Watching You (Rodney Atkins song)

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"Watching You"
Rodney Atkins - watching you.jpg
Single by Rodney Atkins
from the album If You're Going Through Hell
Released September 18, 2006 (2006-09-18)
Genre Country
Length 3:55
Label Curb
Writer(s) Rodney Atkins
Steve Dean
Brian Gene White
Producer(s) Ted Hewitt
Rodney Atkins
Rodney Atkins singles chronology
"If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)"
"Watching You"
"These Are My People"

"Watching You" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Rodney Atkins. It was released in September 2006 as the second single from the album If You're Going Through Hell. The single became Atkins' 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. The song was written by Atkins, Steve Dean and Brian Gene White.

Background and writing[edit]

The song was inspired by Atkins' son, Elijah. After having found out that Elijah had been singing Atkins' 2006 hit "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)" to his teachers, he then had to explain to his son that it "might not be appropriate for him to be singing that in school".[1][2]


The song is a moderate up-tempo portraying two examples of a son learning from his father. In the first verse, the father and son are in the car together, driving through town. The son is eating a Happy Meal in the passenger seat, just as the father slams on the brakes at a red light, causing the boy to spill his food all over himself and say a bad word (implied to be shit). The father asks where his son learned to swear, and the boy then responds with "I've been watching you. / Dad, ain't that cool? / I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you".

In the second verse, the father heads out to his barn and begins to pray ("Lord, please help me help my stupid self"). Still later, at bedtime, the boy kneels beside his bed to pray as well, with his father watching. Upon hearing the boy's prayers, the father asks "Where'd you learn to pray like that?" to which the boy again responds by saying that he has been watching his father. The father then responds by hugging his son and stating his pride in the boy's growing up.

Music video[edit]

The video portrays the events which are laid out in the song's lyrics. Elijah also portrays the child in the song's video, and as a result, he has gained recognition in public.[3] It was Atkins' second video directed by Eric Welch.

In popular culture[edit]

On the Comedy Central special with Natasha Leggero 'Diamond Pussy' (2015), she lampoons country music and specifically "Watching You"'s lyric: "Knowing that he couldn't have the toy 'til his nuggets were gone."[citation needed]


Chart (2006–2007) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 36
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2007) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[7] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ AssociatedPress2007.pdf
  2. ^ Lonestar Country WITX Internet Country Radio
  3. ^ Rodney Atkins' Son Has Fans
  4. ^ "Rodney Atkins – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Rodney Atkins. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  5. ^ "Rodney Atkins – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Rodney Atkins. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  6. ^ "Best of 2007: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2007. 
  7. ^ "American single certifications – Rodney Atkins – Watching You". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 27, 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"She's Everything"
by Brad Paisley
Billboard Hot Country Songs
number-one single

January 27—February 17, 2007
Succeeded by
"It Just Comes Natural"
by George Strait
Preceded by
"If You're Going Through Hell
(Before the Devil Even Knows)
by Rodney Atkins
Billboard Hot Country Songs
number-one single of the year

Succeeded by
"Just Got Started Lovin' You"
by James Otto