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How to write a country song

GUEST,JTT 09 Sep 00 - 10:55 AM
campfire 09 Sep 00 - 11:01 AM
Sorcha 09 Sep 00 - 11:11 AM
sledge 09 Sep 00 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhranplayerwhodoesn'tknowbetter 09 Sep 00 - 11:26 AM
Noreen 09 Sep 00 - 01:30 PM
Noreen 09 Sep 00 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,bdalrymple 09 Sep 00 - 04:15 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Sep 00 - 04:24 PM
Noreen 09 Sep 00 - 06:38 PM
Bill D 09 Sep 00 - 11:29 PM
Mbo 09 Sep 00 - 11:34 PM
Amos 10 Sep 00 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,FishnJokr 10 Sep 00 - 11:29 PM
GUEST 11 Sep 00 - 09:25 AM
Biskit 11 Sep 00 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Amos 11 Sep 00 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,guest 24 May 09 - 12:53 AM
Peace 24 May 09 - 01:02 AM
alanabit 24 May 09 - 04:26 AM
BobKnight 24 May 09 - 08:36 AM
Weasel 24 May 09 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,GUEST: Old Rugface 24 May 09 - 10:46 AM
Leadfingers 24 May 09 - 11:53 AM
Mark Ross 24 May 09 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,wordy 24 May 09 - 06:00 PM
olddude 24 May 09 - 06:04 PM
Bat Goddess 24 May 09 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,phrage 15 Mar 10 - 10:30 PM
olddude 15 Mar 10 - 10:47 PM
Acorn4 16 Mar 10 - 05:31 AM
Mr Happy 16 Mar 10 - 12:29 PM
Lonesome EJ 16 Mar 10 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,johnp 16 Mar 10 - 01:39 PM
Stringsinger 16 Mar 10 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 16 Mar 10 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Songbob 16 Mar 10 - 04:39 PM
Allan C. 16 Mar 10 - 04:59 PM
olddude 16 Mar 10 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 16 Mar 10 - 05:10 PM
evansakes 16 Mar 10 - 05:13 PM
evansakes 16 Mar 10 - 05:16 PM
kendall 16 Mar 10 - 05:23 PM
gnu 16 Mar 10 - 05:27 PM
Lonesome EJ 16 Mar 10 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,michael aaron mickens 01 Mar 11 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,Richie 01 Mar 11 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,wild girl 24 May 11 - 05:10 AM
The other Hank 24 May 11 - 09:45 AM
frogprince 24 May 11 - 10:50 AM
Ebbie 25 May 11 - 01:50 AM
GUEST,wordfella 25 May 11 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Clay T. 09 Jun 11 - 05:47 AM
kendall 09 Jun 11 - 07:17 AM
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Subject: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 10:55 AM

In the How to Create a Folksong thread someone asked whether there were similar rules for country songs. Are there?


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: campfire
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 11:01 AM

Steve Goodman wrote a song about how to write a country song. Gotta have Momma, trucks, trains, the dog, prison, and being drunk. (The last verse of You Never Even Call Me By My Name)

campfire


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Sorcha
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 11:11 AM

And a Wo-man, gotta have a wo-man!! Then, you gotta lose it all...............


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: sledge
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 11:13 AM

Oooooohhhhhhhhhhh, Ma woman was a cripple from Nashville, and she done me wrong.

Take it away catters


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,Rich(stupidbodhranplayerwhodoesn'tknowbetter
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 11:26 AM

Well, first you gotta ask yourself if you want to write a Hank Sr. song or a Hank Jr. Song. ..........

Rich


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 01:30 PM

Sledge, didn't Billy Connolly do that one- and her wheelchair went over the cliff? If I could find the words, it's got all the requirements.


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Subject: Lyr Add: COUNTRY & WESTERN SUPERSONG (B Connolly)
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 01:55 PM

Found it, at Billy Connolly Song Lyrics (Copyright obviously)

COUNTRY & WESTERN SUPERSONG

Yes my granny is a cripple in Nashville, friends
This story I tell you true
One day she went out on her wheelchair
Never knowing it had a loose screw
Well a wheel came off of that wheelchair, friends
And on three wheels it trundled away
And it trundled right over the edge of a cliff
In an old seaside town far away

(Country and Western noises)

Now the boy who was pushing the wheelchair
Was a little blind orphan call Joe
And he said, "Oh where is my grannie?"
And where did that damn wheelchair go
Well he ran off to search for that wheelchair friends
But his sightless eyes led him astray
And he ran right over the edge of the cliff
In that old seaside town far away

(Country and Western noises)

Well somebody sent for a doctor
And an ambulance too, it was called
And the people who lived in the neighbourhood
Stood around and they cried, how they balled
Well the doctor and the ambulance came rushing, friends
They were rushing from two different ways
And they crashed with a BIFF and shot over the cliff
In that old seaside town far away

(Country and Western noises)

Well they sent for brave Father Maloney
To pray for the poor souls repose
And he said, "Well now that we're gathered here, good people"
"Well we might as well pray I suppose"
But too many people had gathered
And the edge of the cliff gave way
And they dropped with a yell and they all shot straight to hell
In that old seaside town so terribly far away

(Country and Western noises)

It may look a bit odd written down but he does it so well!

