If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away

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"If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away"
Justin-Moore-2011-300-01.jpg
Single by Justin Moore
from the album Outlaws Like Me
Released February 28, 2011 (2011-02-28)
Format Digital download
Genre Country
Length 3:44
Label Valory Music Group
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Jeremy Stover
Justin Moore singles chronology
"How I Got to Be This Way"
(2010)
"If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away"
(2011)
"Bait a Hook"
(2011)

"If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away" is a song written by Dallas Davidson, Rob Hatch, and Brett Jones. It was first recorded by American country artist Rhett Akins, whose version was released as a single in September 2006 but did not chart. Justin Moore covered the song and released it as a single in February 2011 as the lead-off single to his second studio album Outlaws Like Me. Moore's cover is his fifth single release, his third Top 10 hit, and his second Number One single.

Background[edit]

Moore said he chose to record the song because he thought that it was "one of those songs you hear one time, and know immediately that it’s special."[1]

Content[edit]

"If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away" is a ballad in which a young man fantasizes about being able to spend a day in Heaven, visiting friends and family members who have died.[2] The man begins his fantasy when he drives across a bridge near a fishing spot where he and his grandfather spent time and bonded, and the grandfather also operated a fruit stand. Now a family man, he wonders what his children would think of their great grandfather upon meeting him.

Other deceaseds the man thinks about connecting with include a cousin John (who was killed in action in Vietnam), his hunting dog, three teenage girls who were classmates of his in 1999, and singers Hank Williams and Janis Joplin. With the later two, he says he would ask Williams why he took pills that eventually killed him "back in '53" and he asks Joplin to sing the second verse of "Me and Bobby McGee".

The central theme is the ability to cross the mortal divide and reconnect with loved ones lost long ago.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Brian Mansfield of USA Today gave the song a positive review, calling it "a tearjerker in the classic country mold."[2] Giving it a thumbs up, Karlie Justus of Engine 145 noted the "small details" of the first verse and Moore's "easy twang," but thought that the second verse was not as well written.[4]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[5] 76
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 49
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 14
Preceded by
"Honey Bee"
by Blake Shelton
Billboard Hot Country Songs
number-one single

July 23, 2011
Succeeded by
"Dirt Road Anthem"
by Jason Aldean

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[9] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Justin Moore Can Relate To Latest Single". Nashville.com. 26 February 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Mansfield, Brian (21 March 2011). "Playlist: Justin Moore's 'Heaven,' plus 10 more". USA Today. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  3. ^ AOL radio blog
  4. ^ Justus, Karlie (18 February 2011). "Justin Moore — "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away"". Engine 145. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Justin Moore – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Justin Moore. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  6. ^ "Justin Moore – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Justin Moore. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  7. ^ "Justin Moore – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Justin Moore. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  8. ^ "Best of 2011: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ "American single certifications – Justin Moore – If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 31, 2016.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]