"This is country music…" – Brad Paisley

A classic song from the great Johnny Cash. “I shot a man in reno just to watch him die” is one of my all time favourite lyrics. This song is proof that country music can have a dark side!


I hear the train a comin’
It’s rolling round the bend
And I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when,
I’m stuck in Folsom prison, and time keeps draggin’ on
But that train keeps a rollin’ on down to San Antone..
When I was just a baby my mama told me. Son,
Always be a good boy, don’t ever play with guns.
But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die
When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry..

I bet there’s rich folks eating in a fancy dining car
They’re probably drinkin’ coffee and smoking big cigars.
Well I know I had it coming, I know I can’t be free
But those people keep a movin’
And that’s what tortures me…

Well if they freed me from this prison,
If that railroad train was mine
I bet I’d move it on a little farther down the line
Far from Folsom prison, that’s where I want to stay
And I’d let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away…..

Johnny Cash
Folsom Prison Blues (1955)

Walk the Line


Lady Antebellum lead female vocalist, Hilary Scott, says, “All three of us know what it’s like to get to that point where you feel lonely enough that you make a late night phone call that you very well could regret the next day.” Sound familiar?

“Need You Now” won both “Single of the Year” and “Song of the Year” at the 2010 Academy of Country Music Awards, and in 2011, it surpassed Taylor Swift’s hit, “Love Story,” as the best-selling country song of all time in America.

Lady Antebellum
Need You Now
Album: Need You Now (2010)


It’s a quarter after one
I’m all alone
And I need you now
Said I wouldn’t call
But I’ve lost all control
And I need you now

And I don’t know how
I can do without
I just need you now

I don’t know what you and your mates get up to when you’re hanging out, but my best friend and I certainly aren’t as ambitious as the two guys in this song! We also won’t be visiting Mexico anytime soon.

Having said that, the trouble that they get into is just one of the things that makes “Playboys of the Southwestern World” so entertaining, while the catchy tune never fails to make my hips move. This is the perfect song for Blake Shelton, who is one of country music’s coolest cowboys!


This is a song about best friends

John Roy wa a boy I knew
Since he was three and I was two
Grew up two little houses down from me

The only two bad apples on our family tree
Kind of ripened and rotted in our puberty
Two kindred spirits bound by destiny

Well now I was smart but I lacked ambition
Johnny was wild with no inhibition
Was about like mixin’ fire and gasoline

And he’d say “Hey Romeo let’s go down to Mexico
Chase senoritas drink ourselves silly
Show them Mexican girls a couple of real hillbillies”

Got a pocket full of cash and that old Ford truck
Fuzzy cat hangin’ from the mirror for luck
Said “Don’t you know all those little brown-eyed girls?
Want playboys of the south-western world”

Long around our eighteenth year
We found two airplane tickets the hell out of here
Got scholarships to some small town school in Texas

We learned to drink Sangria till the dawns early light
Eat eggs Ranchero and throw up all night
And tell those daddy’s girls we were majoring in a rodeo

Oh but my favorite memory at school that fall
Was the night John Roy came runnin’ down the hall
Wearin’ nothin’ but cowboy boots and a big sombrero
And he was  yellin’

Repeat Chorus

And I said We had a little change in plans
Like when Paul McCartney got busted in Japan
And I said we got waylaid when we set foot on Mexican soil

See the boarder guard with the Fu Manchu mustache
Kind of stumbled on John’s pocket full of American cash
He said “Doin’ a little funny business in Mexico Amigo”

But all I could think about was savin’ my own tail
When he mentioned ten years in a Mexican jail
So I pointed to John Roy and said “It’s all his,
now please let me go”

Well it was your idea genius,
I was just layin’ there in bed,
when you said

Repeat Chorus

Now we’re still best friends
Temporary cell mates

Blake Shelton
Playboys of the Southwestern World
The Dreamer (2003)

Having a strict Italian dad, I can say for certain, that this song wouldn’t play out as simply for me as it does for these two lovebirds. But, the image of a man, marching up and down the front porch, with a shot gun in his hand, wouldn’t have been nearly as romantic!


