Once again, it’s time for the Weekend Blog Free For All where I write about something not related to my ministry. I often write about recent music that is filled with bad metaphors or similes – like how wagon wheels don’t rock.
But I really need to go back a few years on this one. I don’t listen to country music. Ever. So, when I heard Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” while in a gas station (where I hear a lot of country songs) I knew I had found a song to write about. It’s not new. It was released in 2011 and has sold over 2 million copies. If you’re not familiar with it, here it is:
First, a little background on this country masterpiece. According to the Wikipedia page on this song, Bryan said he was inspired to write this song after listening to hip-hop. Bryan is known for his other singles such as “Rain is a Good Thing” (nice to know), “We Rode in Trucks“, and “Drunk on You.” He is the recipient of the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Entertainer of the Year apparently.
In the intro the video, they interview some of the dancers and one says unequivocally, “I used to ride my horse to Burger King.” Well, who doesn’t?
So let’s discuss lyrics. My favorite part of these posts. The songs I like to write about usually have lines that just stand out at me and question my faith in humanity. Throughout the whole song, he’s speaking to his “country girl” and is asking her to “shake it.” In the first part of the song, he encourages her to find a platform to shake it from. He suggests the hood of his daddy’s tractor. Or a tool box. It doesn’t really matter. As long as she’s shaking it.
For a moment, let’s skip the amazing chorus. The next verse has a bit of promise, I think. He seems to recognize the young woman’s inherent beauty and respect she deserves when he says, “Somebody’s sweet little farmer’s child.” Awwwww. That’s nice. But it doesn’t last. Yeah, she’s someone’s daughter. So what does he ask this nice woman to do?
But not just to shake it. In the chorus, he wants her to shake it for all to see. And he gives a list of those she should be “shaking it” for. Let’s see. She should be shaking it for the young bucks sitting in the honky tonks. Because I’m sure they will enjoy watching her interpretive dance movements. She should shake it for the rednecks rocking until the break of dawn. Because I’m sure they will appreciate her rhythm and timing.
Then the song just gets weird. And this is the part that just made me want to write about this very strange song. See, it wasn’t enough to show off his woman for the humans around. No, he decided to take it a step further and included the animal kingdom.
So, he exhorts his darling shaking woman to shake for the birds and bees. It’ll rhyme in a moment. Kinda. Then he wants her to shake it for the catfish swimming in the creek. The catfish? Listen, I’m an Arkansas native and I know a little about catfish. Those suckers are bottom dwellers. And even if they cared about a human female “shaking it” they wouldn’t see her from their position at the bottom of a muddy creek. Just an observation.
Before I decimate the next part of the chorus, I want to quote one of the dancers who says something in the middle of the video. She says about the country life, “There’s an honesty in it. This is me, this is who I am.” We next see her dancing in front of a big tractor tire in thigh high boots.
The next part of the chorus is when Bryan encourages his date to shake it for the crickets and the squirrels. Yes. The squirrels.
I have to think for a moment that while writing this song, Bryan had to have a visual image of this. He had to see a country girl dancing and shaking it for an audience of squirrels. Simple little mammals who gather nuts, get really confused in the middle of the road when a car is approaching, and spend their lives hopping from limb to limb of the trees they live in.
Now, that is honesty. That is obviously what that dancer meant when she said, “This is who I am.” She can be who she is when she’s shaking it for a band of confused squirrels.
In a moment of honesty, surely Luke Bryan had a flash of thought that said, “This line is really ridiculous.” Or maybe he didn’t. Even if he did, it didn’t seem to matter. He wants his women dancing for squirrels. And catfish. And crickets.
The other line that struck me was promising. He asked his shaking woman to shake it to the moon. Maybe Luke Bryan is trying to find another alternate plan for space travel. Heck, since NASA shut down, we need another way to explore space. It might be that next week President Obama announces that we will be visiting the moon again led by a team of shaking country women. It could happen.
Before you write a nasty comment, I realize this song is supposed to be a bunch of fun and is meaningless. I get that. Meaningless songs are necessary. They have good rhythm, are fun to sing along with, they make us happy and create an urge to dance.
But dancing for squirrels? Really? Think about this for a moment. What if this song was the only communication that somehow (by FM waves) reached the ears of an intelligent life-form in the universe? Imagine if they were able to decode it and understand it. The alien leader would turn to his minions and probably say, “Let’s go destroy that planet.”
Songs should be fun and enjoyable. But dancing for squirrels and catfish? We can do better. We really can. Or maybe we can’t. I guess if we did do better, I’d have nothing to write about on Saturdays.
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Did you like this? Maybe not. But you might like my now infamous Wagon Wheel post or its sequel, my post about “The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us“, my post about how awful Candy Crush is, my post about “Get Your Shine On”, what Christians should think about Justin Bieber, my poor attempt to start the unity selfie, or the one about “Boys ‘Round Here.”
When I’m not being cynical about pop culture, I do run a ministry to help fallen pastors here at fallenpastor.com. I also wrote a book. It is designed to help people understand forgiveness and the problems within the church. Check it out – it’s on Amazon and everything.