Rodney Atkins’ ‘If You’re Going Through Hell’ Once Saved a Fan’s Life
Music can, quite literally, save lives. If you need proof, look no further than a story Rodney Atkins recently shared about the power his song "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)" held for a suicidal fan.
To Taste of Country, Atkins recounted a powerful story before performing at WE Fest 2018 in early August: The country star says a fan emailed him a few weeks after "If You're Going Through Hell" was released in 2006, to tell Atkins that the song had stopped him from taking his own life.
According to Atkins, the fan was feeling desperate after a string of unfortunate events: He lost his job, his wife had left him, and he felt as though there was no hope left. The man "was sitting in his truck in the parking lot of his church, and he had a pistol between his teeth," Atkins explains, when "If You're Going Through Hell" came on the radio. He threw the gun into a pond and went home.
"Your song made me realize it was a permanent solution to temporary problems," Atkins says the fan's email said. The singer says it's fan interactions like that one that make him give a lot of thought to the messages he is putting into his songs: "I definitely try to record songs that are gonna have an impact positively, hopefully," he says.
Since its release in July of 2006, "If You're Going Through Hell" has been certified platinum. It was Atkins' first No. 1 song on the country charts, and a crossover hit as well. Dave Berg and Sam and Annie Tate co-wrote the track.