February 10.2014 – The Story Behind “Watching You” by Rodney Atkins

“Watching You” is the title of a song co-written and recorded by Rodney Atkins. It was released in September 2006 as the second single from the album If You’re Going Through Hell. The single became Rodney’s second number-one single on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart. It was named the number-one song of 2007 on Billboard’s year-end chart.

“Watching You” never would have happened without Rodney’s first chart-topping song, ‘If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows),’ and a precocious son, Elijah, who liked to mimic everything his father did.

Songwriter Brian White wrote the song with , Steve Dean and Rodney. Rodney was coming into the writing appointment and he was late by a few minutes. He said, “I’m sorry guys, I had to stop by the daycare and talk to Elijah’s teacher. She wanted to talk to me because Elijah was standing in line going, ‘If you’re going through Hell, hell, hell.” And I said, “You know, you probably don’t want him saying that.” Rodney said, “I want him to understand the sentiment of the song, but I have to teach him not to say that.” I told him, “Man, he’s just watching you. He’s picking up on what Dad does.”

Rodney’s eyes lit up and he goes, “Wow. We need to write that.” We wrote that that day, wrote the verse and the chorus and talked about what the second verse would be about, and the fact that it’s not always the things we see our parents do that we pick up on that are bad habits. I remember seeing my Dad praying, kneeling at the bed. We all said those are the things that impact us that we remember. Rodney went home that night and we kind of fed those directions to him. He wrote it that night. He said, “I played it for [my wife] Tammy Jo. She laughed. She cried. I think we did it.’”

I still to this day get e-mails, and we run into people all the time who say, “That song changed the way I parent my child. It impacted me.” I’ve had pastors write to me and say, “I used it in a Father’s Day message at church. We played the video.” And country radio embraced it. We got emails from country radio saying we needed a song like this. Rodney did a great job with it.

“Watching You” was a four-week number one on the Hot Country Billboard charts January27th – February 24th 2007.

LYRICS: Written by Brian White, Rodney Atkins and Steve Dean
Driving through town just my boy and me
With a happy meal in his booster seat
Knowing that he couldn’t have the toy
Till his nuggets were gone
A green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my brakes and mumbled under my breath
His fries went a flying and his orange drink covered his lap
Well then my four year old said a four letter word
That started with “s” and I was concerned
So I said son now now where did you learn to talk like that

[Chorus one]

He said I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah we’re just alike, hey ain’t we dad
I wanna do everything you do
So I’ve been watching you

We got back home and I went to the barn
I bowed my head and I prayed real hard
Said Lord please help me help my stupid self
Then this side of bedtime later that night
Turning on my son’s Scooby Doo nightlight
He crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees
He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands
And spoke to God like he was talking to a friend
And I said son now where’d you learn to pray like that

[Chorus two]

He said I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
We like fixing things and holding mama’s hand
Yeah we’re just alike, hey ain’t we dad
I wanna do everything you do
So I’ve been watching you

[Bridge]

With tears in my eyes I wrapped him in a hug
Said my little bear is growing up
He said but when I’m big I’ll still know what to do

[Chorus three]

Cause I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
By then I’ll be as strong as superman
We’ll be just alike, hey won’t we dad
When I can do everything you do
Cause I’ve been watching you

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

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