Although I don’t normally venture outside my comfort zone of classic rock, the combination of fat fingers and a rabbit hole lead me to press the “country & western” button on the radio app. Which bought up a whole new world of strange mid-US radio stations, most with unusual names such as JizzFM or KrabsAM.
Venturing further, and with a sense of daring, I discovered a whole new world of US artists with names such as Randy Travis or Earl Bigboy Bubba.
Really – who goes around call himself “Randy”?
Now, I have to say, for a music genre that seems to compose of three instruments (guitar, banjo and harmonica), using a maximum of three different cords, these mid western Yanks have made up for the lack of musical variety by the lyrics. I was so fascinated I started to make notes.
Quite frankly, if you translated some of these lyrics into Spanish and published them, Leire Pajin would have her sexual equality goons after you within minutes.
Misogyny, red-necks and devotion to God and the Homeland are prominent features in these songs. Now, I don’t want to sound like a sassy Brit chuckling about the unsophisticated Yanks, but it’s difficult to sound otherwise.
Lets take this charming little ode to the virtue of stalkers (sung with the appropriate amount of menace in the voice) and jotted down by me as I sang along:
You can tell everyone that we’re through
You might even believe it too
But darling, there ain’t no getting over me
Darling, there ain’t no getting over me
I’ll be the face that you see in the crowd
I’ll be the times that you cry out loud
You can say that you need to be free
But there’s no place that I won’t be
So you can walk out on me tonight
If you think that it ain’t feeling right
But darling, here ain’t no getting over me
You’ll see, sweet darling
There’s ain’t no getting over me
No doubt this song will be presented by the prosecution at some future point. “I warned ‘er Mr Judge” the singer will say earnestly. “God damn it, but she made me do it”.
Mind you, I liked the Texan girl who sang:
the barkeep shouts “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here”
it’s two in the morning and it’s a long drive home
and we all crowd the bar yelling for one last shot
coz it’s a long drive home
Drink driving, eh? I bet you don’t have to wear a seatbelt, either.
Or the happy fellow who sings about his new car, but laments that “it ain’t worth jack if you don’t have a girl in the back; and if you don’t have one, try having two“.
God bless Salt Lake City, eh? I see where Doyle was coming from in A Study in Scarlet.
Of course, we can’t forget the farming lads.
I’m not a city boy,
I can hotwire a tractor
and plough your field
I just can’t understand why he would need to hotwire a tractor. And why steal a tractor if you’re only going next door to plough someone elses field? Weird.
Of course, almost all the songs have to put a mention to God in, even if it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the plot of the song. We skip over this nonsense.
There are the occasional heart wrenching song, such as one I heard about a man lamenting that he ignored his little girl saying that her schoolfriend was being abused until it was too late and little Lisa was found dead, and wishing he had told the authorities something earlier. That one really did have me in tears, and I had to sit down for a minute.
Frankly, I’m fascinated. But after three days, I realise I’ve heard the lot. So it’s back to I’m sorry but I haven’t a clue as I amble through the fields stealing the occasional orange or fig. (I’m up to season 5 now, in case you’re taking notes).