24 years ago this week Tracy Lawrence’s “If The World Had a Front Porch” did not reach the number one spot. It reached number two, never able to crack the top.
Lawrence co-wrote the song with Paul Nelson and Kenny Beard. A lot of the inspiration for the song came from Lawrence’s own childhood, which he spent most of his summers at his grandparents place in Atlanta. They lived in a small, simple house, with a front porch of course, where his grandfather who suffered from emphysema, spent the majority of his time. From those front porch sittin’ nights, Lawrence listened to stories, learned lessons, and right from wrong.
Back in 1995 Lawrence claimed that we has become a “backyard nation,” fencing ourselves in from the outside world. 24 years later and it’s safe to bet that many of us don’t even know our neighbors. This song gives us that sense of nostalgia, of imagining a simpler, friendlier neighborhood, town, and world.