Remember When Tim McGraw Released ‘Don’t Take The Girl?’

Tim McGraw saw great success in the 90s with songs including “Something Like That,” “I Like It, I Love It,”…


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

March 29, 2023


11:44 am

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Tim McGraw, Don’t Take The Girl

Tim McGraw saw great success in the 90s with songs including “Something Like That,” “I Like It, I Love It,” “It’s Your Love,” featuring his wife, Faith Hill, “Just To See You Smile,” and more. Among this list of fan-favorites is also McGraw’s first No. 1, “Don’t Take The Girl.”

In 1994, this track rose to the Top 20 spot on Billboard’s all-genre Hot 100 chart and served as the second single off his sophomore album titled, Not a Moment Too Soon. Additionally, “Don’t Take The Girl” claimed the top spot on the Canadian country charts and peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as it entered into the pop world.

While this was the Louisiana native’s first No. 1 hit, McGraw previously saw success with “Indian Outlaw,” another song off the same project that become a Top 10 country single and Top 20 crossover hit.

Not A Moment Too Soon

Tim McGraw, Not A Moment Too Soon
Tim McGraw, Not A Moment Too Soon

Co-written by the late songwriters Craig Martin and Larry W. Johnson, the heartfelt song follows the story of a young boy who experiences love at first sight with a young girl. Through McGraw’s wholesome vocals and nostalgic melody, listeners get to watch the lovebirds grow up together. As they encounter plenty of highs and lows, one thing remains the same – the boy’s desire to hold onto his other half for the rest of their lives.

Things come to an abrupt haul as he learns that his wife might not make it through the birth of their child. Luckily, the official music video for “Don’t Take The Girl” left a hint of hope that their family remains in tack. It’s a tear-jerking narrative that would have anyone hoping that the pair makes it through to the end together.

“And there he prayed / Take the very, breath you gave me / Take the heart from my chest / I’ll gladly take her place if you’ll let me / Make this my last request / Take me out of this world / God please, don’t take the girl,” McGraw sings in the final verse. 


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In 2019, this song earned a new life when Tim McGraw teamed up with Blanco Brown for an astounding rendition of “Don’t Take The Girl.” McGraw saw an opportunity to collaborate with Brown when they were both in Australia at the time, and the result is a memorable moment between two music lovers that was captured on video.

“I saw a story recently about Blanco Brown growing up in Atlanta, spending summers in the country with his mom and aunty,” McGraw wrote in a social media post. “He mentioned that ‘Don’t Take The Girl’ was one of the first country songs he was turned on to. When I heard our paths were finally gonna cross in Australia, I reached out…and this is how it went…. I’m a fan.”

The country music icon started the song on his own before Brown jumped in, adding his own flair as they traded off verses for the remainder of the track. The pair appeared to be lost in the lyrics as they let their hearts and voices completely take over. 

Collaborative Performance

YouTube video

Brown finished off the final words while McGraw looked into the fellow singer’s eyes with great pride. “The Git Up” singer beamed with excitement as he took in the moment, which dubbed it a “dream,” and embraced the artist that had such an impact on his career in a hug. 

“That was awesome,” McGraw told him. “You lit that song up!”

“When I first heard the song, when I heard, ‘Johnny’s daddy was taking him fishing,’ I was just like, ‘this is amazing,” but I never knew what the song meant,” Brown explained in the clip. “Then, when I reviewed it again, and listened over and over again, I was like, ‘this song is so deep and full of purpose.’ Then, I decided to make my whole life about purpose and don’t make my street circumstances be my reality. It all started with Tim.”

At the end of the clip, McGraw revealed that he was a “big fan” and even suggested that they should work together again in the future.

Tim McGraw; Photo by Robby Klein
Tim McGraw; Photo by Robby Klein

“Standing Room Only”

More recently, the three-time GRAMMY winner dropped his brand-new song, “Standing Room Only,” which serves as the lead single and title track off his forthcoming 17th studio album. This track is an outside cut penned by Craig Wiseman, Patrick Murphy and Tommy Cecil. 

It found a way into Tim McGraw’s repertoire after he connected with a message that inspires the listener to live life to the fullest and leave with no regrets.

“‘Standing Room Only’ caught my ear the first time I heard it because of its message. For me, this song is so positive and life-affirming,” McGraw, who co-produced the song with Byron Gallimore, explained in a statement. “It isn’t about the funeral or the procession, it’s about how we live in the here and now. How do we push ourselves and in which direction do we push ourselves? For me, it’s a reminder to live a life filled with gratitude and not take things for granted. Also, it’s a reminder to give back and be there for others.”

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After ending 2022 with a run of a successful dates under his belt, Tim McGraw is preparing to return to the stage at several festivals in North America. He’s slated to perform at Tailgate N’ Tallboys, Country Concert 2023, Country Thunder Saskatchewan, Country Jam USA 2023, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Neon Nights, Boots & Hearts, Country Thunder Alberta, Coastal Country Jam and more. 

For more information on McGraw’s upcoming concert schedule can be found at

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.