The title was inspired by two quotes: one from Winston Churchill (“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.”) and the other, an old Irish toast (“May you be in Heaven five minutes before the devil knows you’re dead”)
A #1 Country hit, this became Rodney Atkins’ signature song, telling the story about the breaking down the walls of life standing in your way. The inspirational story relates to Atkins, whose adoptive parents helped him through a childhood respiratory infection and taught him the value of perseverance. In a city crowded with stars, Rodney joined the ranks of Nashville’s top Country singers soon after releasing his debut album in 2003.
Atkins has made many appearances at children’s hospitals where he performs this song for patients who are sometimes terminal.
The album’s first four singles — “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)”, “Watching You”, “These Are My People” and “Cleaning This Gun (Come on in Boy)” — were all Number One hits on the BillboardHot Country Songs between 2006 and 2008. In addition, “If You’re Going Through Hell” and “Watching You” were declared by Billboard as the Number One country songs of 2006 and 2007.
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Writers: Sam Tate, Annie Tate, Dave Berg
Well you know those times
When you feel like there’s a sign there on your back
Says I don’t mind if ya kick me
Seems like everybody has
Things go from bad to worse
You’d think they can’t get worse than that
And then they do
You step off the straight and narrow
And you don’t know where you are
Use the needle of your compass
To sew up your broken heart
Ask directions from a genie
In a bottle of Jim Beam
And she lies to you
That’s when you learn the truth
If you’re going through hell
Keep on going, don’t slow down