Here in the Real World (song)

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"Here in the Real World"
Here in the Real World single.jpg
Single by Alan Jackson
from the album Here in the Real World
B-side ""Blue Blooded Woman""
Released January 15, 1990
Format Promo-only CD single
Cassette single
7" 45 RPM
Recorded June 27, 1989[1]
Genre Country
Length 3:36
Label Arista Nashville 9922
Songwriter(s) Mark Irwin
Alan Jackson
Producer(s) Scott Hendricks
Keith Stegall
Alan Jackson singles chronology
"Blue Blooded Woman"
"Here in the Real World"

"Here in the Real World" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Alan Jackson. It was released in January 1990 as the second single and title track from his debut album Here in the Real World,[2] and in early 1990 it became his first Top 40 country hit. The song reached a peak of number 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts, and number 1 on the Canadian RPM Top Country Tracks charts. Jackson wrote the song with Mark Irwin.


The song is a mid-tempo piece, firmly in the neotraditional style, backed by fiddle and steel-string acoustic guitar, in which the narrator observes the difference between an idealized movie situation and the real world, saying "If life were like the movies, I'd never be blue". In the chorus, he observes that "here in the real world, it's not that easy at all / 'Cause when hearts get broken, it's real tears that fall."

Critical reception[edit]

Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe gave the song an A grade," calling the conceit "bloody well brilliant, what with the juxtaposition of reality and fiction, but none of its intelligence would matter without the heartbroke sincerity that gives it its simplicity." [3] An uncredited review from Cash Box magazine was also positive, praising the neotraditionalist country sound and saying that Jackson "gives us incredible lyrics with just the right hooks. This cut offers a strong sense of comfort and a vocal range that’s totally soothing."[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Jim May and premiered in early 1990. It begins with a retro-style title card, features mostly Jackson performing, and closes with a brief snippet of Gene Autry singing "Back in the Saddle Again."


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1990) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[5] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 3

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1990) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[7] 7
US Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 10


  1. ^ The Greatest Hits Collection (CD). Alan Jackson. Arista Records. 1995. 07822 18801. 
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "Alan Jackson biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^ Review by Kevin John Coyne
  4. ^ "Country feature picks" (PDF). Cashbox. January 27, 1990. p. 22. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 9144." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. May 12, 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  6. ^ "Alan Jackson – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Alan Jackson.
  7. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1990". RPM. December 22, 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Best of 1990: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Stranger Things Have Happened"
by Ronnie Milsap
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

May 12, 1990
Succeeded by
"Help Me Hold On"
by Travis Tritt