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The first time I heard Ronnie Dunn's new single "Cost of Livin'", it gave me goosebumps and put tears in my eyes. There are so many people struggling right now and this song really touched my heart. When you hear him sing it - you feel that struggle. I immediately hit replay probably ten times, I just couldn't quit listening to it.
I just saw the video for the first time and this video had the same impact on me the song did the first time I heard it. You can watch it here:
In an story from The Boot, here's what Ronnie had to say about the song:
"There is a very unique story about ['Cost Of Living']," Ronnie tells Country Music Is Love. "That song came to me in 2008. Phillip Coleman had written almost the entire song, all the verses and stuff. It didn't have a title. It didn't have a hook line [or] a chorus. I asked when I first heard it if I could have a shot at it, [saying], 'Could you just give me two days? I won't hold it up or anything.'"
That's when Ronnie came up with the lines, "two dollars and change at the pump, cost of living's high and going up," and the song quickly finished itself. But while the country was reeling from financial losses all across America three years ago, some of the label chiefs felt the song wouldn't be relatable in the future.
"I had one of the record guys saying, 'The economy will be turned around by the time you can get this song out,'" he reveals. Ironically, Ronnie had to go back into the studio to make the lyrics say "three dollars and change at the pump," instead of two dollars. But while the song may be appropriate for the average American today, his record label still initially balked at the idea of the award-winning tunesmith using the song for himself.
"I had another executive come to me and say 'Hey, you're too wealthy to record it, you can't say all this,'" Ronnie notes. But the married father of three was undeterred.
"Well, I grew up in trailer houses in New Mexico, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Don't pull that one on me, man," he replied. "We can all relate to it. I even look today at the cost to run a bus, it's insane."