In times of tragedy, country music heals. Songs from some of the genre’s best artists are used as therapy during great personal and national strife. No song has unified quite like Alan Jackson‘s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).”
Written weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Jackson’s lengthy ballad put an arm around a nation in mourning without taking a social or political stand. “Where Were You” was written with tremendous clarity and heart, and performed by one of country music’s most generous souls. It feels like a hug today as much as it did at the dawn of the 21 century.
The discussion on whether “Where Were You” should be included on this list of the Top Country Songs of the Century was brief and unanimous. It’s Jackson’s second song on this list, following “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” his collaboration with Jimmy Buffett.
About this list: Taste of Country’s Top Country Songs of the Century were decided by a panel of country music experts and fans using sales and chart data, a song’s social and musical impact and lyrical integrity. Select artists were also surveyed. You’ll hear from several throughout the list.