When you listen to enough songs, as we have over the decades, you start to realize that even on a massive hit, there are sometimes lyrics or lines that just don’t have the…intellectual impact…as other more well-written lines. Maybe it’s because the artist and/or writer was going for a certain feel. Or, they just needed something that rhymed. But the end result is, the words left some of us going, “Huh?”
In all genres of music, there are some lyrics that are just dumber than others (Um, Fat Bottomed Girls, anyone?). That doesn’t mean the song is bad, by any stretch (“She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah” isn’t exactly Shakespeare but it did pretty well). And the simple fact is, not every lyric can be as creative as Brett Elredge’s “If falling’s how you feel/And perfect is what you see/Then I’d be what you mean to me”.
Sometimes, you get a “Girl, You make my speakers go/Boom boom.”
So with that in mind (and tongue firmly planted in cheek), here are five quick candidates for what I would consider to be among the more…”huh?”-inducing… country song lyrics that I’ve heard, since, you know, that’s the format I know best.
5)”Girl you rock me harder/Than some downtown band”
This line, from Chris Young’s “You”, has all the descriptive power of … some great descriptive writing. But ironically, through its own generic-ness, the line has actually taken on a life of its own…to the point of getting used in some pretty hilarious memes, including this one (click below)
I just wish the song’s writers had named that downtown band. If that rock that hard, I’d like to see ’em.
4) “She’s a good girl but she’s not uptight/She can rise and shine and she can hang all night”
Josh Turner’s “Hometown Girl” is a fun, harmless little ode to that country “every girl” who can do it all– an image Nashville songwriters have churned out for decades. But whereas someone like Charlie Pride didn’t mince words when he sang “Kiss an angel good morning/And love her like the devil when you get back home”, Small Town Girl opts for these sanitized lyrics, so purified of any actual edge that they become the musical equivalent of decaf. And I prefer full caf, all the way.
3) “Back it on up/Fill your cup up/That’s what’s up, up/Let’s kick the dust up”
Sorry, Luke fans. I’m not picking on him; he didn’t even write this song (which was a huge hit). But you have to admit, rhyming “up” with itself four times? Yeah. However, all that said..? I love this song and whenever it comes on I admit I crank it up. Up.
2) “If you roll with me yeah you know we rollin’ high/Up on and thirty seven Nittos, windows tinted hard to see though/How fresh my baby is in the shotgun seat-o”
The boys from Florida Georgia Line co-wrote this with Cole Swindell and Luke Bryan (who sings with them on it) and I’m just thinking there might have been a lot of rolling and passing around while this was being scratched out. Fun fact: what sounds like “37 needles” is actually “37 Nittos“– a brand of tire popular with jacked up 4×4 dudes. Which does explain the use of “seat-o” as a rhyme. Explains, but in no way excuses.
1) “Truck, Yeah”
Sorry Tim McGraw but f*** yeah, this. I get that he probably wanted something he could get his concert audiences to sing back at him and the songwriters–Chris Janson and the dudes from LoCash–definitely gave it a chorus that calls for multiple fist pumps. But every time I hear it I can’t help but think dude, you’re Tim McGraw: people are gonna fist pump and sing back at you if you just sat there and crooned the phone book.
Anyway, no offense to anyone or any of these artists or songwriters, who are all more successful than I’ll ever be. That includes that downtown band, too…whoever they are.