Watch You Burn

Album: Starting Over (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire from a nearby hotel during Jason Aldean's headlining set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. Sixty people were killed and hundreds more injured in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

    The tragedy left the country music community reeling. Chris Stapleton, who was not on the bill for the three-day festival, wrote "Watch You Burn" in response to the shooting. Speaking to CBS' This Morning, the singer said penning the song was "therapeutic," as he processed his emotions about the event.
  • "Watch You Burn" finds Stapleton addressing the gunman, Stephen Paddock. He begins by telling him:

    Only a coward would pick up a gun
    And shoot up a crowd trying to have fun


    After 10 minutes of firing hundreds of rounds in rapid succession at the crowd below, Paddock stopped shooting and killed himself before police made it into his room at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino.

    If I could snap my fingers
    If I could flip a switch
    I'd make that last bullet first
    You son of a b---h


    Stapleton is angry that Paddock took his own life and won't get his due punishment here on Earth. However, on the chorus he feels reassured that justice will be done.

    You're gonna get your turn
    Yes, you're gonna get your turn
    Son, you're gonna get your turn
    The Devil gonna watch you burn
  • Chris Stapleton wrote the scathing tear-down of the mass shooter with Mike Campbell from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. "It's a self-therapy session sometimes. Sometimes that's all [a song's] for," Stapleton told The Tennessean. "Mike listened and... really got it to a place where he made me feel like it was not a song that was meant to be in my pocket."
  • The song features Campbell on guitar before building to a blistering conclusion featuring the eight-member All Voices Choir.

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