The Perfect Country Song

music musings, beaverdamusa.comFor years, people have said that You Never Even Called Me by My Name (John Prine & Steve Goodman) sung by David Allan Coe was the perfect country song because it mentions all of the requirements for a country song – mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or getting drunk.  These are all wrapped up in the final verse:

I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick’er up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got runned over by a damned ol’ train

That song may be the perfect country song, but I have a theory about what will make a song popular.  Does it involve drinking, mama, or trains?  Maybe.  What is my theory on a guaranteed country hit? Repetition. Not repetition like Hall & Oates who take a single phrase and repeat it a hundred times.  But repetition in which you take a phrase and put it in different scenarios – especially throughout a life.

Maybe it is because people can identify with it as they go through the various stages of their lives.  Maybe it is because that phrase is the hook that you hear.  Either way, I am convinced it works – here are country songs that are written in this manner:

  • How Can I Help You Say Good-bye – Patty Loveless
  • Something in Red – Laurie Morgan
  • There Goes My Life – Kenny Chesney
  • Don’t Take the Girl – Tim McGraw
  • Austin – Blake Shelton 
  • Waitin’ on a Woman – Brad Paisley 

I just ran the numbers based on online sales and I am not sure I can make it on $2.37 a month.  

Oh well, back to the grind.  Thanks for reading.

Musing and looking for a hook in Nashville


About Zach Clayton

Zach Clayton started Music Musings in 2013, but isn’t a stranger to music. While he may be a mild mannered accountant by day, he always has tunes going and forces his staff at work to play music trivia when they enter his office. He is a self-proclaimed lover of all music genres with over 3,500 songs in his iPod. Zach’s first concert was Eddie Money in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in 1979 and claims to have seen Van Halen (all three incarnations) over 25 times. There have only been one or two years since 1979 that Zach hasn’t been to a concert. He also has the uncanny knack of getting to know several folks in the music scene – both out front and behind the scenes. Zach is in the process of indoctrinating his two boys into the rock and roll way by exposing them to concerts and various music while holding them hostage in his truck screaming the mantra – “rap is crap!”

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