March 20

The Man in Black’s Perspective, “The Prayer” by Aaron Watson

The opening moments of Aaron Watson’s The Underdog album signal that there’s something different and special about it. One gospel song from the album is “The Prayer”. Here, Watson’s deep vocals blend with a picked banjo and an ambling fiddle. Inspired by country-music tradition, its lyrics envision a come-to-Jesus second from the standpoint of the “Man In Black”, Johnny Cash, at his most troubled. We know the struggles the Man in Black had to go through. It was like most of his life is a turning point. When you listen and dig deeper to the words in the song, you will certainly understand what we are talking about.

The Man in Black’s Perspective, “The Prayer” by Aaron Watson 1

A Challenge for Watson

Watson did undoubtedly bring us to the Man in Black’s grounding spirit with an extraordinary persuasion. However, Watson shared how he was challenged by this. His exact words were,

 “How can I write a gospel song that is going to be powerful and artistic, and also give a nod to my love for songwriting?”

Watson surely tried to bend his songwriter strengths as he put together the pieces to this song. For the versatile vocalist, this means an important song made strongly melodic.

Let’s Humble Ourselves for “The Prayer”

Each of us has their own prayer every day. The most important thing there is in a prayer is to not forget to praise God and hail Him before anything else. Putting our shoes to Johnny Cash’s, distressed and troubled,

 “There’s the man in black with a needle in his vein
Lying flat upon his back this is the prayer that he once prayed.

…..Upon my castle made of sand I cannot be the king of me.”

As a child, Aaron Watson had a personal time with his father which most likely made him the humble man he is. While working in the safekeeping business, Watson’s father requested for help cleaning a church one summer day. Despite his plans to go swimming with friends, Watson hesitantly agreed to the task. They were sitting at the church, and he was cleaning these toilets. Watson was really complaining a lot about it, and finally, his dad came around the corner and said ‘Hey, do you think that when I was a little boy that I wanted to grow up and clean toilets?’” Answering respectfully with “no sir,” his father went on to explain a life lesson that Watson admires. After being hurt in the war, Watson’s father said that God blessed him with that job, because of it, he was able to provide for his family.

Therefore, his father introduced God to Watson through this inspiring story. That being humble before God means so much to his father as well as his family. No wonder that Watson going against the grains and against all odds, he faced his hardships with persistence and a head-strong mentality.

An outlook that would appear to be a pattern throughout the course of his life and career, living this faith song, “The Prayer”.


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