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Category Archives: Country

Country style music is very unique. It has a unique accent, and the rhythm and tune of the song are quite unique too. What really sets this genre apart from others is that it combines soft melodies and quirky vocals to create a beautiful song. Country music is Music written from the heart; and is intended to touch other people’s hearts! ALL HAIL COUNTRY MUSIC!!

When it comes to Country music, one of the great legends is Kenny Rogers. His songs make a simple 5 mile car drive one to cherish forever; especially if you’re playing his ballads. His best piece of work is, without a doubt, “Coward Of The County“. Not only did it win many awards, but also broke and remolded millions of hearts worldwide. His songs contains all the emotions possessed in nature – Happiness, Sadness, Revenge, Hatred, Lust, Honor, Loyalty and Bravery. This is the Number 2 song on my Best Ballads Ever list (Number 1 will be up in a few days though). So, let’s get to it!

Singer

Kenny Rogers

History: “Coward Of The County” is a ballad recorded by Kenny Rogers. The reason I said ‘recorded’ is because the song was actually WRITTEN by Roger Bowling and Billy Ed Wheeler, and sung by Kenny Rogers. The song was released as the second single from his album titled “Kenny”, and was released on 12th November 1989. The song was one of Kenny Rogers’ best ones ever, and won recognition almost all over the world. It also did wonders on the music charts. It reached Number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, Number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and Number one on the UK pop chart. For the complete chart performance, click here. It also inspired Dick Lowry, who made a television series based on the song’s story line in 1981. For the full info, click here. The song has only one Version (Studio Version) having a duration of 4 Minutes 33 Seconds. [Source: Wikipedia]

What it tries to convey to us: It all begins when Tommy is 10 years old, and his father dies in prison (Nothing mentioned about his mother here). In his final minutes, he makes Tommy promise that he will not fall prey to any fight or whatsoever, because fighting won’t make him a man. Fortunately, the father has a brother who agrees to take care of Tommy and treat him like one of his own. The entire ballad is written as if Tommy’s uncle is narrating the story. Tommy is called ‘Yellow’ by all the other folks of the county, as yellow resembles cowardliness (Hats off to Kenny Rogers!). However, he has the love of his life by his side, who loves him unconditionally; her name being Becky. Once, three members of The Gatling Boys (The Rowdy gang of the County) make a move on Becky (In other words, they rape her). When Tommy sees her crying with the torn dress and the shattered look, it’s too much to handle for him. So he does what a real man would do. He takes the picture of his dad from above the fireplace, and silently cries and recalls his saying. But anger and vengeance take over him, and he decides to go to the local bar to confront the beastly gang, As he enters, one of the members of the Gatling Boys gets up and meets him halfway from the door. Tommy isn’t in a mood for a fight, but wants to settle things with them in a verbal manner; so he turns his back to the man. They mock him when he does so, and that’s exactly the trigger Tommy needs. Years of pain being bottled inside him, he stands up for his love and gives them a thrashing to remember for the rest of their lives; spitting on their ego.

Review: The meaning of the story is dead simple, but having the same magnitude of effect. The song has a slight hint of bass, drums and a banjo. The real star of the show is Kenny Rogers himself. The song starts and ends with the same lines (“Everyone Considered Him  The Coward Of The County”), making it the signature. The song is extremely fast paced, although being a Country song. The vocals start at 00:11, followed by the first chorus, which starts at 01:05. The story keeps you hooked throughout the ballad. Kenny Rogers has a calm, but commanding voice which accentuates the song perfectly. Even though the stanza’s are awesome, the chorus’ deliver an equally superb blow. The second stanza starts with a slight change of tune and pitch, maybe because this stanza transforms Tommy forever. The chorus starts again at 02:27, and is followed immediately with the third stanza. This stanza is my personal favorite, because it is at that time when Tommy stands up for his love, and gives the Gatling Boys all he’s got. When Kenny Rogers narrates “He Wasn’t Holdin’ Nothin’ Back, He Let ‘Em Have It All”, he gives an edgier voice to the “Let ‘Em” words, which make you smile involuntarily. Whenever this part is playing, I always visualize Tommy throwing the hardest punch he can land on one of the Gatling Boys. It feels just like the time when a superhero gets a terrible beating from the super villain at first, but then retaliates just when he is losing, at beats the hell out of the bad guy; just a hundred times better. The chorus is altered just a bit this time, with Tommy saying that sometimes, you have to fight to be a man. The song ends with Kenny Rogers’ signing off in his signature style (Same sentence at the beginning and at the end) and saying “Everyone Considered Him The Coward Of The County”.

