Monday Open Thread: Ridiculously Awesome Songs

You know how some country songs are just ridiculous, but they’re still awesome? The premises are flimsy, the lyrics aren’t believable, but they’re still enjoyable to listen to.

My favorite song in this vein is John Conlee’s “I Don’t Remember Loving You.” Conlee is one of those artists from my childhood that my parents played non-stop in the car. His Greatest Hits is etched in my brain, one great song after another. He’s a classic blue collar country artist with a catalog of hits on par with the best of his day.

“I Don’t Remember Loving You” is a conversation a man has with a woman who has stopped by to visit him. She’s apologizing for treating him the way she did, but he keeps insisting that he doesn’t remember loving her. Slowly, it’s revealed that he’s in a mental institution, through lines like, “You might talk to my doctor. He stops by each day at two.”

The kicker, though, is when he offers to write down her name in case he runs into the guy she’s talking about. “Everyone I know here in this place is very strange. If you’ll hand me my crayons, I’ll be glad to take your name, in case I run across the guy you knew. But I don’t remember loving you.”

You could have a field day, actually, with the “mental institution” theme in country music, as Porter Wagoner’s “The Rubber Room” and Dolly Parton’s “Daddy Come and Get Me” rival John Conlee’s classic. But his is still the best. Enjoy the song and add your own ridiculously awesome country songs in the comments!


  1. I don’t know if I’m in a minority on this or not, but I really liked “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” when it came out. I still do but recent actions by Big and Rich have made me a little sour towards them (Such as this current abomination of Nashville Star but that’s a different topic). It was such a great rocking song, but it was ridiculous.

  2. John Conlee was good at this kind of song as “Ms Emily’s Picture” and “Doghouse” (not a big hit as it came after his career had cooled off) demonstrate. Among the moderns, except for Brad Paisley, the art has been lost

    Actually, one of the criticisms I have of modern day country music is that it has (largely) lost its sense of humor. There aren’t any artists mining the territory of spoofs, paradies, wordplay and otherwise ridiculous songs any more. Gone are artists such as Homer & Jethro, Lonzo & Oscar, Don Bowman, Ben Colder, Jim Nesbitt and Pinkard & Bowden. Gone also are the days when “serious” artists such as Johnny Cash would record songs such as “Flushed From The Bathroom of Your Heart” and “Egg Eating Dog” . I referenced earlier Mac Wiseman’s “Johnny ‘s Cash and Charley’s Pride” – a thoroughly ridiculous song, but a lot of fun anyway

  3. ken mellons’ song “rub-a-dubbin” is a fine example, tracy bird’s “pink flamingos” is wonderfully over the top and sara evans’ “walk out backwards” is as cool an idea as brad paisley’s “ticks”.

    by the way, john conlee’s “common man” is still among my top ten shower songs of all time – great country music from an outstanding vocalist.

  4. I’m still thinking about my favorite ridiculously awesome song, but I have to second Tom’s “Pink Flamingos” contribution…and “Common Man…and Gaby’s Mel McDaniel’s song. I love all of those. Not being too familiar with John Conley, I don’t know the one that Kevin mentioned.

  5. This is an interesting topic and I had to really think to come up with some but I’ve got them. Blaine Larsen’s “Off To Join The World (THe Circus Song)” I mean just from the opening notes you could tell this song is ridiculous. Or Blake Shelton’s “Some Beach” which is still probably my favorite song from him, just for it’s comedic value. Also the little known song from Bomshel “It Was An Absolutley Finger Lickin’, Grits and Gravy, Country Music Love Song” which has to be the most ridiculously awesome song I’ve ever heard. Honorable mention should go out to Deana Carter’s “Did I Shave My Legs For This”, Sarah Buxton’s “That Kind Of Day”, Ryan Shupe’s “Banjo Boy”, and any version of “Flowers On The Wall”.

  6. Jordan, I’m glad you mentioned “Banjo Boy”. I love that song, which reminds me that I love Marcel for his ridiculous songs too.

  7. Greg M, I certainly don’t think you’re in the minority. Either that or we’re both in the minority together. Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) is a very ridiculously awesome song! I also like some of their other songs, like Comin’ to Your City and Soul Shaker.

