I love country music. That’s why I’m qualified to make fun of it when it goes awry. I grew up listening to country and occasionally had to suffer through a stupid lyric or two. Consider this my revenge. The following irreverence is spewed with the utmost respect. Long live country.
1. From “Bony Fingers”, Recorded by Hoyt Axton in 1974
Work your fingers to the bone and what do you get? Bony fingers! Bony fingers!
This is not true. You would not get bony fingers. You would get calloused fingers, but they wouldn’t be any bonier. And he says it with such excitement. Listen to the song. It sounds like he’s won a prize! Bony fingers! Yippee!!!
2. From “I’ve Been Flushed from the Bathroom of Your Heart”, Recorded by Johnny Cash in 1968
I’ve been washed down the sink of your conscience In the theater of your love I lost my part And now you say you’ve got me out of your conscience I’ve been flushed from the bathroom of your heart
Way to go, Johnny, rhyming “conscience” with “conscience.” That was clever and creative. But, theater of your love? Does that mean that her love was a performance? That it wasn’t real? Was she the actor or the director?
Now, I come dangerously close to worshipping Johnny Cash. So, I’ve made up an excuse for the catastrophe that is this song. He performed it at Folsom Prison, and the inmates thought it was hilarious. It’s important for a performer to target his audience. But man … flushed?
3. From “Country Rap”, Recorded by The Bellamy Brothers in 1987
We got pickup trucks chicken clucks Happy even when we’re down on our luck We got fatback that’s a fact And if you don’t know that’s a country rap. The neighbor down the roads got a cow for sale Twenty dollars more you get the horns and tail Saturday night we’re gonna go get drunk Something in the road smells like a skunk.
They actually rap this. Two middle-aged white guys. This was the eighties, long before hip hop and country were competing for teenyboppers’ allowances. This was the eighties when the country was content to be country, and Nashville couldn’t even define hip hop. That’s why there’s no excuse for this song. And why on earth would you want the horns and tail? I had to look up “fatback” and this is what I found:
Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. the fat and fat meat from the upper part of a side of pork, usually cured by salt. OK, that’s just disgusting! 2. a menhaden. I had to look this up too. It’s an east coast fish used to make oil. 3. the bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix. 4. a mullet. Another kind of fish, but I’m tempted to think they meant the hairstyle.
I dare you to come up with a more ambiguous word that (almost) rhymes with fact.
4. From “Dropkick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life”, Recorded by Bobby Bare in 1976
Dropkick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life End over end neither left nor to right Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights Drop kick me Jesus through the goalposts of life.
This song is coined, “The world’s only Christian football waltz,” and while I wish there were more of these, I still have to criticize this one. I am no football guru, but I have never seen anyone drop kick a field goal. Nor have I ever seen a punt go through the goalposts. Does this even make sense? And isn’t Jesus supposed to wrap His loving arms around His sheep, not kick them end over end?
5. The entire lyrics of “I Love”, Written and Recorded by Tom T. Hall in 1973
I love little baby ducks, old pick-up trucks, slow movin’ trains, and rain. I love little country streams, sleep without dreams, sunday school in May, and hay. And I love you too. I love leaves in the wind, pictures of my friends, birds of the world, and squirrels. I love coffee in a cup, little fuzzy pups, bourbon in a glass, and grass. And I love you too. I love honest open smiles, kisses from a child, tomatoes on a vine, and onions. I love winners when they cry, losers when they try, music when it’s good, and life. And I love you too.
OK, this guy was just stoned out of his mind. And I can’t stop laughing all of a sudden.
6. From “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”, Recorded by Trace Adkins in 2005
Got it goin’ on Like Donkey Kong And whoo-wee Shut my mouth, slap your grandma There outta be a law Get the Sheriff on the phone Lord have mercy, how’s she even get them britches on That honky tonk badonkadonk (Aww son)
Aside from the fact that it pisses off every feminist in the universe, I have one main complaint about this song . . . who the hell slaps their grandma? That’s just rude! And totally illegal! And isn’t Donkey Kong a male ape? So Trace Adkins is saying he’s attracted to a male ape? Or just a male ape ass? I’m so confused. And, really, did anyone ever call it a badonkadonk before this song came out?
7. From “There’s a Tear in My Beer”, Recorded by Hank Williams Jr. and Hank Williams in 1990
There’s a tear in my beer ’cause I’m crying for you dear
These are only the first two lines of the song, and the song only gets worse. Hank Sr. recorded this song, but didn’t release it before he passed away, so it remained forgotten for decades. Once it was discovered, Hank Williams Jr. recorded it again, and dubbed the two voices together, so the single featured father and son. Sweet thought. But there’s a reason daddy left this one in the attic in the first place.
8. From “Achy Breaky Heart”, Recorded by Billy Ray Cyrus in 1992
But don’t tell my heart, my achy breaky heart I just don’t think he’d understand And if you tell my heart, my achy breaky heart He might blow up and kill this man Ooo
Apparently I am alone in thinking these lyrics are ridiculous because he actually won awards for this. This song launched his career. So what do I know? What I want to know is, who talks like this? Why couldn’t he have sung, “My aching, breaking heart?” That would have been bad enough. This sounds like he’s singing to a group of toddlers, “And who wants their achy breaky sippy cup full of juicy?”
9. From “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox”, Recorded by Joe Diffie in 1993
Prop me up beside the jukebox if I die Lord, I wanna go to heaven but I don’t wanna go tonight Fill my boots up with sand, put a stiff drink in my hand Prop me up beside the jukebox if I die
Just one question. If he dies? Like he might not?
10. From “I’ll Come Back as Another Woman”, Recorded by Tanya Tucker in 1986.
You never gave me back the love I gave to you. You just gave me half your heart and that half was untrue. So I’ll leave you with a promise, from a heart that’s heard enough: Someday you’ll find out that you can’t escape my love. I’ll come back as another woman, One with all the secrets to your heart. I’ll come back as another woman, I’ll be the one you burn for, That you reach for in the dark. I’ll be the one that breaks your devil heart. You’ll hear the echo of my promise, (Ha, Ha, Ha.) How you laughed and how I cried. The one you finally give your heart to, (Ha, Ha, Ha.) I will leave you crying in the night.
I love Tanya Tucker. I really do. Her voice is amazing. But this song is just creepy. I don’t get it. Is she going to come back from the dead? Is she going to be a younger, reincarnated version of the one with a broken heart? Or does this mean she is going to go get herself disguised? Plastic surgery maybe? Did they have that in 1986? Or is she going to steal another woman’s identity? I know, I’m reaching now, but I just don’t see how a guy could be a big enough idiot to allow an ex-lover to sneak up on him and seduce him. Bizarre. And creepy.
Wow, I can’t believe I got through the entire list without making fun of Shania Twain. Maybe there should be a sequel.