Let me start this post by stating that I am a country music fan – particularly of the outlaw genre. The musicians are incredibly and diversely talented. I also live in and love the South. The vast majority of the country music songs are about Southerners; it is a tribute to the gentle and kind nature of the people here that they are able to laugh along with the teasing and stereotypes in the songs.
There are many life lessons you can learn from listening to country music. For example, if I were a guy dating a country music singer, I don’t think I would cheat on her. Listen to songs like “Gun Powder and Lead”, “Before He Cheats”, and “Cheatin'” – these women are mean. Miranda will shoot you dead, Carrie will key your car and slash your tires, and Sara will humiliate you in front of the world.
It takes some serious talent to make fun of your fans in a song, and still have them adore you and purchase the music. A classic example of this is “Queen of My Double Wide Trailer” by Sammy Kershaw. Sammy meets the woman of his dreams and takes her home with him. She eventually starts cheating on him (with a man named Earl) and Sammy goes to get his woman back, telling her “[h]oney lets just go home and have some onion rings and watch tv.” (He would have had me at onion rings.) His parting words to Earl were “[t]his is the queen of my double wide trailer with the polyester curtains and the redwood deck.” I laugh every time I hear that song.
Another fun one by Sammy Kershaw is about a girl named “Vidalia,” with the play on the sweet onion of the same name. The chorus of that song is “Vidalia, Vidalia, girl won’t you tell me why…. Sweet Vidalia, you always got to make me cry.”
I think one of the ways that the artist keeps the loyalty of the fans is by making fun of himself as well. Waylon Jennings wrote and sang about having to live somewhere in the middle of the country because he is “too dumb for New York City, too ugly for L.A.”
Pop or rock music, on the other hand, is often either (i) unintelligible (meaning that I can’t hear or understand what they are saying) or (ii) so repetitive that I want to do those things that Miranda, Carrie and Sara are doing. Have you ever listened to John Mayer’s “Say”? I have included it below. How many times does he sing “say what you need to say?” I counted thirty-eight. It really makes me want to key his car.
Recently, I have spent some time in Ellabell, Georgia. It is a lovely place, but it is, with all due respect, in the middle of nowhere. When getting directions for my first visit, the person said something about driving by the “Dipping Dash.” I didn’t ask about that but thought it was odd – what is it?? I hoped it had something to do with ice cream. On my first trip, I found out that it is a convenience store called the “Dip N Dash.” And I don’t think it is named for vegetable or potato chip dip.
I made more than ten trips to Ellabell and past the Dip N Dash until finally my curiosity couldn’t take it anymore and I went in to check it out. I bought a water, which I figured was safe. I lined up to pay for it and I was behind a woman buying … mascara. I swear I could hear Jeff Foxworthy saying “If you buy your makeup at the Dip N’ Dash, you might be a redneck.” I had to laugh to myself; I paid for my water and then left.
For the remainder of my drives to and from Ellabell, I couldn’t help but wonder if there is a country song to be made about the Dip N Dash.
When I saw that she drove a hemi three-quarter ton
I found love at the Dip N Dash
We were both low on our stash
We found love in our favorite place
Right next to the bait case