The Combs-penned track tugs at the heartstrings as it tells the story of a special bond between a father and his daughter.
The track opens with a daddy-daughter dance: Told from the perspective of the child, Barrett sings of walking into the room holding her father’s hand. As he leads her out to the dance floor, she admits that she is nervous. He simply tells her to dance like no one is watching.
She steps onto his feet as the two begin to sway to the music:
“And he said, dance like no one’s watchin’ whatever you do/ And if life gives you love, then fall in, but always be you/ Oh, I know it’s a big world an it’s so easy to get lost in/ So, dance like no one’s watchin’,” Barrett sings in the chorus, accompanied by Combs’ harmonies.
In the next verse, she’s growing up — she sings about leaving for college. As her father loads up the last of her bags, he turns to say his last goodbye. Again, he offers her the same sage advice: Dance like no one’s watching.
In the final chapter of the story, the narrator and her dad are on the dance floor of her wedding, doing the traditional father-daughter dance. He struggles to keep his emotions in check as the gravity of the moment sinks in. This time, it’s the daughter who repeats the words of wisdom he taught her.
How Did Gabby Barrett Get “Dance Like No One’s Watching”?
Combs initially wrote the song with Emily Weisband and James McNair while his wife Nicole was pregnant with their first child. Although he didn’t know if his child would be a boy or girl, he knew Barrett was already a mom to daughter Baylah May.
“I was sitting in the bathtub one day. I heard my phone ding, and he [Combs] had texted me, and explained that this song was written with a couple of friends,” Barrett tells Entertainment Tonight.
“It wasn’t gonna work for him because he didn’t know if his child — his wife was still pregnant at the time, with their first baby, and they didn’t know if it was a girl or a boy. Come to find out it was a boy — this song was written more for a girl.”
“He knows that I have a daughter. So, it really resonated with me, and it fits perfectly,” she adds.
What Album Is “Dance Like No One’s Watching” On?
Barrett included the track on her sophomore album Chapter & Verse, which arrived on Friday, Feb. 2. It joins previously-shared songs “Glory Days” and “Cowboy Back” in the 14-song tracklist and is one of the few offerings Barrett did not have a hand in writing.
What Are the Lyrics to “Dance Like No One’s Watching”?
I was seven years old, he was holdin’ my hand / So, we walked in the gym, he could tell I was scared / Say, You can pretend it’s just you and me / So, I closed my eyes and I stood on his feet
Chorus:And he said, “Dance like no one’s watchin’ whatever you do / And if life gives you love, fall in, but always be you / Oh, ’cause, girl, it’s a big world, and it’s so easy to get lost in / So, dance like no one’s watchin’
He taped up the last box and he shut the trunk / Say, Go have a ball. Just don’t drink too much / You should be there by dark. You’re an hour ahead / Let us know you got there and never forget
I can’t believe that you pick this song / You can hold it together, just don’t look at mom / It’s just like we practiced back at the house / You those two left feet swimmin’ around
The greatest father-daughter dance song in country music history isn’t all that old. A legend sings a ballad he wrote for the occasion — that’s what separates good from great on our list of daddy wedding tributes.
Of course, every bride’s relationship with her father is unique, so we’ve worked hard to find a variety of stories. Stepfathers get some love, and there’s more than one lyric that’s less goodbye and more good advice. Click on a couple links you’ve never tried before, then choose your favorite father-daughter dance song in country music.
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