If Phil Vassar‘s ‘Don’t Miss Your Life’ lyrics sound like they’re from the heart of a dad, it’s because they are! The singing father of two wrote the touching and tender new single with good friend and frequent collaborator Charlie Black, following a plane ride that changed his outlook on the way he was living his life.

“This song just came about through conversation in passing,” Vassar tells Taste of Country. “I was on an airplane. It was a long flight, and I had my stuff spread out across the seat, trying to finish the lyrics to a couple of songs. The only time I can really get them done is when I’m on a plane because my phone is off and all that. I was just sort of sitting there, and the guy sitting next to me goes, ‘Hey man … you look like you’re busy. I just retired, and let me give you some advice … don’t miss the stuff with your kids. Do you have kids?’

Vassar continues, “He started going into it, saying he missed everything … missed all these dances, and missed this and that. He said, ‘Don’t miss that stuff because you can’t get it back.’ He was on his way to see his grandkids, and he was saying he didn’t want to miss that stuff with them because he missed it with his kids. It made me think.”

On a plane to the West Coast, laptop on my tray / Papers spread across my seat, a big deadline to make / An older man sitting next to me said, ‘Sorry to intrude / Thirty years ago, my busy friend, I was you / I made a ton of money and I climbed up the ladder / Yeah, I was superman, now what does it matter,” Vassar wrote in the lyrics to what would soon be his next hit.

“I started scrolling through my pictures, and I just started giggling,” he recalls of the same plane ride. “I thought, ‘He’s right … I don’t think I’m in any of these pictures with my kids.’ It was pretty bad.”

Scrolling through the pictures of my little family / My daughter with her mom and friends, not a single one with me / They know I love ‘em, I know they know I care / The truth is half the time, I’m not even there,” he later continued later, once he’d teamed up with Black.

“It just came out of that plane ride,” Vassar notes of the ‘Don’t Miss Your Life’ lyrics. “I just started writing the song. I had the first stuff written down, and then Charlie Black, who I write with a lot, I started showing him the song. He said, ‘Let’s finish that thing!’ [laughs] So we did. It’s such a special song to me.”

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