I Hope You Dance

For the album, see I Hope You Dance (album).
"I Hope You Dance"
Single by Lee Ann Womack featuring Sons of the Desert
from the album I Hope You Dance
Released May 3, 2000
Format CD single, Promo-only CD single, 7" vinyl single
Recorded September 1999
Genre Country pop
Length 4:54
Label MCA Nashville
Writer(s) Mark D. Sanders, Tia Sillers
Producer(s) Mark Wright
Certification Platinum
Lee Ann Womack chronology
"Don't Tell Me"
"I Hope You Dance"
"Ashes by Now"
Sons of the Desert chronology
"Everybody's Gotta Grow up Sometime"
"I Hope You Dance"
"What I Did Right"
Music video
"I Hope You Dance" at CMT.com

"I Hope You Dance" is a crossover country pop song written by Mark Sanders and Tia Sillers and recorded by country singer Lee Ann Womack with Sons of the Desert. The song, which was featured on Womack's 2000 album of the same name, reached number one on both the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts, and also reached number fourteen on the Billboard Hot 100. It is considered to be Womack's signature song,[1][2] and it is the only Billboard number one for both Womack and Sons of the Desert. "I Hope You Dance" won the 2001 CMA, ACM, NSAI, ASCAP and BMI awards for Song of the Year. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song and was nominated for Song of the Year. "I Hope You Dance" is ranked 352 in the list "Songs of the Century" compiled by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "I Hope You Dance" reached its 2 million sales mark in the United States in October 2015,[3] and as of August 2016, it has sold 2,093,000 digital copies in the US.[4]


Womack told The Today Show, "You can't hear those lyrics and not think about children and—and—and hope for the future and things you want for them. And those are the things I want for them in life. I want them to feel small when they stand beside the ocean." She also said, "Sometimes I have fun and lighthearted things. But even "I Hope You Dance." I was so shocked to see the way the kids got it. When—when I say kids, I mean, you know, like teen-agers. And we saw a big difference in our audience and—and the young kids that were coming out to the shows and really into "I Hope You Dance." It turned into like a prom and graduation theme."[5] Womack told The Early Show, "I thought it was very special. It made me think about Aubrie and Anna Lisa. And I—I didn't know—I can't predict if something's going to be a big hit or not. But it certainly hit home with a lot of people, connected with a lot of people and took me a lot of new places that I had not been able to go before and took my career to a new level."[6]

Womack told Billboard, "It made me think about my daughters and the different times in their lives. As a parent, you just hope those are the kinds of things you will make your children think of. But it can be so many things to different people. Certainly, it can represent everything a parent hopes for their child, but it can also be for a relationship that's ending as a fond wish for the other person's happiness or for someone graduating, having a baby, or embarking on a new path. It fits almost every circumstance I can think of."[7] In another interview with Billboard, Womack said, "When a song really connects with so many people, it's because they felt something when they heard it. This song makes you think about and feel for the people you really love in your life. Who doesn't have someone like that in their life?"[8]

In 2006 Womack told Billboard about an incident at the Country Radio Seminar and said, "I made some new friends at radio, caught up with friends that I had known since the beginning of my career and was able to enjoy a few drinks. Unfortunately, the next day I was performing at the MCA luncheon in front of a crowd of radio folks and, feeling a bit under the weather, I completely blanked out on the lyrics of 'I Hope You Dance,' of all songs. Lucky for me, most of the audience was hung over too and had a good sense of humor about it."[9]


"I Hope You Dance" is a mid-tempo country pop ballad in which the narrator, a mother, expresses her wishes to her children.

Two versions of Womack's recording were released. The original version features Sons of the Desert (who, like Womack, were signed to MCA at the time) singing a counterpoint chorus alongside Womack's main chorus, while a second version of the song released for pop radio omits the counterpoint chorus in favor of background vocals to accompany the main chorus. The song was also Sons of the Desert's first Top 40 country hit since "Leaving October" in 1998. The music video features Lee Ann Womack singing the song to her daughters.


Editors at Billboard gave the song a positive review and wrote, "This is a career record. Years from now, when critics are discussing Womack's vocal gifts and impressive body of work, this is a song that will stand out. It's one of those life-affirming songs that makes you pause and take stock of how you're living. It's filled with lovely poetry that will make listeners think. It's a great song, and Womack does it justice. Her sweet, vulnerable voice perfectly captures the tender sentiment of the lyric. The production is clean and understated, letting Womack's stunning vocal and the great lyric take center stage. Excellence deserves to be rewarded.[10] Ken Barnes of USA Today listed the "I Hope You Dance" as the fourth best song of 2000 and wrote, "Uplifting message song whose greeting-card sentiments and imprecise rhymes are outweighed by a gorgeous performance by today's reigning pure-country vocalist.[11]

Live performances

Womack performed the song at The Early Show on October 4, 2000[12] It was also performed on The Tonight Show in June 2000.

