The 9513 notes in its review of the new Carrie Underwood single, “Last Name”:
The song is similar in theme to Alan Jackson’s “I Don’t Even Know Your Name,” but this time, the roles are reversed and it’s from the perspective of the woman.
They’re a bit more charitable than me. I’d call it an obvious rip-off. But it got me thinking about those times when I’ve heard a country song, and thought to myself: “Hey, I’ve heard that before.”
Sometimes it’s just a line, like when Lee Ann Womack’s “A Little Past Little Rock” included in the chorus: “I’m learning more with every mile, just how leaving feels.” It reminded me immediately of the Martina McBride single from three years earlier, “Cry on the Shoulder of the Road”, where she sang “So this is how leaving feels”, while hitting the highway herself.
A subtle similarity, I guess. But boy, have there been some blatant ones.
Here are three that I consider the worst offenders, where the song might as well have been rewritten using the first as a blueprint:
- Terri Clark’s “If I Were You”, which took the plotline of Reba McEntire’s single girl tale of woe “If You Only Knew”, right down to the single woman coming home and finding her married friend waiting for her at the door.
- Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Happen Twice”, which carbon-copied the Tim McGraw hit “Something Like That”, back when Chesney was doing his darndest to be the new Tim
- Brad Paisley’s “Mud on the Tires”, which lifts its plotline from the 80’s K.T. Oslin hit “Hey Bobby”, minus the charm and sexual energy
So those are mine. Which ones can you think of?