Rating: A Perfect 10/10! As always, Kenny Rogers has delivered yet another show stopping performance. Impeccable lyrics, fast moving story line, awesome vocals and an authentic taste of Country music. You have to listen to this one, guys!

 

Lyrics for “Coward Of The County”http://artists.letssingit.com/kenny-rogers-lyrics-coward-of-the-county-kvgfsqm

Download link for “Coward Of The County”http://totally80smusic.com/songs/1980/19%20-%20Kenny%20Rogers%20-%20Coward%20of%20the%20County.mp3

 

Album Art

“Coward Of The County” is a song from Kenny Rogers’ album titled “Kenny”

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Okay, this one’s a no – brainer. This HAS to be the best country song EVER! John Denver has absolutely nailed this song on the Best Country Songs Ever charts. This song easily makes it to Number 1 on my ‘Top 10 Country Songs’ too! ‘Country Roads’ has a sort of aura which is.. well… irresistible. As soon as you listen to this song, you feel like dropping everything, packing your backpack, and head off to the closest rural area to spend the week in serenity. This is undoubtedly John Denver’s best song, and my personal favorite too. I’ll be reviewing this song today. So, let’s get down to it!

John Denver

John Denver

History: Take Me Home, Country Roads” (Or simply, “Country Roads”) is a song from John Denver’s 1971 album Poems, Prayers And Promises (It was actually first released on 30th December, 1970). Undoubtedly his best song, (It’s also his signature song) it went on to peak at Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is also the iconic song for West Virginia travels. The song was actually written by the trio John Denver, Taffy Nivert and Bill Danoff, and initially recorded by John Denver. The official release date, however, is April 12th, 1971. There is just one version of this song, viz. the Studio Version, having a duration of 3 Minutes 8 Seconds. [Source: Wikipedia]

What it tries to convey to us: It’s a really simple song to decipher. No ‘Stairway To Heaven’ dual meanings here! This song tells us about a man’s desire to go back to his hometown, viz. West Virginia.

Review: What can I say? This song has EVERY single ingredient a Country song needs! That typical country accent (And a heart melting voice), mellow acoustic guitar playing in the background, and lyrics that make you want to run away from home forever and settle down in some quiet countryside permanently. This is going to be tough one! Well, wish me luck!

The song starts with dual acoustic guitars, one playing the role of the rhythm and the other tuned to a slightly higher frequency, for making it sound as the lead guitar. John Denver starts with (What I know is) the perfect chocolate melting vocals at 00:07. Alright, now I want you to do me a favor. Close your eyes, clear out all your thoughts, and just sit back and listen to this song with all your heart and soul. Feels like you’re on the countryside, sitting round the fire, roasting marshmallows. And John Denver is right there, in front of you, with a guitar on his lap; and he’s singing to everyone, doesn’t it? Imagine the cool night sky, the synchronized noises by the crickets, the dewy grass you’re sitting on, and the warmth radiating from the campfire. Did you do that? Now we’re talking! Well, seeing that now you’re in the mood, let’s pick up from where we left. If you listen closely (From 00:08 onwards), you’ll hear the sound of someone clapping their laps for providing the bass of the song. And from 00:07, you’ll hear the sound of snapping fingers very clearly. The background vocalists have also done an excellent job. And those lyrics… Wow, those lyrics! It feels magic! The first chorus will start at 00:30, with the typical snapping fingers, awesome vocals, and beautiful guitar. The second stanza then commences at 00:55. You’ll hear the wah – wah effect of the synthesizer very clearly in the second stanza. The song is really fast paced, and chorus’ will pass like a breeze. The second chorus starts at 01:19, this time with the added wah – wah effects. The vocal bridge starts after the second chorus, with an increase in the pitch, and a slightly faster tempo. Since you’re in the ‘countryside’ feel, you’ll notice it almost immediately. And viola, as I told you; the chorus initiates again at 02:05. You MAY think that the songs have a little more choruses than normal, but let me remind you; this is a country song. So, it is to be expected. It (The chorus) is looped again at 02:28. The song gradually fades with “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and ends at 03:08.

