As y’all know, I work for a country radio station (your condolences are appreciated), so I end up listening to that
crap style of music a lot. And I’ve noticed yet another thing about it that pisses me off: The M. Night Shyamalan School of Songwriting.
Along me to explain: I hate hate hate M. Night Shyamalan, he is a ruinous human being and should not be allowed access to film. The only time his “twist” actually surprised anyone was when they screened “The Village” at the Regional School for the Blind, Deaf, and Completely Fucking Retarded. YOU ARE NOT SURPRISING ANYONE, YOU HORRENDOUS TWAT!
Ahem. So, as you can see, I am not a fan of the poorly-disguised and completely-foreshadowed “twist.” Surprise me, motherfuckers! It ain’t that hard, just throw in a “the call is coming from inside the house” or something. This rule applies to movies, books, and yes, songs, too.
VIRTUALLY ALL OF COUNTRY MUSIC
IS ONE BIG VAT OF
For example, if a girl is singing about how much she misses her ex, he didn’t leave her, he’s dead. If ANYONE is singing about their mama, she is also dead. Everyone anyone cares about can be virtually guaranteed to be revealed as either dead or a cheating bastard by the end of the song. No surprises.
(I do enjoy the part of “Three Wooden Crosses” where you find out the preacher’s mama’s a whore, but that’s just me)
Seriously, country singers: If you’re going to keep doing this, be honest. Be upfront about it. Don’t make people sit through a whole song hoping against hope that some kid’s dear ol’ daddy DIDN’T really get blowed up in the mine, just get that out in the open early. We already know, and you know we know, and so forth.
I suggest you look for inspiration to Mr. Gordon Lightfoot. No one goes into “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” expecting a happy ending.