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Song Stories - "Anything Like Me"

This interview took a couple weeks to set up, but as it turns out the timing is just right. Brad Paisley’s No. 1 song, “Anything Like Me,” about a father and the future he sees for his young son, fits in with the Christmas season. 
You don’t have to be a dad to appreciate the beauty of this song, written by three young fathers as they reflected on their past and projected on their young son’s futures.
As I was interviewing one of the writers by phone, Dave Turnbull, he was sitting on a race car bed in the room of his four-year-old son Dave V. They were hanging out in the younger Dave’s room. At one point in the interview, after they had both put on their play goggles, I could hear the younger Dave come over and whisper something to his dad like “are you going to be through soon?" 
“Anything Like Me” was written by Paisley, Turnbull and Chris Dubois. Turnbull said that his son was two years old when they first started the song, and he remembered thinking, “If he’s anything like me I’m gonna be in trouble.” Dubois and Paisley had young sons at the same time also, making it very natural and fun to come up with lyrics. Turnbull said he and Dubois started the lyrics and then finished the song over a few nights at Paisley’s home near Nashville. 
Turnbull said the three fathers had a great time writing “Anything Like Me.” “We had a blast talking about our childhoods, different silly things we’d done and things we were going to expect to happen to us as fathers.”  When they were finishing up the bridge, Paisley’s son, Huck, was playing around in the same room.
Turnbull said all three writers had experience with situations like the broken window and speeding tickets. “I mowed grass for my first job. I remember going around different yards and charging $5 to $10 bucks. I had a speeding ticket the first day I had my driver’s license and used the grass-mowing money to pay it.” As for the broken window line from the song, Turnbull also admitted, “I threw a snowball through a kid’s window down the street by accident.”
But he says one of his favorite lines in the song is one Paisley contributed. “I really like 'magnifying glass trying to melt a Tonka truck.' That was Brad’s line.”
The first time he played it at a songwriter’s night at The Bluebird Café in Nashville, Turnbull was surprised that what he thought was a “funny and fun” song actually brought tears to listener’s eyes. “People were crying, which kind of surprised me, by the time I got to the bridge. It was people who had experienced those things, especially leaving the house, in the audience.” 
All three writers have other No. 1s, but to Turnbull this is special because it is about his son and he wrote it with old friends. He and Dubois have been writing together every other week for 12 years, and Dubois has often written with Paisley. All three have been friends for a long time, though. 
“This is definitely way up there, man, the fact that it’s about my son. I’ve written a lot of songs about him since he was born, but this is the only one that’s been recorded. Plus Chris and I have been writing for so long and been friends for a long time. And I’ve written with Chris and Brad for a long time. It’s just extra special to have a No. 1 with two of your friends.” 
The other “extra special” thing about “Anything Like Me” is that you can really feel the love these three fathers have for their sons. This leads me back to my original point about it being appropriate to write about this song at Christmas. 
Whether you are a believer or not, to think about the beautiful story of love the Bible tells should put you in awe. Considering the deep love a father has for his son, for a father to offer his only son to save mankind is one of the greatest stories of love and sacrifice of all time.  
And if Dave Turnbull’s, Brad Paisley’s and Chris Dubois’ sons turn out to be anything like their dads, we’ll have three fine and talented young men.
Anything Like Me lyrics

I remember sayin' I don't care either way
Just as long as he or she is healthy, I'm okay
And then the doctor pointed to the corner of the screen
And said, "You see that thing right there? Well, you know what that means"

I started wondering who he was going to be
And I thought heaven help us if he's anything like me

He'll probably climb a tree too tall and ride his bike too fast
End up every summer wearin' something in a cast
He's gonna throw a ball and break some glass
In a window down the street

He's gonna get in trouble, oh, he's gonna get in fights
I'm gonna lose my temper and some sleep
It's safe to say that I'm gonna get my payback
If he's anything like me

I can see him right now, knees all skinned up
With a magnifying glass tryin' to melt a Tonka truck
Won't he be a sight with his football helmet on?

That'll be his first love 'til his first love comes along

He'll get his heart broke by the time he's in his teens
And heaven help him if he's anything like me

He'll probably stay out too late and drive his car too fast
Get a speeding ticket, he'll pay for mowing grass
He's gonna get caught skippin' class
And be grounded for a week

He's gonna get into trouble, we're gonna get in fights
I'm gonna lose my temper and some sleep
It's safe to say that I'm gonna get my payback
If he's anything like me

He's gonna love me
And hate me along the way
The years are gonna fly by
And I already dread the day

He's gonna hug his mama, he's gonna shake my hand
He's gonna act like he can't wait to leave

But as he drives out he'll cry his eyes out
If he's anything like me
There's worse folks to be like, oh, he'll be alright
If he's anything like me