAE: Stop, you're making me cry! I am glad my battle was able to lift your spirits a bit. You are a cherished friend. I have always loved to dance, and still do on occasion - still got my hip movement that makes the men WANT and the fine looking girls jealous, hehehe.

Dixie: hmm, I would have liked to see who you pitted against each other :) They both did credit to the song, I agree.

Cate: it is a beautiful sentiment for any song genre.

Mr Battle: aww, you're making me blush Sir! And thank you for the song dedication, it is a beautifully rendered song - might have to play it on my birthday. I first heard it on Sons of Anarchy, loved it. Dionne's sister huh. Those lips, that voice; yep, I get it :)

DEZMOND said...

nom nom on Ronan... I lurv most of his songs... he is very much underrated given how many timeless hits he left behind him. I adore his version of IRIS.

D.G. Hudson said...

If voting still allowed I'd vote for the second version. He seemed more in line with the words of the song, but the first seemed like a studio setup.

Sorry coming by late, have house on market and must keep cleaning and showing it. . .

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Sorry about the bad link. Had no idea, but it's fixed now. I appreciate the "heads-up" about that. I wonder how long it's been bad.

~ D-FensDogG

Misha Gericke said...

I love this song! There's actually another version (that's more like a dance track) that I like, but I can't remember who the singer was.

Of these two, Ronan Keating sings it better for me. I'm not really a fan of the sound in the other one.

Mary Burris said...

Wow. This is a tough one. I like Keating's voice, but perhaps it's because I've always heard Womack's version that makes me like hers more. My vote goes to Lee Ann womack.

and.. I have news! The boss man has given me the blessing of being able to sit at the cool kids table. My first battle will be June 1. So, if you want to add my name to your list of participants - I'd like that.

Mary @ Jingle Jangle Jungle

mike spain said...

Super song. Both are great versions. I will go with Ronan's version. Lee Ann is kind of over done.

John Holton said...

This is a gorgeous song, regardless of who's doing it. And, as an Irish Southerner, I liked both versions.

I'm going with Lee Ann on this one. I think the quality of the recording is better, and she sounds a lot like Dolly Parton. Ronan did a very nice job of it, though, and who knows what I would have said if his recording was as clear as hers?


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