“Mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.'” – Forrest Gump
It may seem a little strange at first, but Forrest Gumphas had a big impact in country music. The lovable character from the popular 1994 movie had memorable words of wisdom for viewers. Some of those viewers were country music songwriters.
Where is the proof that country songwriters watched the movie?
Check out these three popular country songs…
Blue Clear Sky – George Strait
George Strait had one of his Straitagillion #1 hits in 1996 with the classic Blue Clear Sky. The song is a popular line from Forrest Gump, but it was unknown to George when he first heard the demo. In an interview with CMT, George said that he thought the lyrics should be changed to the “correct” way: Clear Blue Sky. The songwriters and his producer told him that they had to leave it was Blue Clear Sky since that is the way Forrest Gump said the line. George left the song alone and the tune connected with fans and remains one of George’s biggest hits.
For more on the story read Bob DiPiero Reveals the Story Behind “Blue Clear Sky”
Forrest Gump: Jenny was gone, then all of a sudden, out of the blue clear sky, she was back.
It Happens – Sugarland
15 years after the movie Forrest Gump was released, Sugarland released their tune It Happens. The song reached the top spot on the country charts in 2009 and became a fun, signature song for the country duo. While the song may seem frivolous on the surface, the simplicity of the lyric and the playful melody connected with fans.
A memorable moment in the movie Forrest Gumpis when Forrest is running back and forth across the country. As he runs he continually meets new folks and helps them in some way. A guy in the bumper sticker business has a chance meeting with Forrest just as the famous character steps in a big pile of dog…stuff. The incident prompts the laid-back Forrest to utter the popular life motto.
Sugarland made the saying appropriate for family listening the song and saying live on today as part of country music history.
Bumper Sticker Guy: [running after Forrest] Hey man! Hey listen, I was wondering if you might help me. ‘Cause I’m in the bumper sticker business and I’ve been trying to think of a good slogan, and since you’ve been such a big inspiration to the people around here I thought you might be able to help me jump into – WOAH! Man, you just ran through a big pile of dog sh*#!
Forrest Gump: It happens.
Bumper Sticker guy: What, sh*#?
Forrest Gump: Sometimes.
Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore – Bon Jovi and LeAnn Rimes
Bon Jovi went a little country in 2007 with their album Lost Highway. The album was inspired after the band had a huge #1 country single with their duet with Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles with Who Says You Can’t Go Home. That song led to an entire album of country tunes.
From that record the guys released another duet with another favorite female country artist – LeAnn Rimes.
Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore is a romantic love song about two people falling in love during the initial stages of the romance. The couple wants to be together until they know each other more than they know themselves.
The title of the song is like another line from Forrest Gump.
This time a young Forrest is about to get on the school bus…
Dorothy Harris: Are you coming along?
Young Forrest Gump: Mama said not to be taking rides from strangers.
Dorothy Harris: This is the bus to school.
Young Forrest Gump: I’m Forrest, Forrest Gump.
Dorothy Harris: I’m Dorothy Harris.
Young Forrest Gump: Well, now we ain’t strangers anymore.
Forrest Gump in Country Music
Forrest Gump was just a southern boy from Alabama. Many great country music fans reside in the great state. It’s safe to say that Forrest Gump liked the country music. Country music artists and songwriters have shown their love right back for the movie’s writers, producers, and characters.
The great thing about the movie Forrest Gump was that Forrest never really changed. The people around him changed for the better as they were affected positively by the great character Forrest Gump.
The story of Forrest Gump connected with many people. It’s no surprise to see many of the messages from the movie make their way into country music.
And don’t forget, the soundtrack to Forrest Gump was a huge seller. And there were plenty of country classics included…
“I may not be a smart man, Jenny. But I know what love is.”