Previous Entry: Day 2: “Another Lonely Song” to “Baby’s Gotten Good at Goodbye”
Day 3 features tracks from Kellie Pickler, Gary Allan, Ashley Monroe, Billie Jo Spears, and Tanya Tucker.
“Best Days of Your Life”
Written by Kellie Pickler and Taylor Swift
You know when I started truly enjoying listening to Taylor Swift? When I realized that she’s an unreliable narrator. She co-wrote this Kellie Pickler hit, and even at the time, I couldn’t help but marvel at Swift’s ability to craft a pop hook. But listening to it now, I love the ways that the narrator’s delusion reveals itself throughout the course of the song. This guy’s getting married and settling down, and he’s not giving her another thought. It’s all a fantasy in her head.
Other Favorites: “‘Someone Somewhere Tonight,” “Red High Heels”
“Best I Ever Had”
Written by Matt Scannell
Gary Allan is one of my favorite male singers ever, and usually I favor his self-written material. But this Vertical Horizon cover took on a whole new meaning when he used it on his Tough All Over album, released in the aftermath of his wife’s suicide. The lyrics are transformed from dealing with a broken heart to wondering what went wrong and if he could’ve done anything to change what happened in the end.
Other Favorites: “Smoke Rings in the Dark,” “I Just Got Back From Hell,” “Learning to Live With Me”
Written by Marc Beeson, Jamie Floyd, and Allen Shamblin
Sometimes a song comes along that says something in a way that you just can’t believe it’s never been said before. As a relationship comes to an end, the departing heartbreaker notes his willingness to be a friend, oblivious to the damage that he’s doing by leaving: “You caught it by the handle, baby, and I caught it by the blade.”
Other Favorites: “You Got Me,” “Two Weeks Late,” “Satisfied”
“Blanket on the Ground”
Billie Jo Spears
Written by Roger Bowling
This was my parents’ “song.” I don’t like to think too deeply about why, for reasons the lyrics make obvious. But even with my dad gone nearly ten years, my mom will turn this one up every time it comes on. It’s more likely to make her cry than smile these days, but that says as much about how a song can change its impact over time as anything that I can think of.
Other Favorites: None
“Blood Red and Goin’ Down”
Written by Curly Putman
I’m pretty well versed in country gothic murder songs these days, but I still find “Blood Red and Goin’ Down” genuinely shocking. That Tanya Tucker was only a couple of years older than the ten year old narrator of the song when she sang it adds to its eerie and haunting nature. When LeAnn Rimes came along two decades later, there was a lot of discussion of whether she was old enough to understand what she was singing about. For teenage Tanya, there was never a question.
Other Favorites: “Delta Dawn,” “(Without You) What Do I Do With Me,” “Soon”
Up Next: Day 4: “Blown Away” to “Burn One Down”