In his smash hit song Amarillo by Morning, George Strait speaks about the rodeo. Remember how it goes?
They took my saddle in Houston
Broke my leg in Sante Fe
Lost my wife and a girlfriend
Somewhere along the way.
Amarillo by Morning speaks about the writer’s life as a rodeo man, and Straight reminds us about the trials he’s been through on the bull and in his personal life.
A song sang by many, Willie Nelson might be the most popular. In Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer), how does this verse end?
Well, you oughta see my blue-eyed Sally
She lives way down on Shinbone alley
The number on the gate, number on the door
The next house over is a grocery store.
Now, we’re not really sure what this means, but it sure is a fun line to sing along with! Try whistling it too; just as fun.
Every country boy would agree: We love a Redneck Woman! Can you finish Gretchen Wilson’s smash 2004 hit?
And I keep my Christmas lights on
On my front porch all year long
And I know all the words to every
All of the above. To really mix it up and drive the point home that she’s a huge country fan, Gretchen name-dropped Hank, Jr., the gorgeous Miss Tucker, and the legendary Dixie fiddler Charlie Daniels in the same song. Now, that’s a redneck woman!
Garth Brooks sold records like the Beatles in the country music genre, and “Friends in Low Places” is likely his biggest hit. But how well do you know it?
Well, I didn’t mean to cause a big scene
Just give me an hour, and then
I’ll be as high as that ivory tower
That you’re livin’ in. The whole premise of the song is that Brooks is the simple country boy sorta crashing the high-class wedding of his ex, so that lyric is actually him accusing her of being an ivory tower elitist. Pretty funny.
Boy, you’d be hard-pressed to find a band more indicative of all things country than Alabama. One of their biggest hits was “Mountain Music.” Can you remember how it goes?
Swim across the river
Just to prove that I’m a man
Spend the day bein’ lazy
Just bein’ nature’s friend.
Nothing prolific or deep here. Alabama sang a lot about nature, and they speak in this hit song about being nature’s friend. Sounds like a cozy life.
If you can’t feel the raw emotion of “I Hope You Dance” from Lee Ann Womack, you’re really missing out. A fantastic song, and a smash hit, the words are:
Livin’ might mean taking chances
But they’re working takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake
But it’s worth makin’. Womack tell us what we should all know: Love is the meaning of life, and if it’s a mistake, then it’s one we should all make. We should all be so lucky to truly love in life.
Curve ball time! Pancho and Lefty was a pretty big hit song for both Emmylou Harris, who originally covered the Townes Van Zandt-written tune, and then Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s duet. In the covered versions, the lyrics say, “Pancho met his match you know, on the deserts down in Mexico.” But how did Townes originally word that line before it was changed?
On the borders down in Mexico.
Not that different! The cover version just changed one word. We’re not sure why. Maybe the “border” was even political back then? Well, that’s the way it goes...
Alan Jackson will go down in history as one of the best to ever do it. Not many know, but Jackson writes most of his own stuff, especially his personal, family-oriented stuff. “Drive” was a classic from him, but can you remember the words?
Just an old half ton shortbed ford
My uncle bought new in '64
Daddy got it right 'cause the engine was smokin’
A couple of burnt valves and he had it goin’.
Probably not the easiest line to fit in there, but likely written that way because it was the truth about what Jackson’s father did to fix up that old shortbed to let little Alan drive. Very authentic.
Covered by Sawyer Brown and many other artists, “The Race is On” was a smash hit for George Jones back in 1965. How good is your memory when it comes to the original?
One day I'd ventured in love
Never once suspectin' what the final result would be
And how I lived in fear of waking up each morning
Finding that you’re gone from me.
The song has actually been sung with all of the above, but the original writer of the song, Don Rollins, wrote it as “Finding that you’re gone...” We have to say, all of them work.
Marty Robbins enjoyed a hugely successful career and did a ton of old-west-style songs. One of his best was “El Paso.” Do you know this one?
Out in the west Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl
Nighttime would find me at Rosa’s Cantina
Music would play and Felina would whirl
Ah, yes, Felina whirling along with that music, right before Marty shoots a man, is definitely something that sticks on your memory! Though we’re sure her eyes also lit up like pearls.