Rating: Easy as pie! A head – on 10/10! Undoubtedly the best Country song out there! Out-of-the-world vocals, superb guitar strumming and those lyrics… WOW!! For those who haven’t heard this song (I highly doubt there are any), you HAVE to listen to this! It’s unmissable!

 

Lyrics for “Country Roads (Take Me Home) : http://artists.letssingit.com/john-denver-lyrics-take-me-home-country-roads-hn5683m

Download link for “Country Roads (Take Me Home) : http://www.pddd.pudong-edu.sh.cn/iclass_f_2007/kecheng/zjzy/WY0211/10580title4/Take%20me%20home%20country%20road.mp3

 

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“Take Me Home, Country Roads” is a song from John Denver’s album “Poems, Prayers And Promises”

Aah! “The Dance”! My favorite Country song! This song is popular amongst people of all age groups. Teens love this song because it is one of the most played one on prom night. Middle – aged people and senior citizens also love it because the song brings back the memories of their first dance. I am extremely infatuated with this song. It connects with you at a very deep level. You can feel the core of your heart when you listen to the song. Garth Brooks may not be one of the most reputed Country singers out there, but he sure can pack a nasty punch with this song! It is one of my personal Top 10 Country songs. So, let’s get to it!

History: The Dance” is a part of Garth Brooks‘ 1998 self titled album, Garth Brooks. The song was actually written by Brooks’ friend Tony Arata. The song went on to be a phenomenal hit in the US, topping the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles list and The Canada Country Singles list at Number 1, while it peaked at Number 36 in the UK Singles Chart. This is undoubtedly his signature song. There are two *famous* versions of this song, one being the 3 Minutes 37 Seconds Studio Version, and the other being a remake of the song (The Hit Crew), done with equal perfection. To be frank, I REALLY prefer the latter over the former. I’ll also post the remade song’s Youtube link to this blog, so you all can check it out. I’ll be reviewing this version of the song . [Source: Wikipedia]

Review: The song starts off with a beautiful piano intro. At 00:12, the bass guitar and the acoustic guitar kick in simultaneously. Now, to be frank; I wasn’t a great fan of Country music until I heard Blake Shelton‘s “Honeybee” (I’ll be reviewing that later, too). I gradually became accustomed to the rhythm, the beat and the typical country style accent; and I have to say, I really have started loving it! That’s when I Googled ‘Top 10 Country Songs Ever”,  and came up with this BEAUTIFUL song at Number 2. (Anyways, getting back to the song) The vocals start at 00:18. I don’t who has given the vocals for the remake version of the song, but I sure do want to worship him! His vocals blend into the song perfectly. The melody of the song and his voice together make a lethal combination. The accent he has used is also the typical “Garth Brooks” type of accent, because of which the song never loses it’s originality. My favorite part of the song viz. the chorus, starts at 00:47. It is absolutely beautiful! The beats start from the first chorus. The lyrics, being simplistic are equally mesmerizing. Doesn’t “I’m glad I didn’t know, the way it all would end; the way it all would go.. Our lives are better left to chance; I could have missed the pain. but I’d had to miss the dance” sound so simple, yet so beautiful? Such is the beauty of the song. During the last chorus, you’ll hear the harmonica very clearly; which accentuates the song very nicely. The singer finishes the vocals in typical country style too, taking a brief pause between “The” and “Dance”. The instrumentals take over from 02:42 (Instrumentals being the piano, drums, bass and acoustic guitar) and finish off the song very nicely. The song as a whole is so catchy, you’ll find it to be hard to resist. It certainly deserves a Number 1 position in my Top 10 Country Songs.

Rating: It’s at perfect 10/10! It’s got all the elements a country song needs. Accent, rhythm, the acoustic guitar and melting vocals. I recommend you listen to the song asap!

 

Lyrics for “The Dance” : http://artists.letssingit.com/garth-brooks-lyrics-the-dance-9676l8c

Download link for “The Dance” : http://hstrial-jgoodman1.homestead.com/Garth_Brooks-The_Dance.mp3 (Right Click anywhere and click “Save As”)

Youtube link for “The Dance” : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2WcWLavw5U (MUST WATCH!)

 

Album Art

“The Dance” is a song from the album “Garth Brooks”