Sweet Spot

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April 2, 2009

brad-paisley-chocolateIn the comment section of my recent Brad Paisley review of “Then”, Country Universe’s Kevin Coyne revealed that the last verse of “Waitin’ on A Woman” hit his sweet spot.

He said:

“I fell for “Waitin’ on a Woman” because of the last verse, where the man is in heaven waiting for her on the other side. That’s my sweet spot. Any song that hits that is golden with me, even if I’d normally dismiss the rest of the song as trite.”

I completely understood what he meant because there’s a certain theme that hits my sweet spot just about every time as well. For reasons that I cannot explain, since I’m not a pacivist as a rule, I love songs that appeal to the greater good in humankind–songs that promote love and peace. Songs like “Put A Little Love in Your Heart”, “Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream”, “We Shall Be Free”, “Let There Be Peace on Earth”, “What The World Needs Now Is Love”, “Worlds Apart”, etc. hit my sweet spot like no other kind of song can do. I’ll be the first to admit that such songs can easily be considered trite, corny, and overwrought, you name it. I still love them; I just can’t help it.

So, what song topic either voluntarily or involuntarily hits your sweet spot?

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  1. Chris D.No Gravatar says:

    Songs that include just a little bit of faith and empowerment in them (i.e. Lee Ann Womack’s “Story Of My Life” or “Stubborn (Psalm 151)”) really hit me because they’re real- not overblown. I just really like the humble religious songs, I guess.

  2. Matt BNo Gravatar says:

    I am, too, a sucker for the ‘can’t we all get along songs.”

    I also like songs that about learning to love yourself or what equate to pop psychology like “One Of These Days” by Marcus Hummon/Tim McGraw and “All In Good Time” by Hummon, “Nothing Grows In Shadows” by Jake Owen, etc.

  3. DeniseNo Gravatar says:

    I am just totally sappy, so all those things get me. United/Patriotic stuff-We Shall Be Free, God Bless the USA Wake up and move on songs-I hope You Dance, Learn to Live by Darius Rucker, I Happens by Sugarland Undying Love songs- like Down on My Knees and Amazed

  4. JaneNo Gravatar says:

    I really love love songs… It doesn’t matter how sappy they are, I still listen and love them. I also adore songs that are just about being happy in the world.

  5. Jim ONo Gravatar says:

    This is timely. I am trying to put together a whole bunch of “sweet” music.

    My all time favorite feel good song is “Walkin’ in the Sunshine” by Roger Miller.

    I also like songs that take me off to times and places I have never been. “The Night Hank Williams Came To Town” by Johnny Cash does this very nicely.

    Taylor Swift’s song, “Best Day” about her Mom is just nice.

    I also am surprising myself at the moment by finding “One in Every Crowd” by Montgomery Gentry quite uplifting.

    I am using these and some other songs mentioned here to put together a “Happy” play list for an online country music show I am doing between 11am and 2pm Eastern today (Friday). It will include a happy hour from 1.

    It is on
    interactive.acbradio.org
    It is a unique radio station, in that it is entirely staffed by blind and visually impaired volunteers with some support from the American Council of the blind.

    Unfortunately things have not been so “sweet” with the station recently and we have lost some broadcasters and are continuing to struggle to attract new listeners.

    It is commercial free and completely free to listen to with no signup required.

  6. ErikNo Gravatar says:

    “To Be Happy” by Sara Evans:

    If I had one wish, I would wish for two
    For me and you
    To be happy
    With the way things are, sometimes gets hard
    But, we’ve come so far to be happy

    Yeah, don’t think that I’m complaining
    Sometimes it keeps on raining
    Oh but don’t be frightened by thunder and lightning
    The sun comes out and the flowers grow
    And you find you’re already on the road
    To be happy

    If I had one prayer to pull out of thin air
    Everyone, everywhere
    Would be happy
    We’d hand out Valentines, I’d be yours, you’d be mine
    There’s a place, there’s a time
    To be happy

  7. ErikNo Gravatar says:

    “To Be Happy” reminds me alot of a child with its never-dying optimism. It really makes me happy to hear that we haven’t all turned into cynics.

  8. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    I have a bad habit of coming to these cool discussion posts late.

    My sweet spot revolves around the idea of home. I don’t think I’m able to like a bad song just because of it, but I will fall hard for any good song which addresses familial relationships (LeAnn Rimes’ “Family”, Radney Foster/the Chicks’ “Godspeed”, etc.) or an explicit desire to experience home as a place of warmth and belonging (Roger Miller’s “Home”, Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “House of Cards”). Case-in-point: The first time I heard the Chicks’ “More Love”, I thought it was so sappy and lame. The second time, when I actually listened to the lyrics in the verses, I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard.

