What I’ve Been Listening To: Cute Country Songs Edition
On the radio recently, I heard Ty Herndon’s “It Must Be Love,” which I hadn’t encountered in years, and was reminded how sweet and adorable country music can be. A quick googling of Herndon turned up all kinds of weird stuff (example: indecent exposure arrests) that I’m just going to ignore because the call-and-response is so irresistible: “Is she there in your dreams? I don’t know, I can’t sleep!” and “Are you walkin’ on air? Well I’m sure feelin’ tall!” Why is there no official music video of this cute driving-away-then-turning-back story? Thank goodness an industrious YouTuber put this together, complete with pulsating hearts and episodic punctuation.
“I Got A Feelin’” tells a similar story of a guy trying to put all those wonderful feelings into words, or, more literally, letters. (Hint: “It starts with an ‘I’ and ends with a ‘U’.”) This one has a video, which I really enjoy because Billy Currington spends a chunk of it looking sweaty and uncomfortable:
I’m a little underwhelmed by his lady friend in the video, though I suppose I am thankful that at least she’s not in a midriff-baring crop top. I’ve replaced her in my mind with the much more interesting Courtney Jaye. I love her! So cute and funny! Her hair! “Box Wine” is probably the trailer trashiest of her songs, but she compares her guy to cheap alcohol in the sweetest way imaginable. Choosing box wine over “top shelf” reminds me of this little story in the New Yorker, which is the weirdest baseball-love-scifi matchup I could imagine, yet oddly poignant and charming.
Among the good-enough-for-me songs, Joe Diffie’s “Bigger than the Beatles” is a tale of a small-town waitress and a lounge singer who make eyes at each other in what would otherwise be a depressing hotel bar. I’m a sucker for these stories about finding happiness amongst unfulfilled dreams, without advanced degrees or powerful careers or other accomplishments our culture values. Also, the actress in this video is noticeably not a starved stick insect, which I appreciate. Video Bonus: Joe Diffie’s mullet.
All of these guys were surely The Wilkinsons’ Jimmy when they were young lads. Another creative and (probably) lovelorn YouTuber mashed up “Jimmy’s Got a Girlfriend” with footage of Jim and Pam from The Office. Jim and Pam made my heart soar at times in ways that love-struck, starry-eyed Jimmy does, too, so this meshing, though strange, makes sense to me.
And just because you can’t have a country music list without a done-me-wrong song, in keeping with the chipper theme, here’s one with minimal bitterness and resentment. This isn’t a take-down, but it isn’t without regret, either. Still, Justin Townes Earl and Dawn Landes’s “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?” probably is “the happiest song every recorded about an ex.”
Finally, to cap the evening, Lady A possibly Overthinking It on the goodnight kiss, but totally sweet and winning nonetheless: “Just a Kiss”