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Millions of people who saw the movie Titanic left the theater with tears in their eyes. Lee Thomas Miller walked out a little misty-eyed, too. Even so, immediately after the show, Lee managed to jot down one of the flick's memorable phrases: "Unsinkable ships sink."
"I carried that line around with me forever," he says. "Years later I got together with Kelley Lovelace to write and we talked about what it meant."
"Unsinkable ships" immediately led the two songwriters to think of their fathers.
"The first time each of us saw our fathers cry was when their fathers died," remembers Lee.
"I was 4 or 5 years old," continues Kelley. "We were at a funeral and I saw a single tear running down under these big old sunglasses my father wore. Before that, I never saw my dad get emotional about anything. He was that unbendable oak."
This father-inspired part of the song was what initially made Joe Nichols want to record it.
"From the first three seconds, I thought this song was the story of my life," says Joe. "The part about the dad and the grandfather, especially. At the same time, it had a great message of hope."
The uplifting theme that emerged while creating the song is what appealed to the writers the most.
"I can't imagine being young and having a dream and not trying it!" exclaims Lee. "More than anything, that's what the song is about. Anything is possible."
"The Impossible" accomplished the incredible, when after several false starts it went on to become a No. 3 smash last fall.
"The song was pitched to - and passed on - by just about everybody who was recording that year," confesses Lee. "Then Joe Nichols heard it and wanted to use it as part of a project to get himself a record deal."
While Joe was still waiting to get signed to Universal South, a new record company that wasn't quite yet open for business, Mark Chesnutt cut the record.
"We as writers would have loved to have heard Chesnutt's version," says Kelley. "But then the publisher realized Joe Nichols still had rights to it, so he's the one that got to do it first."
The result? A debut artist from a brand-new label releases his first single and it hits the Top 5.
"Sometimes the impossible can happen," smiles Kelley.
-- M.B. Roberts
Written by Kelley Lovelace and Lee Thomas Miller
Performed by Joe Nichols
My dad chased monsters from the dark
He checked underneath my bed
And he could lift me with one arm
Way up over top his head
He could loosen rusty bolts
With a quick turn of his wrench
He pulled splinters from his hand
And never even flinched
In thirteen years I'd never seen him cry
But the day that Grandpa died, I realized
Unsinkable ships sink
Unbreakable walls break
Sometimes the things you thought could never happen
Happen just like that
Unbendable steel bends
If the fury of the wind is unstoppable
I've learned to never underestimate
And then there was my junior year
Billy had a brand-new car
It was late, the road was wet
I guess the curve was just too sharp
I walked away without a scratch
They brought the helicopter in
And Billy couldn't feel his legs
Said he'd never walk again
But Billy said he would and his mom and daddy prayed
And the day we graduated, he stood up to say
So don't tell me that it's over
Don't give up on you and me
'Cause there's no such thing as hopeless
If you believe
Words and Music by Kelley Lovelace and Lee Thomas Miller
(c) 2002 EMI April Music Inc. and Mosaic Music.
All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.