Every now and then you just have to write something fun and meaningless and ungrammarable that makes you happy just because it is what it is. Similarly, sometimes I like country music and if you’re lucky enough to be near my house when I mow the back yard, you’ll catch me singing along to some A Thousand Horses Pandora channel (possibly in a cut off tee shirt, depending on how many workouts I got in that week). Growing up, I never really liked country music and I based my music preference on whatever pitchfork.com reviewed about an 8.0 rating (it is how I found out about Tallest Man on Earth, which I do love still). Anyway, country music makes me happy when the sun is out.
So, if I could go back in time and make a mix tape of country music songs to have in my ear while I mowed, it would look like this:
1.) Smoke – A Thousand Horses
- Country songs have to be one part clever, one part sincere, and one part about drinking in order to really be good. This one checks all the boxes. The band is cool too because they’re one part Counting Crows, one part Skynard, and one part Stillwater (Almost Famous anyone?).
2.) Dirt – Florida-Georgia Line
- I throw up a little every time I think about the band, but the song is undeniable. Again, cleverly written lyrics about dirt. This song is like the Simpsons — it explains your whole life and you just kind of feel better after you listen to it. And it’s catchy, so it has that going for it, which is nice.
3.) Dust – Eli Young Band
- Smoke, Dirt, then Dust. What country songs lack in clever titles they make up for with catchy melody’s. This one isn’t as cleverly written as the first two, but sometimes you need a break from pondering life’s meanings and just need a good jam to drive it home.
4.) Somethin Bout a Truck – Kip Moore
- Basically, I met Kip Moore at a concert and I’m pretty sure if you asked him we’d be best friends. This song kind of helped my wife and I bond over country music, so it makes me all warm and fuzzy and anytime I hear it, I want to call her and tell her about it.
5.) Buy Me a Boat – Chris Janson
- This one isn’t a “clever make you reflect on things” kind of song, but it’s a “clever that you can rhyme ‘truck to pull it’ with ‘silver bullets.'” Also, I like the idea of singing this and someone walking by the front yards and hearing me sing a stupid song about winning the lotto and buying a boat.
6.) Even if it Breaks your Heart – Eli Young Band
- Eli Young Band MO – make catchy music that is easy to understand and fun to sing. I like this song because it’s catchy and fun to sing. BOOM!
7.) Carolina – Eric Church
- Gotta have some Church. This one is probably my fav for not being the “song of the moment,” but rather one that I’ve always liked and will always like. Could have gone “Springsteen” here too…
8.) Merry Go Round – Kacey Musgraves
- I may or may not have a celebrity crush on Kacey Musgraves, but beyond that I think she’s original and love her song writing, which I think she has a hand in writing all her songs. This song put her on the map, and it’s another one of those super-clever, wish I’da thought of that lyrical songs.
9.) Hey Pretty Girl – Kip Moore
- Wife walked down the aisle to a country song. Instrumental version so not to offend grandma, but it’s a special song. Plus, you know, best friends with Kip so…
10.) Tennessee Whiskey – A Thousand Horses
- Took me a minute to come up with a tenth, and I like round numbers. This one might be a little more of a “song of the moment” kind of thing, but I like the band and it’s a little rock while still being pretty country. And when all else fails, clever, alcohol, sincere…