Buy Me a Boat

Album: Buy Me a Boat (2015)
Charted: 41
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Better known as a songwriter, (he co-penned Tim McGraw's "Truck Yeah"), Chris Janson achieved a hit of his own with this self-released mellow rocker about big dreams and small realities. The song landed at #1 on the iTunes charts just hours after its release thanks to radio airplay from the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones Show. "We went to bed Thursday, a normal night, and then woke up to the phone ringing off the hook," remarked Kelly Janson, Chris's wife and manager to Billboard magazine.
  • Chris Janson wrote the song with frequent Brad Paisley collaborator Chris DuBois ("Then," "Remind Me.") Chris Janson told Billboard magazine that he was "in a '70s head space" when they wrote it; "maybe a Hank Jr or Waylon sound."

    He added: "I hate to compare myself to anybody so I won't do that. I've always taken a sense of pride in trying to be me and trying to find my sound. It's ebbed and flowed over the years, because you grow as a man, but with the song, I didn't pull any influence from anywhere except the stuff that I loved. The song came so quick and it felt so right and easy and we did it."
  • The song finds Janson dreaming of having the money to buy the things he desires, such as a boat. "We wanted to write a lifestyle piece that not only us but other people can identify with," he told Rolling Stone. "We tried to write it to America and people who live normal lifestyles. I am that guy."
  • Janson doesn't actually own a boat in real life. He admitted to Billboard: "I don't sail, I wouldn't know the first thing about a boat except how to get on it and how to not wreck. I never even thought about buying one, I'm just hoping somewhere along the line one will just appear in my life."
  • The song's video was directed by P.R. Brown, who is best known for helming Carrie Underwood's "Two Black Cadillacs" clip, and shot in Joelton, Tennessee. It marked the first time that CMT had funded and produced a visual for an artist.

    That's Chip Esten, who plays Deacon on the TV show Nashville, who can be seen rowing away in a canoe.
  • Chris DuBois had already written down the song title when he got together with Chris Janson for a songwriting session. He suggested "Buy Me a Boat" as a potential hook, then the song virtually wrote itself.

    Janson told The Boot: "We just sat down to write something that was fun, that we both felt was cool, and we both had Yeti coolers outside in our trucks. I'm sort of an outdoorsy, hunter-fisher guy, and he is, too. Everything just sort of naturally fit: The Powerball lotto, everybody's doing that. We just picked little things from life and put it in a song. The 'redneck, white trash, blue collar' stuff, that's really true to life for me. That's exactly how I grew up, so it's a real biopic song for me."
  • Chris Janson originally shot a low-budget video that included scenes of fun at the lake featuring his friends, including LoCash and Charles "Chip" Esten. When approached to do an official video by CMT, the singer kept the same feeling of closeness. "That's my family and friends," Janson explained to Audacy's Rob + Holly. "I mean, my brother-in-law is on that boat, Shane... of course, my wife is there, my kids are there, and my bonus son, Graham, my oldest son, he's on the boat with us. Charles Esten is in that video as well. He came into this video too. That was good to kind of recreate that moment."

Comments: 1

  • Mary Ann Packard from Spencer, MaI found buy me a boat. I have played it no ly. 10. Times in a row. I know every note I sing it with you since the second time.... I was so shocked and awed. You are pure magic!!! This is everything.... it says it all!!!!!!! I’m sorry... I miss your song. Already .... I thank you for writing that song it is so funny. It’s so perfect. I have never had a song speak directly a deep pain in my heart!!!!!!!!! Thank you Chris
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Rock Revenge Songs

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Director Mark Pellington ("Jeremy," "Best Of You")

Director Mark Pellington ("Jeremy," "Best Of You")Song Writing

Director Mark Pellington on Pearl Jam's "Jeremy," and music videos he made for U2, Jon Bon Jovi and Imagine Dragons.

Scott Stapp

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Donald Fagen

Donald FagenSongwriter Interviews

Fagen talks about how the Steely Dan songwriting strategy has changed over the years, and explains why you don't hear many covers of their songs.

Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Protest Songs

Protest SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know your protest songs (including the one that went to #1)?