  9. Hoggy from OzNo Gravatar says:

    Being a 17 year old I love the funny stuff like what Brad Paisley rolls out or Tim McGraw’s “Back When”…
    Songs about life in general, like “Letter to Me” and “Don’t Blink” are also fantastic…

  10. HubbaNo Gravatar says:

    My favorite “happy part” of a song is the fiddle at the end of Shenandoah’s “Next to You, Next to Me.”

  11. Paul W DennisNo Gravatar says:

    songs about Mom & Dad

    Lefty Frizzell’s “Mom & Dad’s Waltz”
    Jimmie Rodgers “Mother, the Queen of My Heart”
    Jimmy Dean “I.O.U”
    Melba Montgomery “No Charge”
    Brad Paisley “He Didn’t Have To Be”
    Gene Autry “Silver Haired Daddy of Mine”
    Jimmie Rodgers (also Tanya Tucker) “Daddy & Home”

    Mom is still with us but Dad passed away six years ago – I’d give almost anything to be able to speak with him again

  12. Mike KNo Gravatar says:

    @Paul

    “She Misses Him on Sunday the Most” would be a good fit for your list, thematically if not musically.

  13. Craig R.No Gravatar says:

    I have a sweet spot for songs that talk about growing old in love. ” Rocking Chair” by Dolly Parton and Ricky Van Shelton, ” The Last Waltz” by Rodney Crowell, ” Remember When” by Alan Jackson, ” Love is The Foundation” by Loretta Lynn. If someone sings about growing old in love I am right there with them. Kathy Mattea sings two that I love ” Where Have You Been” and ” Love at the Five and Dime.” To me love doesn’t mean anything unless you can lok forward to it as you grow older. Those songs hit me where I live.

  14. J.R. JourneyNo Gravatar says:

    If I had a sweet spot for certain songs, I think it would be more along the lines of the sound of the song more than the lyrics. Not that the lyrics are unimportant, but there are lots of songs with great lyrics that just don’t connect with me. Songs with a really laid-back groove usually pull me in: Sugarland’s ‘Fall Into Me’ and ‘Very Last Country Song’, the Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson gem ‘Sweetest Waste of Time’, Reba’s recording of ‘Sweet Music Man’, Lorrie Morgan’s ‘If I Cry’ and Gary Allan’s ‘Half of My Mistakes’ are all great examples of cool and tranquil tunes.

  15. Erik NorthNo Gravatar says:

    “I Hope”–The Dixie Chicks

    “America The Beautiful”–Ray Charles

    “American Trilogy” (Live From Hawaii, 1973)–Elvis Presley

  16. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Listening to this Josh Turner cover of the great Waylon Jennings song, “America”, made me think of this thread and the theme that hits my sweet spot:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THXq-4jbfb8

  17. My sweet spot? The music of the strong and adult female singer / songwriters of the 90s – Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Suzy Bogguss, Kathy Mattea, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Gretchen Peters, Matraca Berg, etc. There isn’t a theme per se, but they just knew how to write and pick songs that were fantastic and put a mature review on relationships and life. (Two favorite songs that come to mind – Suzy Bogguss’ “Hey Cinderella” and Patty Loveless’ “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am.”)

    Part of my issue with mainstream country today is the relative lack in this perspective. It’s as if people over 40 don’t even exist anymore. Hopefully Ashley Monroe and Kacey Musgraves (two twenty something’s mind you) are helping to get the genre back on track.

    As for a “sweet spot” album, Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison’s duet project totally fits the bill. When Kelly opens the CD singing “I can fake it for a while/’till I fall apart in style/after all rock bottom’s not too far down” I melt. Now that’s my kind of country!

  18. JasonNo Gravatar says:

    The songs that always get me are ones about someone who wants to be over a romantic interest, but they aren’t there yet. Some of my favorites:

    “What’s A Broken Heart” – Patty Loveless
    “Someday When I Stop Loving You” – Dolly Parton
    “Come Pick Me Up” – Ryan Adams
    “HATEU” – Mariah Carey

  19. JasonNo Gravatar says:

    Carrie Underwood sings “Someday When I…” I was also thinking of Dolly Parton’s “The Grass Is Blue” as they are similar.

  20. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    Now Jason’s got me imagining what “Someday When I Stop Loving You” would sound like sung by Dolly Parton, and I rather like what I’m hearing in my head….

    I echo all of Jonathan’s above comments pertaining to the nineties ladies, and to Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison.

  21. JasonNo Gravatar says:

    It just has me thinking what poor singles choices were made for Play On. The album isn’t all that great, but “Someday When I Stop Loving You” and “Quitter” were obvious singles choices (and highlights) to me. “Look At Me” would have also been better than “Temporary Home” or “Mama’s Song.”

  22. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    I agree on the single choices for Play On. Though “Undo It” has grown on me a bit in the past three years, I still would have preferred to see it swapped out in favor of “Songs Like This.”

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