While much of the world was frustrated and discouraged by the challenges of 2020, John Rich was writing a song of encouragement. The Texas native wrote “Earth to God” last year, as a message of hope to those who were struggling, in many different ways.
“I don’t even feel like I wrote it,” Rich tells Everything Nash. “The day that it was written, I was not intending to write a song. I wasn’t in the mindset to write a song. I was actually quite the opposite of that, because I’m looking out the window like everybody else. And what I’m seeing out my window is absolute chaos and division, and things that are so big, and so out of whack that none of us can control it.
“We have no control, no matter what side of the opinion spectrum you might be on,” he adds. “Nobody can fix this. Nobody has any control over it. It felt like it was spiraling out of control. And at that moment I had this thought, ‘Well, what do we have in common anymore?'”
The answer to Rich’s question came in the question itself, a surprising revelation that served as the impetus for “Earth to God.”
“I thought, ‘Well, what we have in common is none of us have control over this. We’re all kind of sucked up in this vortex of chaos,'” Rich recalls. “The only person that really has control over it is the person that’s always had control over it. And that’s the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the creator of every human being that has ever lived or will ever live. And He’s right there just within reach of us, if we want to reach out to Him.
“I thought, ‘The world has gone on for too long not reaching out to Him,'” he continues. “‘And I wonder if this is His way of letting us know, ‘You want to see how chaotic things can get, if you leave me out of it for long enough?’ I felt like that was kind of just something He put in my heart.”
Rich had the idea for “Earth to God” being like a World War II veteran talking into a CB radio, saying “Earth to God, come in.”
“What does Earth want to hear God say back?” Rich reflects. “‘This is God. Come back, Earth.’ That would be the very short conversation. And so with that thought, in about 25 minutes, that pencil hit the page and this very simple song ‘Earth to Go’d was born.”
Although “Earth to God” wasn’t officially released as a single on country radio, and Rich isn’t touring right now, the song is already inching close to two million views on YouTube, an indication of the power of the song.
“It’s pretty much just living and social media and places like that,” Rich shares. “But to think that millions of people have heard that message, and hopefully have gotten some strength and hope from — it’s a good feeling, as a songwriter to know, I had a little something to do with that.”