The History Behind “My List” By Toby Keith
Whenever people think about country music responses to the 9/11 attacks, Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” always comes up. But it actually wasn’t the first song he released after that tragic day.
That song was “My List.”
“My List” was actually written and recorded prior to the 9/11 attacks. Keith featured it as the 11th track on his August 2001 album Pull My Chain.
Therefore, the song didn’t directly serve as Keith’s way of reacting to the tragedy. In fact, he didn’t even write it (that credit goes to Tim James and Rand Bishop).
But, considering the song’s message of taking time out of your busy life to treasure moments with the people you love, it makes sense why Keith released it as his first single following 9/11.
The Music Video Had A Huge Impact
Although the song was a multi-week number one, Keith explained in an interview with The Morning Call that it didn’t sell as well as other songs. But the sales weren’t what mattered to him:
“So it’s more about the impact of the song with the people than it is the chart,” Keith said.
The song’s music video made the greatest impact of all.
With the events of 9/11 still weighing heavy on everyone’s minds, Keith dedicated the video to the fearless first responders who jumped into action.
The video opens with a man and his wife watching TV as footage from the attacks plays on the news. Later, we learn the man is a firefighter. The end of the video shows him suiting up to respond to a call.
The end of the video features a direct dedication to all first responders. It reads, “Dedicated to those who protect and serve America every day.”
Just a year later, Keith released a song dedicated to more American heroes. This one, titled “American Soldier,” served as Keith’s personal tribute to the men and women who serve in the U.S. military.
Like “My List,” Keith’s “American Soldier” is written in a way that tugs at your heart. You can watch its equally emotional music video below.
To all who serve our country in any capacity, thank you.