Music

How the Father of a Fallen Soldier Inspired Lee Brice's Hit 'I Drive Your Truck'

When Lee Brice released "I Drive Your Truck" in 2012, country fans immediately reacted to its heartbreaking lyrics. The song perfectly conveys the intense urge to connect with a lost loved one in any way that you can to regain a feeling of closeness with that person. The powerful song was created by songwriters Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Jimmy Yeary during a group songwriting session.

During their meeting, Harrington shared a story with her co-writers that she had heard on NPR' s Here And Now about a father, Paul Monti, whose son, Jared Monti, had died while saving another soldier during a battle in Afghanistan. When asked how he would remember his child on Memorial Day, the man simply said that he would drive his truck, which had been left exactly as it was when his son left for war.

The moment stuck with Harrington and led her to suggest it as a song idea. The three spent the session coming up with the powerful lyrics and imagery that would eventually garner critical acclaim for the single. "We all cried at some point," Harrington told Radio.com of the session. "And when it was over, there was just a communal prayer of, let's make sure we get this to the right person to sing it."

When Brice was presented with the song for the first time, it drove him to tears."It slayed me, floored me," Brice said. "And I immediately thought about my grandaddy. It wasn't even about his military side, it was just about him -- a dairy farmer, driving his truck around."

That connection comes through Brice's powerful rendition of the song that quickly climbed to number one. When his label threw a party in Nashville to celebrate the song's success, Brice flew out Monti's father, Paul, to join the festivities. It was a full-circle moment for the father who now has another special way to remember his son.

This post was originally published in 2015.

'I Drive Your Truck' Lyrics:

Eighty-nine cents in the ash tray
Half empty bottle of Gatorade rolling in the floorboard
That dirty Braves cap on the dash
Dog tags hanging from the rear view
Old Skoal can, and cowboy boots and a Go Army Shirt
Folded in the back
This thing burns gas like crazy, but that's alright
People got their ways of coping
Oh, and I've got mine
I drive your truck
I roll every window down and I burn up
Every back road in this town
I find a field, I tear it up
Till all the pain's a cloud of dust
Yeah, sometimes I drive your truck
I leave that radio playing
Same old country station where you left it
Yeah, man I crank it up
And you'd probably punch my arm right now
If you saw this tear rolling down on my face
Hey, man I'm trying to be tough
And Momma asked me this morning, if I'd been by your grave
But that flag and stone ain't where I feel you anywayI drive your truck
I roll every window down and I burn up
Every back road in this town
I find a field, I tear it up
Till all the pain's a cloud of dust
Yeah, sometimes I drive your truckI've cussed, I've prayed, I've said goodbye
Shook my fist and asked God why
These days when I'm missing you this much

I drive your truck
I roll every window down
And I burn up
Every back road in this town
I find a field, I tear it up
Till all the pain's a cloud of dust, yeah sometimes,
Brother sometimes

I drive your truck
I drive your truck
I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind
I drive your truck

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How the Father of a Fallen Soldier Inspired Lee Brice's Hit 'I Drive Your Truck'