Track listing

US CD Single[13]

  1. "I Hope You Dance" (Pop Version) – 4:04
  2. "I Hope You Dance" (Album Version) – 4:54

US CD Promo [14]

  1. "I Hope You Dance" (Brian Rawlings Remix) – 4:05
  2. "I Hope You Dance" (International Remix) – 3:48
  3. "I Hope You Dance" (Pop Remix) – 4:04
  4. "I Hope You Dance" (Original Version Radio Edit) – 3:59

UK CD Single[15]

  1. "I Hope You Dance" (Rawling Mix: Radio Edit) – 4:06
  2. "I Hope You Dance" (UK Pop Version) – 3:57
  3. "I Hope You Dance" (Original Radio Edit) – 3:59
  4. "I Hope You Dance" (Rawling Club Mix) – 7:25

Australia CD Single [16]

  1. "I Hope You Dance" (US Pop Version) – 3:59
  2. "I Hope You Dance" (UK Pop Version) – 4:47
  3. "I Hope You Dance" (Album Version) – 4:54
  4. "Why They Call It Love" – 1:00
  5. "Ashes By Now" (Snippet) – 1:22
  6. "After I Fall" (Snippet) – 1:02

Chart performance

Lee Ann Womack with Sons of the Desert

Chart (2000) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[17] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 14
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[19] 1

Lee Ann Womack

Chart (2000) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[20] 65
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[21] 75
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 89
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[23] 44
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[24] 40
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[25] 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[26] 24
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[27] 13
End of year chart (2000) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[28] 87
U.S. Billboard Country Singles[29] 7
Preceded by
by Chad Brock
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single

July 8 – August 5, 2000
Succeeded by
"What About Now"
by Lonestar
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

June 26 – July 3, 2000
Succeeded by
"Some Things Never Change"
by Tim McGraw
Preceded by
"This I Promise You" by *NSYNC
"Thank You" by Dido
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
March 31, 2001
April 14 – June 9, 2001
June 23, 2001
Succeeded by
"This I Promise You" by *NSYNC
"Thank You" by Dido

Ronan Keating version

"I Hope You Dance"
Single by Ronan Keating
from the album 10 Years of Hits
Released 27 September 2004
Format CD single
Recorded 2004
Genre Pop
Length 3:34
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Mark D. Sanders, Tia Sillers
Producer(s) Steve Mac
Ronan Keating singles chronology
"Last Thing on My Mind"
"I Hope You Dance"
"Father and Son"

"I Hope You Dance" was covered by Irish singer/songwriter Ronan Keating and released as the first single from his greatest hits compilation, 10 Years of Hits. The single was released in September 2004, peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart. The single featured a new version of "This Is Your Song", a song recorded when Keating lost his mother in 1998. Royalties from sales of the single were donated to the organization Breast Cancer Care.

Track listing

  1. "I Hope You Dance" – 3:34
  2. "This Is Your Song" – 3:58
  3. "I Hope You Dance" (Mothership Mix) – 3:54

Chart performance

Chart (2004) Peak
Germany (Official German Charts)[30] 52
Ireland (IRMA) 16
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[31] 84
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[32] 49
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 2

Other cover versions

A Gladys Knight cover version is included in the 2008 film Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys.

The track was chosen for Lauren Alaina by singer Jennifer Lopez in season 10 of American Idol.

In 2012, Dutch singer Glennis Grace recorded a Dutch version, ("Dat Is Mijn Wens"), with lyrics by producer Edwin Evers, for her album "This Is My Voice".

Voice actress Michelle Creber covers the song on her album Timeless: Songs of a Century.

In 2013, CCM singer Mandisa covered the song on the deluxe version of her album, Overcomer.

In July 13, 2014, Sarah Darling makes a song selection from Rising Star.

In September 22, 2015, Emily Ann Roberts covered a song choice selection from the Blind Audition from The Voice (U.S. season 9).

In January 2016, Jennifer Lopez covered the song during her Las Vegas Residency All I Have


  1. Womack's song of 'Hope' dances its way to success
  2. Countrypolitan.com
  3. Bjorke, Matt. "Top 30 Digital Singles: October 27, 2015". Roughstock.
  4. Bjorke, Matt (August 23, 2016). "Top 30 Digital Singles Sales Report: August 23, 2016". Roughstock.
  5. The Today Show(August 18, 2001)
  7. Taylor, Chuck. "Womack's Heartfelt 'I Hope You Dance' Wins Radio Support For MCA Nashville." Billboard 112.27 (2000): 68. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.
  8. Price, Deborah Evans. "Ceremony Lights A New Fire Under Country Performers. (Cover story)." Billboard 113.20 (2001): 1. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.
  9. Stark, Phyllis. "Artists Share Their Memorable Radio Moments." Billboard 118.7 (2006): 44. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.
  10. Billboard Single Spotlight Review – Lee Ann Womack With Sons of the Desert (March 18, 2000)
  11. Barnes, Ken. USA Today 'Stan' the man of song But 'Girl,' some singers should have been bottled up (December 29, 2000)
  12. CBS News Transcripts The Early Show Lee Ann Womack Discusses the CMA Awards and Performs Some of Her Songs (October 4, 2000)
  13. "I Hope You Dance Single by Lee Ann Womack CD Jan 2001 MCA Nashville". eBay. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  14. http://www.discogs.com/Lee-Ann-Womack-I-Hope-You-Dance/release/5615582. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. "Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  16. http://www.discogs.com/Lee-Ann-Womack-I-Hope-You-Dance/release/6850128. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 7201." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. June 26, 2000. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  18. "Lee Ann Womack – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Lee Ann Womack. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  19. "Lee Ann Womack – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Lee Ann Womack. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  20. Kent, David (2006). Australian Chart Book 1993–2005. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-45889-2.
  21. "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 7178." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. September 18, 2000. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  22. "Dutchcharts.nl – Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. "Charts.org.nz – Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance". Top 40 Singles.
  24. "Lee Ann Womack: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  25. "Lee Ann Womack – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Lee Ann Womack. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  26. "Lee Ann Womack – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Lee Ann Womack. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  27. "Lee Ann Womack – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Lee Ann Womack. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  28. "Billboard Top 100 – 2000". Retrieved 2010-08-31.
  29. The Dallas Morning News Rising to the Top. (January 1, 2001)
  30. "Musicline.de – Ronan Keating Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  31. "Dutchcharts.nl – Ronan Keating – I Hope You Dance" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  32. "Swisscharts.com – Ronan Keating – I Hope You Dance". Swiss Singles Chart.
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