Into This Wondrous World of Many Wonders One More Wonder Came
Cal Smith "Country Bumpkin"Bob Marley and the Wailers "Jah is Mighty"
Okay, yes, honestly, I was first attracted to this song by its formidable humor quotient. Few things can generate guffaws as thoroughly as bad country pop from any of the four or five most recent decades. One of the many wonderful aspects to country music, though, is the fact that, like the cast of “Con Air”
, the participants often realize how completely ridiculous their work is. They know it, they admit it, yet they embrace it, and absolutely refuse to apologize. Yes, Tracy Byrd
knows how ridiculous “Drinking Bone”
is, but he also knows that it’s irrevocably, amazingly awesome, and that’s something that most hipsters and country detractors will never understand. “Country Bumpkin”
is no “Drinking Bone” (or “Dumas Walker”
, for that matter), but it is incredible in its own way. The song’s writer, Don Wayne
, is a master of convoluted, unwieldy sentences, and seems to get paid by the adjective. The second verse is sheer poetic brilliance, and the conclusion never fails to get me all teary-eyed (in theory). Cal Smith
’s rendition, the CMA “Song of the Year” for 1974, is a true classic of bad-but-awesome country pop.
Also, for no good reason, here’s “Jah is Mighty”
, by our greatest inspiration.