Noreen


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,bdalrymple
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 04:15 PM

now I am hearing a perfect country song on Grassy Hill it is by Fred Eaglesmith - from the paradise motel - Jericho (6:13)


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 04:24 PM

Noreen, I HOPE that in the fourth line of the third verse they neighborhood people "bawled", not "balled" right out in front of God and everybody!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 06:38 PM

Yes Dave, I didn't notice that (not like me). I cut & pasted and just whizzed down the words as I remember them so well. I can picture him doing it too, as we have it on video, I think. It's in very bad taste, but very funny.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 11:29 PM

anyone remember Mason William's song..."You Done Stomped On My Heart"?

I have it somewhere...will post it...(it was Mason's tongue in cheek attempt to write a country song)


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Mbo
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 11:34 PM

Was that "You Ripped Out My Heart And Stomped That Sucker Flat"?


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Amos
Date: 10 Sep 00 - 11:56 AM

Rule 1: Country songs must contain references to either dogs or women.

Referring to them both is occasionally acceptable.
Referring to them as an identity is a valid solution but will compromise publication. The identity of a woman as a (kind of ) dog will be more successful than the reverse.

Rule 2: Country songs must contain references to a car, truck or other vehicle.
Successful country songs tend to use eighteen-wheelers or pickups.
The truck may belong to, or be driven by, or stolen by a woman (e.g., "That's Not Mah Truck".
Songs referring to vehicles driven by dogs comprise an untested category.

Rule 3. Country songs must contain a reference to love, a three-syllable expression of fixation. Love should be either discovered, betrayed or exagerrated to mythical proportions.

Rule 4. Country songs must contain some attempt at insight or humor, or both., Some country songs achieve the latter through ineptitude in the former (e.g., "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma").

Rule 5. Country songs must be in 4/4. The only exception is occasional use of 3/4, in which case a French accent must be employed.


Over.....


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,FishnJokr
Date: 10 Sep 00 - 11:29 PM

Janis Ian has one of these "perfect" country song on her latest album called "Boots Like Emmy Lou's." She explains how she tried to fit in all the supposedly required elements..boots, a dog, a bus, etc.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 09:25 AM

Tongue in cheek: get drunk, screw around, get divorced, lose it all to settlement and tax lawyers, ride around in a bus and write about it all.

On a more serious note: country music often takes a bad rap because its lyrics often focus on sad themes. But really it's just another, maybe sentimental, way of commenting on life's setbacks. Some of the best lyrics, in my opinion, are those that deal with small town life, situations, and characters. If you can evoke a sense of nostalgia or sentimentality, I'd say you are well on your way to creating a good country song.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Biskit
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 02:15 PM

I like to think of it as blues with a twang.-Biskit-


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 11 Sep 00 - 03:01 PM

I should make it clear that I hit a frame of mind every few weeks for a few hours when I relish a good country song. And there are some that I think should be bronzed for perpetuity -- "Don't Let Your Babies...", "The Drummer In Me", even "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain". But I think they follow all the rules above.

A


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 24 May 09 - 12:53 AM

one of my favourite titles is 'my girl ran off with my best friend and i do miss him so'


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Peace
Date: 24 May 09 - 01:02 AM

"You done stomped on my heart
You mashed that sucker flat"

Sean Gagnier


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Subject: Lyr Add: LIFE'S BEEN GOOD TO ME
From: alanabit
Date: 24 May 09 - 04:26 AM

Spaw gave us a wonderful DIY write your own country song kit a few years ago, which was hilarious. I am not going to contest anyone else's views on this important subject, but the boxes I always thought needed to be ticked included family, a cripple, a dog and an unshakable faith in the justice of the Almighty. A humble offering...

Life's Been Good To Me

My mother died in childbirth ? my Dad six months before
I was brought up by my sister, who was well known to ?sailors
But still I can be happy ? the reason is you see
That on the whole I'm lucky ? and life's been good to me

Life's been good to me
Life's been good to me
Yes on the whole I'm lucky and life's been good to me.

