FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Turn on a radio these days, and it's hard not to hear Rude.
The tune from Canadian reggae band Magic! became No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. In it, singe
As father of an 11-year-old girl,
"I was like, 'You know what? I need to write a response to that' because the dads of the world are not being represented well," said Cowart, a professional Christian-music songwriter who lives in this Nashville suburb. He's also an instructor for the National Praise and Worship Institute at
Cowart wrote new lyrics to Rude's melody, calling it The Dad's Side of the Story. He filmed himself performing the song with an acoustic guitar, and uploaded the video to YouTube. Within days, it was a viral sensation and has been viewed almost 5 million times in less than a week.
"Why you gotta call me rude | for doing what a dad should do | and keep her from a fool like you," Cowart sings in the video, recorded in his home. His wife, Jenna, walks through the frame a couple of times, carrying a laundry basket and singing harmony on the chorus.
The couple also write and perform their own music and recorded an album together in 2012. On Wednesday, they released a high-quality version of the Rude parody for purchase on Cowart's website.
Cowart said he didn't set out to write a viral song. When he listens to pop music with his daughter and two sons, ages 14 and 8, he finds himself making up new words on the spot.
While he's had success as a songwriter with artists like
"It's just funny," he said. "You go, 'Of all things, this is what takes off.' But if that's how the story's going to be written, then that's fine."
Magic! has shared the
Both versions of Rude are based on hypothetical situations, after all, and Cowart is pretty sure he won't have to tell a potential son-in-law the things he says in his song.
"If I do my job as a dad and love my daughter the way I should, hopefully I'll set the bar (for a husband) high enough," he said.