  8. leeann

    if you come across john conlee’s “20 greatest hits” – these days most likely in the bargain bin for less than $9.00 – just buy it. like kevin said,
    it’s 60 minutes of one great song after another. moreover, kevin’s parents were absolutely right – conlee sounds just great in the car.

    doug supernaw’s red the “honky tonkin’ fool” and clay walker’s alice from the “white palace” also make a nice couple, while joe diffie scores as “pickup man” or being the guy they’ll “prop up beside the jukebox”

    in order to keep kevin’s blood pressure down, i’m not going to mention anymore good ones from brad paisley.

  9. Somebody has to mention Roger Miller, whose best ridiculous songs don’t necessarily have ridiculous premises so much as utterly ridiculous delivery and writing style. “The Moon Is High (And So Am I)” is my favorite example of that contrast, although “You Can’t Rollerskate In A Buffalo Herd” and the classic “Dang Me” are good demonstrations too. In the flat-out-ridiculous-in-every-way field, he’s also got “My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died,” which is also worth seeking out.

    Other than that, Hayes Carll’s “She Left Me For Jesus” is a recent favorite.

  10. “One Piece at a Time” by Johnny Cash.

    “Walk Out Backwards” was actually written by Whisperin’ Bill Anderson.
    I heard “Save A Horse….” this morning and have to echo that vote.

  11. Jordan, It was actually “Grits and Chicken” in the Bomshel song. I picked up an advance copy of the full Bomshel CD and was surprised to hear an extra line in that song where Buffy says “Kristy O. and I grabbed a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and took them all up to the Hollywood Sign” which was lacking from the radio single edit.

    I’m shocked Tom mentioned Doug Supernaw’s “Honky Tonkin’ Fool” as that was going to be my primary suggestion! (lol)

    Some songs I consider ridiculously good (ie they give me goosebumps on a regular basis): Amie Comeaux’s cover of the old classic “You Belong To Me”, Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Halley Came To Jackson”, The Detailers “More Of Your Love”, Nanci Griffith and Guy Clark’s cover of the Woody Guthrie song “Do Re Me”, The Wild Jimbos “Howlin’ At The Moon” (which Sam Bush performs in concert), Jann Browne’s “Long Time Gone”, Lonesome Bob’s “Heather’s All Bummed Out”, Jon Randall’s “My Life” due to the amazing instrumental jam session it evolves into, Mandy Barnett’s “I’ll Just Pretend”, Shannon Brown’s “I Don’t Move You”, The Jenkins “Lovestruck” and “Mama He Feels Like Home”, Sarah Buxton’s “Cowboys”, and The Woody’s “Teardrops and Diamonds” among countlesss others…..

    Its too bad Warner’s never released the debut album by Lane Turner as the songs “Little Book of Matches” and “Horses” are also ridiculously good although few people will ever get to hear them, which is a real shame…..

  12. Terry Allen’s “The Great Joe Bob” never fails to make me smile. A little tongue-in-cheek dark humor a la “Goodbye Earl”. I’ll throw “White Trash Wedding” in there too….

  13. John Anderson’s “Swingin’.” Still can’t it out of my head, even 26 years later. Ridiculous? Yes. And also pretty awesome. It’s a piece of 1980s Southern pop culture that I’ll always remember.

  14. Miss Kitty, I’m with you on “Swingin'”. What a ridiculous, but fun song.

    I like “Party For Two” as well, though I like the one with Currington and not the guy from…dang it…I can’t remember the group’s name…
    I’ll also add “Go To Hell” from Ryan Shupe And the Rubberband and “Pony” from Casey Chambers or Ashley Monroe.

  15. Ray Stevens–“Mississippi Squirrel Revival”
    Tom T. Hall–“I Like Beer”


    David Allen Coe–“You Never Even Call Me By My Name” (a.k.a. “The Perfect Country & Western Song”

  16. clay walker – the chain of love
    toby keith – how do you like me now
    rascal flatts – backwards
    well those werent awesome but were ridiculous

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.