When starving I stole apples inside the orchard gate
The farmer shot my kneecaps ? they had to amputate
But it worked out for the best ? yeah that's the way I feel
Cos the prison hospital fed me ? and it taught me not to steal

For life is bright and breezy ? for more I would not beg
I hop around so easy upon my wooden leg
My one-eyed dog adores me ? I'm his Napoleon
And though he sometimes gnaws my leg ? he's fun to drag along

I like to count my blessings ? I've really no regrets
With fate there ain't no messing ? you deserve what you get
You pays your money takes your choice and then you can't complain
I wouldn't change a thing if I had my time again.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: BobKnight
Date: 24 May 09 - 08:36 AM

Oh Dear - occasionally country songs deal with these topics, but most of it doesn't sound like the country songs I know. It's maybe what country music was like in the 1940's, or some peoples ideas of what it's like. A bit like the "beards, sandals, real ale, and wooly jumpers" myth of folk music.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Weasel
Date: 24 May 09 - 09:31 AM

The problem is, no matter how daft you make your comedy country and western song, there's always one already in existence that's even dafter and supposed to be serious.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,GUEST: Old Rugface
Date: 24 May 09 - 10:46 AM

There is only need for one Country and western song - the one about the truck driver, on his way to collect his granny on her release from prison, who gives a lift to the little crippled boy who is going to the cemetary to put fowers on his mother's grave; the driver has to swerve to avoid the lame dog, who has been startled by the moonshine drinking town drunk, crashes through the level crossing barriers and causes a train wreck.
This would get the whole sorry mess over and done with in one go !


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 May 09 - 11:53 AM

And what DO you get if you play a Country song backwards ?


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Mark Ross
Date: 24 May 09 - 02:10 PM

You get your job, your truck, your wife/girlfriend,your dog, your house back, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum....




Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 24 May 09 - 06:00 PM

Let us never complain about folk stereotyping again!


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: olddude
Date: 24 May 09 - 06:04 PM

I don't know everything of mine has some train and a cowboy in it. I don't know


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 24 May 09 - 06:06 PM

Probably my favorite country verse is --

Put the bottle on the bar, so's I can pet it
And take down my address before I forget it.
Someone's gonna have to take me home yet
'Cause I'm gonna sit here until I forget.
The way I figure, I've got nothin' to lose...
So, bartender, just pass the booze.

Linn


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,phrage
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 10:30 PM

song was writtten b y shay healy


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Subject: Lyr Add: BEER, BAIT AND AMMO (Kevin Fowler)
From: olddude
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 10:47 PM

Well now early one day
I was a-on my way
To my favorite fishin' hole
I's a thinking I could sure use
Another bottle of booze
My baits a-runnin' a little low
Yeah and a box of twelve gauge would be all the rage
When I'm all liquored up and I'm feeling good
Well just down the road there was a place called Bubba's
Man he's got the goods

*Chorus*
And the sign said beer bait and ammo
Yeah they got everything in between
Yeah they got a-anything any old
Beer drinking hell raising bonafide redneck needs
They got your fishing hooks
Got your dirty books
Got your rebel flag on the wall
Sign said beer bait and ammo
Yeah you ask me they got it all

Well now when a-I walked in
I can't a-even begin
To describe just what I smelt
Lord was it the catfish bait
Or something bubba had ate
Was it those pickled eggs on the shelf?

Yeah with a toothless grin
He said boy step right on in
Make yourself right at home
I said no, no, no, thank you, man
Just a twelve pack of cans
And I?ll be good to go


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Acorn4
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 05:31 AM

I always think this one takes a lot of beating:-

Little Rosa


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Mr Happy
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 12:29 PM

Why's he talking so strangely??


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 12:40 PM

The song title "She Thinks my Tractor is Sexy" pretty much says it all, don't it?


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,johnp
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 01:39 PM

"three chords and the truth" (said by someone whose name escapes me)


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Stringsinger
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 03:26 PM

Which country are we talking about?

Do people who write and promote songs in Nashville live in the country?

The best way to write a country song for the popular music country market is to first:

Write a good song.

Then:

It helps if you are a part of that culture.

Then:

Sell that sucker as a country song through a country artist.
It can even be: "I Will Always Love You" but not "Hello Dolly".


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 04:27 PM

Here's an example of modern country with witty, social comment.

Celebrity by Brad Paisley


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 04:39 PM

Actually, country songs as outlined above are cliches, bordering on satires of the genre. If I were a country-song writer, in fact, I'd be kicked out of the club for saying "genre."

That said, it's pretty obvious that most country songs start with a 'hook,' a lyrical catch-phrase that somehow becomes the center-piece of the song. You can take most any phrase and make it into a hook, or even take a phrase and change a word or two to make it into a hook. I tried my hand at one called, "I'm Only Resting My Eyes," where the singer is claiming that he's not "really" staring at the babe, just "resting his eyes."

