Blake Shelton Reintroduces Emotional Hit ‘The Baby’ to Concert Setlist After Several Years

“That’s just the power of country music when a song connects with people,” Shelton says of bringing the song back to his setlist.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 13, 2024

Share on:

Photo Courtesy Blake Shelton

Several years ago, Blake Shelton decided to pull his song “The Baby” from his concert setlist due to the song’s heavy-hitting emotional nature. But during his Back To The Honky Tonk Tour, Shelton decided to reintroduce the song into his set and says he now realizes it was a mistake to stop performing the song in the first place. 

The Oklahoma native kicked off his latest trek on February 22 in Hershey, PA and this show finds him performing some of his biggest hits, like “Some Beach,” “Austin,” and “God’s Country,” but one song that has everyone talking is “The Baby.”

During a recent performance, Shelton opened up about his decision to add the heartwrenching tune back into his set after not performing it for so many years. 

Watch The Emotional Performance

@kayladyeh I can’t get through this song without #uglycrying ! This is why I #love #countrymusic !! Thanks @Blake Shelton for beinging this song back!! #thebaby #austintx #moodycenter #texas #country #raw #fyp ♬ original sound – Kayla

Why He’s Performing “The Baby” Again

“There’s a song that I quit doing years and years ago because the song is just so heavy that sometimes I would do it and look out into the crowd and literally see people crying and running to the bathroom,” he told the crowd. 

“But I decided to bring it back and do it on this tour because now that 20 years later, since it came out, I realized that it was a mistake to stop doing it back in the day because that’s just the power of country music when a song connects with people.”

Shelton, 47, proceeded to deliver a heartfelt performance of the fan-favorite track, which details the special bond between a mother and her youngest child. 

“The Baby” was written by Harley Allen and Michael White and recorded by Shelton for his second studio album, The Dreamer. The song was a hit on the charts, becoming a three-week No.1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart in early 2003. This was his second No.1 single following “Austin.” 

Blake Shelton - The Dreamer
Blake Shelton – The Dreamer

What Is “The Baby” About?

The song details the narrator’s close relationship with his mom. He’s the youngest of her children and admits he “got by with more” as she was “tired by the time I came along.” Throughout the song, he sings about his tight-knit relationship with his mom and how she would often tell him, “ I don’t care if you’re 80, you’ll always be my baby.”

The song takes a gutwrenching turn byt he fourth verse as he sings, “I got a call in Alabama, said come on home to Louisiana/ And come as fast as you can fly/ ‘Cause your momma really needs you, and says she’s got to see you/ She might not make it through the night/ The whole way I drove 80, so she could see her baby.” 

Sadly, he doesn’t make it home in time to give his mom a final goodbye. The chilling final verse goes, “She looked like she was sleepin’ and my family had been weepin’/ By the time that I got to her side/ And I knew that she’d been taken and my heart it was breakin’/ I never got to say goodbye/ I softly kissed that lady and cried just like a baby.”

YouTube video

“The Baby” Music Video

Shelton paired the release of “The Baby” with a music video. The clip shows a baby-faced Shelton watching home movies as he belts out the emotional lyrics. The music video is remembered for showing off Shelton’s stunning blue eyes. 

“The Baby” exemplifies country storytelling song at its finest and to this day, more than 20 years after its release, the song still continues to touch the hearts of listeners. When a song can withstand the test of time like “The Baby” has, that’s how you know it contains a powerful and meaningful message. 

Share on:

Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.