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The Top 5 Cleverest Country Song Titles Of All Time
Country music has been described through a number of stereotypes over the years, some good, some not so good, some smart and some not. No doubt you’ve heard someone mockingly describe country tunes with a variation on this idea: “My dog dumped me, my woman got stolen, and my truck dumped me for another man” (something like that). There is also a famous description (I think it was Hank Williams, but I could be wrong) of country music as “3 chords and the truth”, which I think is about right.
But despite the seemingly superficial metaphorical aspect of “good love gone bad,” there are a number of country song titles that are not only clever, but even profound. Maybe just because of the way the song titles highlight something obvious that wasn’t described in a certain way. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to narrow down the list of the most clever country song titles to 5:
1. She Thinks I Still Care – George Jones
This classic Jones heartbreak is a really great song, cleverly titled or otherwise. This song heralded George Jones’ discovery of his own unique style and became a #1 hit. But the delightful irony so subtly and sarcastically veiled in the title is what really makes the song work. When George sings, “just because I saw her fall to pieces/ she thinks I still care,” we feel that feeling because we’ve all felt it before.
2. I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know About Her – Various Artists
Everyone and their sisters in the music world covered this one. Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn…the list goes on. This is another absolute standard in the country music canon; and there is a reason for that. Another heartbreaking song, we see in the title the voice of an angry scorned lover who is struggling to cope with the loss of his beloved. The title is almost a reassuring mantra that carves out a new lover and comforts the speaker. “You think you know the smile on her lips / the thrill of the touch of her fingertips / but I’ve forgotten more about her than you’ll ever know.” Well said.
3. Who’s in when I’m out – Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys
It’s kind of an obscure number…which is too bad, because it really is a wonderful piece of music. It sounds almost like a funeral march in New Orleans, and Bob Wills’ recording is filled with all sorts of screams and wails. Here we see what a suspicious husband (or wife) thinks is going on when he is gone. It’s a catchy tune, albeit upbeat, but the jealousy comes through in the title. That makes sense, right?
4. Biblically Married, Legally Divorced – Hank Snow
“Thousands of divorces/ has this human race gone mad?/ I’ve always believed that marriage should be a sacred thing.” It’s obviously a bit of an old song because I don’t think anyone follows the old ideas of marriage anymore. The separation of church and state is reflected in the title of this song. This is a good idea. Old Hank would be spinning in his grave if he saw the number of divorces today… I think you can get a divorce now without even getting married. But I have to be careful… I think I just found another clever name.
5. The man who wrote “Home Sweet Home” was never married – Charlie Poole
“She’ll meet you at the door if you want to come in / She’ll knock you down with a rolling pin.” This is a really great song (and recording if you can find it). Cheerful. Maybe a misogynist too, but it’s just a couple of old drunks from North Carolina singing and picking up the banjo. This song has no meaning in real life. Absolutely none.
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