So it’s Halloween tonight and to stay in the ‘spirit’ of things (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!) I wondered if I could put together a Halloween Country Music playlist …
While it’s true that country music doesn’t have a lot of songs about monsters and other things that go bump, there are a fair few that have a ghost or two, Ghosts Riders in the Sky and Midnight in Montgomery come to mind, but I’m thinking more along the lines of those usually ‘romantic’ songs where you’re happily listening along and then suddenly your brain catches up with your ears and you stop and think “say what?”
Either it’s a specific lyric or the whole song that pushes that boundary from ‘ooh, how beautiful’ to ‘whoa, back up there, cowboy’ but once you’ve heard it you can never hear it the same way again …
Here are five country songs – ordered from ‘mildly unsettling’ to ‘restraining order’ – that may not be quite as romantic as the songwriters intended:
Brad Paisley – Ticks
It all sounds like a good idea but really can you think of anything less romantic and more creepy than a blood-sucking arachnid?
‘Cause I’d like to see you out in the moonlight
I’d like to kiss you way back in the sticks
I’d like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
And I’d like to check you for ticks
The only thing allowed to crawl all over you
When we get there is me
The Band Perry – If I Die Young
So this song is not so much creepy as just unsettling – I mean, consider some of the imagery, ‘the sharp knife of a short life’ … Compelling? Yes. Romantic? No. Can you even call it a love song? And that’s not even taking into account the song’s echoes of Lord Tennyson’s famous poem The Lady of Shallot …
Gather up your tears, keep ’em in your pocket
Save ’em for a time when you’re really gonna need ’em, oh
Eric Church – Creepin’
Well, with that title it had to be on this list … To be fair, I’ve listened to this song many times and never considered the disturbing implied descent ‘down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down’ into madness but pair it with the music video and I think next time this comes on, I might be sitting out the dance.
Your cocaine kiss and caffeine love,
Run under my skin and into my blood,
That need you back comes over me,
Like ivy crawlin’ up a hickory tree.
The Band Perry – Better Dig Two
What does it say about this brother and sister group that they have two songs on this list? Better Dig Two has cautionary tale written all over it – ‘beware of the crazy lady’. It kind of reminds me of how CJ had to explain to me ‘singularly devoted’ and ‘stalking’ are really the same thing …
The whole damn song …
Dierks Bentley – Breathe You In
A surprise entry perhaps, I grant you, how can such a heartfelt, beautiful song in any way be considered creepy? But consider the following lyrics:
Maybe you missed it: “You can wear my skin like a new set of clothes”. No Hannibal Bentley. Just no.
What other songs can you think of that should be romantic but really end up giving you goosebumps … and not the nice kind?