The Little Girl
|"The Little Girl"|
|Single by John Michael Montgomery|
|from the album Brand New Me|
|B-side||"Brand New Me"|
|Released||August 29, 2000|
|Format||CD single, 7" single|
John Michael Montgomery
|John Michael Montgomery singles chronology|
"The Little Girl" is a song written by Harley Allen and recorded by American country music artist John Michael Montgomery. The song features harmony vocals by bluegrass musicians Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski, both members of Alison Krauss and Union Station. It was released in August 2000 as the lead single from the album Brand New Me. The song became Montgomery's seventh and last No. 1 hit to date on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, and his first chart-topper since 1995's "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)". The song also reached No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Background and writing
The song is based on an urban legend of the type referred to by website Snopes.com as "glurge" (fabricated and overly sentimental). Snopes.com states that the legend itself is unverifiable, and would have otherwise passed into obscurity had it not been for songwriter Harley Allen who, after receiving a copy of the story from his brother, wrote the song in under fifteen minutes.
"The Little Girl" tells of an unnamed young girl born to an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother. The couple regularly fought in front of her (usually with her hiding in fear behind the living room couch), showed her no attention or affection, and were not interested in religion.
One night, the fight escalated to a horrific outcome—the girl (while again hiding behind the couch) would witness the murder-suicide of her parents (Dad killed Mom, then himself). This resulted in "some people from the city" taking the girl to another home, one completely different from her prior one – this home featured a compassionate family who regularly attended church.
On the girl's first visit to church, while in Sunday School, she noticed on the wall a picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. She commented that she did not know who the man was, but knew that he had to have come down from the cross—as she recognized the man as the one who comforted her while she witnessed her parents' violent deaths.
Chuck Taylor, of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably saying that "every element flows seamlessly together, from the understated production and the tendered melody to Montgomery's carefully measured performance."
"The Little Girl" reached number one on the Billboard country chart in late 2000, holding the position for three weeks. It was Montgomery's seventh number-one hit and first since "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)" in 1995. The song also reached number one on the RPM country singles chart in Canada, and was that publication's last country number-one hit as RPM closed in November 2000.
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||1|
|US Billboard Hot 100||35|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Country Songs (Billboard)||44|
- Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits. New York: Billboard Books. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-8230-8291-9.
- "The Little Girl – John Michael Montgomery". Billboard. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
- Snopes article on the song origin
- Taylor, Chuck (August 19, 2000). "John Michael Montgomery The Little Girl". Billboard. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
- "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 7108." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. October 30, 2000. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- "John Michael Montgomery Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for John Michael Montgomery.
- "John Michael Montgomery Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for John Michael Montgomery.
- "Best of 2000: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2000. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
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