Country music

Aug 25th
Posted by shambo  as Language, music


Let me say this about that.

I’ll just come right out and say it.¬† I don’t get country music.¬† I realize it’s wildly popular, but have you ever listened to the lyrics of this drivel?¬†

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“I miss you baby but my aim is gettin’ better.”¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“She got the goldmine and I got the shaft.”

Not exactly Rogers and Hammerstein.  I mean, these country music guys make millions of dollars by writing lyrics that would insult the intelligence of Fred Flintstone.  How hard can it be?

True to my engineering background, I decided to conduct an experiment to test the difficulty of writing a country song.¬† My experiment uses one of the most famous songs ever recorded for the ‘music’, and I have gone out on the street and asked ordinary people to…¬†¬†¬† supply their own lyrics.¬† The country song used for the music was written by Ernest Tubb in 1941 and recorded by nearly every famous country singer since.¬† It’s entitled I’m Walking The Floor Over You” and the lyrics go like this:

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“I’m walking the floor over you,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I can’t sleep a wink, that is true,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m hoping and I’m praying as my heart breaks right in two,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m walking the floor over you.”

Lame Рlame Рlame.  A monkey with a banjo could write better lyrics.  So, I selected five sets of new lyrics from ordinary people to test the difficult of writing a country song.  The first guy was a cook and his lyrics go like this:

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“I’m carving a boar from the zoo,
        And trying to put more in the stew,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m hoping and I’m praying that it won’t taste like a shoe,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m carving a boar from the zoo.”¬†¬†

OK, not great, but not bad for a cook either.  My next subject was  a 14 year old guy watching a group of cheerleaders during a basketball game.  His lyrics reflect a condition every guy his age has faced:

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“Well, I hope I can score with that shrew,
          My quest to get laid it would renew,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m hoping and I’m praying, I can pop her cherry too,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Well, I hope I can score with that shrew.”¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

Hey, give the kid a break.¬† He’s writing from the heart.¬† Well, some part of his anatomy.¬† My next would-be song writer was¬†Hank the handyman,¬†and his lyrics mirror his blue-collar world:

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“Im fixing this door with some glue,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†And when I’m done I’ll paint it too,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’ll fix it and I’ll paint it, until my face turns blue,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m fixing this door with some glue.”¬†¬†¬†

True Americana.  I almost teared-up.  Next, I ran across a rather gay gentleman in a posh decorating studio and decided to see what folks with an alternate lifestyle could offer.  Better hide the kids for this one:

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“I’m re-doing the decor just for you,
          And new curtains are overdue,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m hoping you will love it, cause¬†I want to pack your poo,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m re-doing the decor just for you.”

WOW!¬† There’s a guy not afraid to give it to you straight (oops, sorry).¬† Lastly, I ventured over to the seedier side of town for one last attempt, and found Andre’ the pimp.¬† A pimp writing a country song – ya gotta love it:

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“I’m humping a ‘Ho with the flu,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m gonna soar right through her goo,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m hoping & I’m praying, I don’t die from this screw,
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I’m humping a ‘Ho with the flu.”

Conclusion?  Country music writers are overpaid.

And, that’s all I have to say about that.




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