Tough Little Boys

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"Tough Little Boys"
Gary Allan - Tough Little Boys.jpg
Single by Gary Allan
from the album See If I Care
B-side "I Can Love You"
Released June 23, 2003
Format CD single, 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 2003
Genre Country
Length 3:57
Label MCA Nashville 000946
Songwriter(s) Don Sampson, Harley Allen
Producer(s) Mark Wright, Gary Allan
Gary Allan singles chronology
"Man to Man"
"Tough Little Boys"
"Songs About Rain"

"Tough Little Boys" is a song written by Harley Allen and Don Sampson and recorded by American country music artist Gary Allan. It was released in June 2003 as the first single from Allan's 2003 album See If I Care. The song became Allan's second number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in October 2003.


The song, backed primarily by acoustic guitar and keyboard, is about a father who has always imagined himself to be tough, even as a child. However, upon looking at his own child, the father starts finding himself worrying about the child's safety, admitting that "When tough little boys grow up to be dads / They turn into big babies again." The song's chorus references the young adult novel Old Yeller with the line "Now I didn't cry when Old Yeller died / At least not in front of my friends."

Critical reception

Jennifer Webb of reviewed the song favorably, calling it "touching and tender."[1]

Music video

The music video was directed by Morgan Lawley, and premiered in mid-2003. It was filmed at the Tennessee National Air Force Base, and features actual soldiers returning from and during wartime, and their daughters, who come out and hug them in the end. Gary is seen performing the song in an air force treatment tent with an acoustic guitar, and in an airport hangar with an electric guitar, while videos of the soldiers on screens behind him are playing. His own daughter Dallas makes a cameo as well. He dedicated the video to all the soldiers who fought and continue to fight for their country, with a note at the end of the video saying "This video is dedicated to all the soldiers, who left their families, to fight for our country."

Chart positions

"Tough Little Boys" debuted at number 45 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of June 28, 2003.

Chart (2003) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[2] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[3] 32

Year-end charts

Chart (2003) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 30


  1. ^ Gary Allan - See If I Care: album review
  2. ^ "Gary Allan Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  3. ^ "Gary Allan Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  4. ^ "Best of 2003: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2003. Retrieved July 13, 2012.

External links

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