What is the song "I Can Only Imagine" about?


Quick Answer

The song ���I Can Only Imagine,��� performed by the contemporary Christian group MercyMe and written by lead singer Bart Millard, is about Millard���s imaginations of meeting Jesus Christ for the first time. Inspiration for the song came from the death of Millard���s father in 1991. Millard found himself repeatedly writing the phrase ���I can only imagine��� for several years following his father���s death from cancer. This phrase gave him peace as he imagined what his dad was finally experiencing.

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Full Answer

In 1999, during an independent song-writing project, Millard wrote ���I Can Only Imagine��� on a tour bus at 2 a.m., while returning home from a show. Millard said that he wrote the song in just 10 minutes and felt he was a spectator who observed the song-writing process. Millard said that, in life, his father expressed his preference to be in heaven rather than on Earth with his son, and a young Millard used the song to ask God questions about heaven's greatness.

The song ���I Can Only Imagine��� first appears on the band���s 1999 album ���The Worship Project.��� A re-recorded version also appears on the band's major debut album ���Almost There��� and is the album's lead single. The song reached No. 1 on the Christian music charts and received airtime on both secular and Christian radio.

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