Smash or Trash?
by Alison Bonaguro
(as seen in Country Music Today, July 2004


Poor Billy Ray Cyrus. All he did was sing about losing his girl--standard fare for any country artist--and people accused "Achy Breaky Heart" of being one of the worst country songs ever. Was it the lyrics? The melody? The dance moves? The mullet? We may never know. But one thing is certain: country music is like a garage sale--one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Kenny Chesney's "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" was the song that turned me on to country music. Yet a lot of people thought it was awful. They'd go on and on about the unrealistic lyrics: "Just because she brings him a basket full of chicken doesn't mean he's gonna take her for one more teeny-weenie ride." But that's what makes country music so likable. Even if you hate a song, you love talking about it. One guy I know turns off the radio every time "Have You Forgotten" comes on, but then he wants to devote an entire conversation to trashing it. Sure, the lyrics are a little controversial. But give Darryl Worley credit for finding something to rhyme with Bin Laden.

Lyrics aside, there are some songs that are objectionable simply because of the air time they get. And get. And get. I'm as guilty as anyone of requesting songs ad nauseam, and I know that to another fan, hearing "Redneck Woman" for the 10th time in an hour may be too much. But I'd rather listen to that than the litany of things that don't impress Shania Twain. Like Brad Pitt. Hello? Have you not seen him with his shirt off?

Sometimes it's a video that makes people hate a song. My girlfriends all loved Trace Adkins' "Hot Mama," until they saw the video. If you haven't seen it, here's a recap: Trace's "wife" exercises while he drinks coffee, she struggles with groceries while he reads the paper, and she referees dinner-time fights while he has some slutty-lingerie fantasy. Charming? No. The good thing about country music fans, though, is that we stand by our songs. So if you want to debate politics or religion, I don't give a damn. But country music? That's worth fightin' for.

Top 10 contenders for the worst country song ever:

1. "Have You Forgotten?" (Darryl Worley)
After all the airtime this song had, you can't possibly forget it.

2. "That Don't Impress Me Much" (Shania Twain)|
Neither does this song.

3. "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" (Toby Keith)
If anyone can pull off a song subtitled "The Angry American", it's Toby Keith.

4."She Think My Tractor's Sexy" (Kenny Chesney)
If your John Deere is the only thing she likes about you, you both have issues.

5. "Achy Breaky Heart" (Billy Ray Cyrus)
It was No. 1 on the country charts for five weeks, just long enough for people to learn to hate it.

6."Did I Shave My Legs For This?" (Deana Carter)
Yes, we all have those days. But do we really want to picture a day when Deana didn't shave her legs?

7. "This One's for the Girls" (Martina McBride)
Did anyone really like this song, besides the Spaghetti O's people?

8. "Indian Outlaw" (Tim McGraw)
I love it. But the Native Americans? Not so much.

9. "I'm Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home" (David Frizzell)
An oldie but a baddie.

10. "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' with Lovin' on Your Mind"(Loretta Lynn)
Men hate this song. Especially when they're drunk and horny.

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