The Cowboy in Me

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"The Cowboy in Me"
The Cowboy in Me.jpg
Single by Tim McGraw
from the album Set This Circus Down
Released November 26, 2001
Genre Country
Length 4:04
Label Curb
Tim McGraw singles chronology
"Bring On the Rain"
"The Cowboy in Me"

"Bring On the Rain"
"The Cowboy in Me"

"The Cowboy in Me" is a song written by Jeffrey Steele, Al Anderson and Craig Wiseman, and performed by American country music artist Tim McGraw. It was released in November 2001 as the third single from McGraw's Set This Circus Down album. The song reached Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts.[1] It reached Number One one week after McGraw's duet with Jo Dee Messina, "Bring On the Rain".


In this song, Tim McGraw is acknowledging the destructive and sometimes selfish side of his personality, which he identifies as "the cowboy in [him]."


One of the writers of the song, Al Anderson, told he is proud of the song, even though it is not particularly personal to him: "I was just writing the song. Jeff Steele came in with the idea and he had some of it done already, and he and Craig Wiseman just finished it with him." he said. "So it has nothing to do with my life. I don't do that that much." Anderson then said he drew inspiration from the trucker radio stations that he listened to as a child when he wrote this song: "My mom used to let me go to sleep with the radio on and I could get WBBD when I was a kid, in Wheeling, West Virginia. It was a trucker station and it came in at night all over the country. So when I was 8, 9 years old, I was glued to that station at night. I fell asleep with it every night."[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe gave the song a B grade, saying that the song "might be an amoebic form of the country lifestyle anthems that have flooded the genre in the years since it was released." He goes on to say that it is "certainly subtler and more refined than what’s come out since, and McGraw’s hit doesn’t include the head-pounding loudness that sinks so many other 'country' anthems."[3]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Sherman Halsey and was released in early 2002.

Chart performance[edit]

"The Cowboy in Me" debuted at number 48 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the chart week of December 1, 2001.

Chart (2001–02) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 33

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2002) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 21


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  2. ^ "The Cowboy in Me by Tim McGraw Songfacts". Retrieved 2014-03-22.
  3. ^ Song review
  4. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Tim McGraw Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  6. ^ "Best of 2002: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2002. Retrieved August 13, 2012.