Sitting at my desk this morning and looking out at a torrential downpour so common in the Pacific Northwest, I wasn’t feeling my writing mojo, so I searched around for something to do when your spice rack has already been alphabetized and your shoe closet is lined up like a diagnosis poster for OCD.
After some pondering, I decided to clean out my iPod song list. (Purging old stuff makes me happy, and it was 2 a.m., which left few options. I live in a small town. Our bar for entertainment is often quite low.)
As I was reviewing my playlist, a few songs stood out as the “Best of” in my imaginary CMA categories. Many were recent hits, and a few were timeless classics that still deserve some recognition. If I were a judge at the Country Music Awards, these would be my picks.
Best Pity Party Heartbreak Song: When Someone Stops Loving You, by Little Big Town. If you’ve ever spent the day in your footie jammies, sobbing into a half gallon of Ben & Jerry’s and a box of wine because your slimy boyfriend is sleeping with, well…everybody (not that I’ve ever owned footie jammies…okay, maybe once…fine, this defines my 20s. But in my defense, those are the drama years), this song nails it.
“When someone stops loving you, it don’t make the evening news. It don’t stop the sun from rising, the clock from winding, your heart from beating, even if you want it to…”
Best “Nice to Meet You, Want to Come Up and See My Sketches?” Song: Somebody Else Will, by Justin Moore.
“Somebody else will, if I don’t, walk up and ask you your name right now, offer to buy you a drink, sit down, and tell you your looks could kill, take a chance on your lips, stealin’ a kiss, making your world stand still. Somebody else is gonna hold you. Somebody gonna get to know you. If I don’t, somebody else will.”
If you’ve ever eyed a stranger across the bar, this song will bring back fond memories from your debauched youth. (And if that person isn’t your current spouse, we promise not to tell.)
Best “Neener, Neener. You Blew It, Baby” Song: When it Rains, it Pours, by Luke Combs. Hilarious, and perfectly describes the feeling you get when you run into your lonely and pathetic ex, whom you thought you had “forever” with, but who decided that “forever” ended last Tuesday, but now wants you back because your life is fabulous and his sucks. The current version is written from his point of view, but this song could easily be adapted to a female artist. I’ll write the new lyrics.
“Sunday morning…I was all alone. Then I won a hundred bucks on a scratch-off ticket, bought two twelve packs and a tank of gas with it. I was caller number five on the radio station, won a 4-day, 3-night beach vacation. And I ain’t gotta see my ex future mother-in-law anymore. Been on a roll for three weeks now, and it all started when she walked out. Oh Lord, when it rains, it pours.”
And who said revenge isn’t sweet?
Most Overplayed, Overexposed Artist: Blake Shelton. I don’t know what this guy is offering to radio stations all over the country, but every other song on the airwaves is his. I never thought I’d get tired of a country singer who’s talented and gorgeous, but seriously people?? And if I hear one more rumor about Blake and Gwen’s (soon to be known as “Blen’s”?) wedding plans, breakup fights, and or pending offspring, I’m cancelling my 20-year subscription to Star Magazine.
Best Song We Don’t Want Our Daughters to Download: (From the Hall of Fame Category) Stand By Your Man, beautifully belted out by the iconic Tammy Wynette, who was, unfortunately, married to a douche who regularly cheated on her, and just for fun, took out his failures and frustrations on her face.
“Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman, giving all your love to just one man. You’ll have bad times, and he’ll have good times, doing things that you don’t understand. But if you love him, you’ll forgive him, because after all, he’s just a man.”
I. Don’t. Think. So. Fortunately, Ms. Wynette gave ol’ Georgy the marital boot, divorced his loser ass, then became a legend in country music. I love it when Karma levels the playing field.
Best Booty Call Song: I’m Coming Over, by Chris Young. If you’re feeling frisky, this song will get you up and down the hall or across town, to wherever your dream lover is waiting.
“We break up, we makeup, and we make love. We can’t seem to let go, girl. So I’m comin’ over, runnin’ every red light. Try not to think about you, but it ain’t workin’. Why put out a fire when it’s still burnin’. I’m all alone, but you’re on my phone, tellin’ me you miss me and that you’re at home. All I know is I want you, so I’m coming over.”
Men, if she’s not nekkid when you get there, your delivery needs some work. I suggest putting this on her phone as your ringtone. You’re welcome.
Best Phone Sex Voice: (Yes, this is a new category. But we have a winner. Boy, do we have a winner) Trace Adkins. He can choose the material. An emotional ballad (“Don’t Lie”), or a dancy-beat (“Honky Tonk Badonkadonk). Or he can just recite the zip codes of New York. That voice would make a nun swoon.
Most Baffling Love Song: Highway Don’t Care, by Tim McGraw. This is one of those “Fire Your Lyricist” moments in music history.
“I can’t live without you, baby (repeat four times). The highway won’t hold you tonight. The highway don’t know you’re alive. The highway don’t care if you’re all alone. But I do, I do. The highway won’t dry your tears. The highway don’t need you here. The highway don’t care if you’re coming home. But I do, I do.”
WTH?? This metaphor is just stupid. My advice, Timmy, is to go back to the lyricist you hired for “Everywhere.” Now, that was a love song.
Best Diversity Song: Girl Crush, by Little Big Town. While this song is supposedly about her desire for another woman’s man, the lyrics barely give him a honorable mention.
“I gotta a girl crush, hate to admit it, but I gotta heart rush, ain’t slowin’ down. I got it real bad, want everything she has, that smile and that midnight laugh she’s giving you now. I wanna taste her lips, yeah, cause they taste like you. I wanna drown myself in a bottle of her perfume…” and you can fill in the rest.
All I can say is that this song makes me want a cigarette. Then I remember that I don’t smoke. And I’m not gay. Damn.
Best Remake: Rainy Night in Georgia, by Chris Young. Chris’s version of this classic is absolutely beautiful. It’s everything a country ballad should be. Slow, plaintive, heartfelt. Whenever it comes up on my iPod, I press “Replay” at least three times before moving on. Download this for your next date night (bonus points if you light some candles and put on that dress he loves that you won’t wear in public). You’ll thank me in the morning.
Thank you for sharing in my CMA awards show. Elvis has left the building.