Can you believe I had to hear “Red Solo Cup” 5 times today at work? I really don’t know what to say, I think it might be the end times, kids. Except it’s not the end-times, is it? No, we’ve seen days just as dark as these “Red Solo Cup” days. I thought about it and there’s been a bunch of SUPER, laughably bad country songs over the years. Most of them, it turns out, were really big hits. Here are my top 5 worst country songs of all time:
1. “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus. I really wish this 1992 turd of a song was the worst thing that Billy Ray ever produced, but we all know that ain’t true. Still, this song is super-bad and is universally reviled now…but back when it came out it was a massive hit. I remember this song spawning a bunch of news stories about the growing popularity of country line dancing. Boy, we all know how that turned out. For me the worst part of this song is (and this will be a common theme among all of these songs) the stupid lyrics. I had a hell of a time typing “Achy Breaky.” Those words just look wrong together.
2. “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” by Kenny Chesney. This song is still popular (I heard it on the radio today) but boy is it awful. The idea is okay I guess. I mean it’s…um…sexy to be a farmer, right?. The reality is: being a farmer is not sexy, Chesney’s grating voice is not sexy, and you’re an idiot. This is one of those songs that every time I hear it I can’t believe someone had the balls to record and release it. The amazing part is (of course) it was a huge hit. Real farmers are too damn tough to care about being sexy, but that’s not even what this song is really about, it’s about sexy FARMING EQUIPMENT. Oh, country music, never change.
3. “Goodbye Earl” by The Dixie Chicks. Okay, this one is awful and funny as hell. So these three chicks write a song about a woman who is abused. Still with me? Nothing unusual about that, especially in a country song. She (shockingly) gets her revenge on him and kills him…by poisoning his black eyed peas(?). I’m not sure if it’s possibly to be any more “hick” than that. I remember seeing the music video when the song first came out, it was hilariously bad (Earl was played by Dennis Franz). There’s a right way to handle delicate subject matter, such as spousal abuse…and this song is definitely not it. “Hey Earl! Time to die!” Oh, I get it…he gave her a shiner so it’s okay that we’re killing him. The ironic part is, the same soccer moms who sang along with this song were the SAME people giving 90s rappers a bunch of shit about killing cops and slapping hoes. I get it, it’s okay when you do it.
4. “Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy. So this the only song on this list (thus far) to be turned into a cartoon movie. The song was inexplicably popular in the early 80s and remains in heavy rotation during the Christmas season. But why? Why does a song about a grandma getting killed by a reindeer get a special place in our collective hears? Probably because we’re both terribly mean and terribly stupid. To be fair, this song made me laugh when I was 11. Now it just makes me shake my head.
5. “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (the Angry American)” by Toby Keith. You know, I think of all the songs mentioned on this list, I hate this one the worst. It’s utterly stupid on so many levels. First off, I can’t stand the song’s jingoistic bullshit. It really burns my ass that Keith put a song like this out after 9/11. There didn’t seem to be very much of a musical reaction to 9/11 (other than one sleepy Springsteen album) so this song pretty much had to represent us as a nation. That wouldn’t be so bad if the song wasn’t an almost parody of America–the violent, brutish oaf who blunders about the globe. The song’s imagery is hilarious. Really, Toby? The Statue of Liberty is going to shake her fist with anger? Way to turn a beacon of hope into a hateful monster, you piece of shit. You do know she’s French, right? “Red Solo Cup” is embarrassing for Toby Keith, “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” is embarrassing for America.