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Alan Jackson performs "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)"

"Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" is a song written by the American singer-songwriter Alan Jackson. It was the lead single from his tenth studio album, Drive (2002), released on Arista Nashville. The song's lyrics center on reactions to the September 11 attacks in the United States, written in the form of questions. Jackson desired to write a song capturing the emotions surrounding the attacks, but found it difficult to do so.

 

He debuted the song publicly at the Country Music Association's annual awards show on November 7, 2001. It was released that month as a single and topped the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for five weeks; in addition, it reached number 28 on Billboard's all-genre Hot 100 chart. The song received largely positive reviews from critics, who appreciated its simple, largely apolitical stance. The song won multiple awards at the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Awards, including Song of the Year, and also earned Jackson his first Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

 

Alan Jackson - Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning) Lyrics

 

Where were you when the world stopped turnin'

That September day?

Were you in the yard with your wife and children

Or workin' on some stage in L.A.?

Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke

Risin' against that blue sky?

Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor

Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children, they lost their dear loved ones

Pray for the ones who don't know?

Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble

And sob for the ones left below?

Did you burst out with pride for the red, white, and blue

And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?

Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer

And look at yourself and what really matters?

I'm just a singer of simple songs

I'm not a real political man

I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you

The diff'rence in Iraq and Iran

But I know Jesus and I talk to God

And I remember this from when I was young

Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us

And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turnin'

That September day?

Teachin' a class full of innocent children

Or drivin' down some cold interstate?

Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor?

In a crowded room did you feel alone?

Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her?

Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened

Close your eyes and not go to sleep?

Did you notice the sunset for the first time in ages

And speak to some stranger on the street?

Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow

Go out and buy you a gun?

Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'

And turn on I Love Lucy reruns?

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers

Stand in line to give your own blood?

Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family

Thank God you had somebody to love?

I'm just a singer of simple songs

I'm not a real political man

I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you

The diff'rence in Iraq and Iran

But I know Jesus and I talk to God

And I remember this from when I was young

Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us

And the greatest is love

I'm just a singer of simple songs

I'm not a real political man

I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you

The diff'rence in Iraq and Iran

But I know Jesus and I talk to God

And I remember this from when I was young

Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us

And the greatest is love

And the greatest is love

And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turnin'

On that September day?


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