Live Like You Were Dying (song)

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"Live Like You Were Dying"
Single by Tim McGraw
from the album Live Like You Were Dying
B-side "Just Be Your Tear"
Released June 7, 2004 (2004-06-07)
Format CD single
Recorded January 2004
Genre Country
Length 4:58 (Album Version)
4:28 (Radio Mix)
Label Curb
Writer(s) Tim Nichols
Craig Wiseman
Producer(s) Byron Gallimore
Tim McGraw
Certification Platinum (RIAA)
Tim McGraw singles chronology
"Watch the Wind Blow By"
"Live Like You Were Dying"
"Back When"

"Live Like You Were Dying" is a song written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman, and performed by American country music artist Tim McGraw. It was released in June 2004 and as the first single and title track from his Live Like You Were Dying album. It reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard country music charts, and held that position for a total of seven weeks. In addition, it was named as the Number One country song of 2004 by Billboard. It won Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2004 Country Music Association Awards and at the 2004 Academy of Country Music Awards. The music video, directed by Sherman Halsey, was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2004 Academy of Country Music Awards.


"Live Like You Were Dying" tells the story of a man in his early forties who gets the news that his father has an unspecified, life-threatening illness. His father's message is to live life to the fullest and do things that he had always wanted to do, such as skydiving, mountain climbing, fishing, and bull riding. He also says that he became a better husband and friend. McGraw then switches perspective to himself, talking about how going fishing with his dad stopped being an imposition and how he finally, after reading the Bible, took a long hard look back over his life and took his father's advice by going skydiving, mountain climbing, horse, bull riding, and so much more.

This song is associated with McGraw's father, Tug McGraw, who was hospitalized with a brain tumor on March 12, 2003. It was revealed that he had cancer. He was given three weeks to live by the doctors, but surprisingly survived nine months. He died on January 5, 2004.[1]

Music video[edit]

The music video features Tim McGraw singing in an infinity cove with video clips added by CGI. The alternate version of the video, directed by Sherman Halsey, McGraw's usual director of choice, ends with a clip of the late Tug McGraw pitching the final strike for the 1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, which, at the time, was the team's only World Series Championship. The video was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2006 Academy of Country Music Awards.

Chart performance[edit]

"Live Like You Were Dying" debuted at number 36 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the chart week of June 5, 2004.

Chart (2004–2005) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 29
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[4] 4
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[5] 37
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[6] 21

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2004) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 1


Preceded by
"Whiskey Girl" by Toby Keith
"Somebody" by Reba McEntire
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single

July 17–July 31, 2004 (first run)
August 14-September 4, 2004 (second run)
Succeeded by
"Somebody" by Reba McEntire
"Girls Lie Too" by Terri Clark
Preceded by
"My Front Porch Looking In"
by Lonestar
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single of the year

Succeeded by
"That's What I Love About Sunday"
by Craig Morgan
Preceded by
Next Big Thing
by Vince Gill
Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance
Succeeded by
You'll Think of Me
by Keith Urban