Verse 1:
Well I heard he needed some help on the farm
Somebody with a truck and two strong arms
Not scared of dirt and willin’ to work
till the sun goes down

So I pulled up and said, “I’m your man
I could start right now,” and we shook hands
He said, “The fence needs fixin’, the peaches need pickin’
And the cows need bringin’ round”

I was haulin’ hay, I was feedin’ the hogs
And that summer sun had me sweatin’ like a dog
So I cooled off in the creek –
Then it was back to work in the daggum heat

I was cussin’ out loud, thinkin bout quitin’
Lookin’ back now I’m sure glad I didn’t
Cuz just when I thought it couldn’t get no hotter
I caught glimpse of the farmer’s daughter

Verse 2:
She was just gettin’ home from Panama city
She was all tanned up and my kinda pretty
When her eyes met mine I was thinkin’ that I
sure love my job

As the days got shorter our talks got longer
The kisses got sweeter and the feelings got stronger
So we’d hop in the truck and get all tangled up
Every chance we got

Chorus 2:
We were down by the river all night long
When the sun came up I was sneakin’ her home
And draggin’ my butt to work –
With the smell of her perfume on my shirt

I’d be on the tractor she’d be on my mind
With that sun beatin’ down on this back of mine
Just when I thought it couldn’t get no hotter
I fell in love with the farmer’s daughter

We got married last spring
Woah and there ain’t no better life for me

Chorus 3:
I’m still haulin’ hay and feedin’ the hogs
And that summer suns got me sweatin’ like a dog
So I cool off in the creek –
And she brings me outta glass of sweet ice tea

I’m on the tractor and shes on my mind
And I can’t wait till its quitin’ time
Just when I think it can’t get no hotter
I come home to the farmer’s daughter

Rodney Atkins
Farmer’s Daughter
Album: Take a Back Road (2011)

This song is so good that many country music artists have jumped at the chance to record it! The most popular version, however, has to be by Rascal Flatts, which became a #1 hit on the Billboard country music charts in 2005 and won the songwriters a Grammy Award for Best country Song (Wikipedia).

I love the conviction in lead singer, Gary LeVox’s, angelic vocals. Seriously, I could listen to him sing the phonebook!

Rascal Flatts
Title: Bless the Broken Road
Album: Feels Like Today (2004)

See how Jeff Jenkin’s version scored him a place on Adam Levine’s (lucky guy!) team on the American version of “The Voice” (season 1). Proof that country music appeals to pop rock singers, too!

Say what? Who you calling crazy, Mike Eli? Let me give you the head’s up, when it comes to this song, please don’t judge a book by its cover. Sure it contains comments like “silly woman,” but I can assure you, these are the sweetest insults ever uttered!

What I really admire is the way the lyrics cleverly give the term “crazy girl” a dual meaning. In one breath this guy is calling his girlfriend crazy for being dramatic, insecure and thinking that he doesn’t love her. And, on the other hand he asks, “Have I told you lately, I love you like crazy girl?”

I first heard this song when Eli Young Band opened for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill earlier this year and was instantly smitten with it, not to mention this amazing band! I really hope they do a solo tour one day (not that I don’t love you Tim and Faith) because they are taking the country music world by storm!

Note: “Crazy Girl” won song of the year at the 2012 ACM Awards.


Crazy girl, don’t you know that I love you?
And I wouldn’t dream of goin’ nowhere
Silly woman, come here, let me hold you
Have I told you lately? I love you like crazy, girl

Eli Young Band
Crazy Girl
Life at Best (2011)

This fanvid has great taste in music!

Just imagine you’re hanging out with the guy you’ve been crushing on for what feels like forever. You’ve been locking eyes all night, exchanging playful banter, lending youself to any chance at physical contact. You know each other’s secrets, have seen each other at your best and worst. In your mind, you’re already planning the wedding and have named your 3 kids. Basically, you could cut the sexual tension with a knife! But, wait, there’s one problem … he doesn’t have the guts to make a move. Sound familiar?

If this is you, or you ever get into this situation in the future, then please use this catchy, breakthrough single by married duo, Thompson Square, as your manual. Ladies, no matter how frustrating the foreplay can be, sometimes we simply need to give the men a nudge, and learn to threaten them with the words: “Are you gonna kiss me or not?”

Note: The above statement is NOT gender-specific 😉

Thompson Square
Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?
Album: Thompson Square (2011)