Or take some other song's hook and turn it around. I heard this once while driving through Indiana, and what I recall is:

I want to thank you for leaving, Lucille.
'Cause under the crops we found oil in the fields.
And your ex-mister and little kid sister say,
'Thank you for leaving, Lucille!"

Now that doesn't scan exactly the way the original did, so I probably forgot a line in the middle, but that's an example of turning a hook into something else.

So start with a hook, include gals or honky-tonks or moonshine or trucks, but start with the hook. You can't go wrong.

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Allan C.
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 04:59 PM

Well, thank you, Bob! The man goes and asks an innocent question and nearly all he got was references to what you so aptly dubbed as "cliches, bordering on satires of the genre". I totally appreciate your thoughtful response and agree completely about the "hook". One of the most amazing hooks was Dolly Parton's "Joline" in which she managed to insert the hook (the name, itself,) more times than anyone anywhere has ever done - and quite successfully, I might add!


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: olddude
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 05:08 PM

I wrote one that the hook went like this

"Good Lord, I'm not that drunk can ya help me make it though the night
Got bills to pay and that's why I play and my jeans are fittin way too tight

if I didn't need the dollar I wouldn't even bother and you won't see me no more, so I'm on my last song and I'm moving along and I'm heading out for the door"

LOL, good grief it that awful ... LOL


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 05:10 PM

Jim Stafford was a genius at perverting the hook concept. He would set you a hook and once you swallowed it he could take you in a completely different, hilarious direction.
As in "My Girl, Bill."
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: evansakes
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 05:13 PM

How to write a country song?

Look no further than Blackie Farrell's 'Mama Hated Diesels So Bad'. Ideally find a version sung by Bill Kirchen, preferably on the live album by Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen.

A tragic short story with most of the standard clichés outlined above. It'll probably bring a tear to your eye and make you smile at the same time.

A work of genius if you ask me....


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: evansakes
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 05:16 PM

ps It's been discussed here

Mama Hated Diesels


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: kendall
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 05:23 PM

And the perfect title:

If I had it to do all over again I'd do it all over you.

Or:
She won't get under me 'til I get over you.

and My Father's favorite:
Take back your heart; I ordered liver.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: gnu
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 05:27 PM

OOOOOooohhhh... been kinda lonely in the saddle since ma horse died.

Dunno where I heard that... mybe even from me? I fergit.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 05:38 PM

You want real, soulful country music without the cliche phrases that characterize the worst of it? Look at Merle Haggard's music...plenty of hard work, drinking, heartbreak, and prison but without the usual crap. The closest he comes is something like
"I've got swinging doors, a jukebox, and a barstool
my new home has a flashing neon sign
stop in and see me any time you want to
'cause I'm always here at home 'til closing time"
which sets the bar for that sort of thing rather than taking advantage of a tired formula.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,michael aaron mickens
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 08:59 PM

hey how do i write a country song im 15 and my dad was bout to go own tour or something to be a singer cuz he had 5 songs he wrote and they were gonna set him up wit somethin but he got drunk and everything and never done it again and every since i was 12 i always wanted to be a country singer but i dnt know how you write the songs i need your help please


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 11:43 PM

Hi,

It's good that he got drunk- that's a start. Now if he got drunk and ran over his dog with his pick-up truck you might have a song- epecially if your mama was going to leave him.

Good luck,

Richie


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,wild girl
Date: 24 May 11 - 05:10 AM

look im only young but ive always loved country music nd i really need some tips on how to write me own song SO PLZ HELP!


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: The other Hank
Date: 24 May 11 - 09:45 AM

"Three chords and the truth!"- Willie Nelson. And a Randy Travis clothes pin for your nose. 'Course that's singing 'em not writing 'em. It's not as easy as people think. "If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?" Cool. Not too deep but cool.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: frogprince
Date: 24 May 11 - 10:50 AM

I've had a couplle of lines on the burner for awhile, but I've never got the rest of it yet:

   
    Dixie walked out on me in Omaha this morning,
    I wish I was in Dixie, tonight.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 May 11 - 01:50 AM

There's a great line in a song of Juneau's Buddy Tabor (he doesn't usuallyd do country):

Well, you say you don't like these country songs
But you'll change your mind when you're divorced
And she's gone.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,wordfella
Date: 25 May 11 - 08:41 AM

<"three chords and the truth" (said by someone whose name escapes me)>

Not Willie Nelson. Harlan Howard.


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: GUEST,Clay T.
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 05:47 AM

It's the 21st century people. Stop listening to trucker ballads from the 60's...Geez


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Subject: RE: How to write a country song
From: kendall
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 07:17 AM

Why?
The crap that passes for country music these days gives me a headache.


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