Monday, February 07, 2011

Songs about Texas

Inspired by this post of my husband's & particularly Scott's and TOTWTYTR's comments thereon, a partial list of songs about Texas, which is to say whatever comes to mind in the next half an hour or so:

"Screw You, We're From Texas" --Ray Wylie Hubbard.  This one gets my vote for unofficial state song.  Like I said in reply to Scott's posting of this video, I cannot think of another song that better captures the outlook of your average native Texan.  Rush Limbaugh said it well: When you're in Texas, you find that Texans just don't think about the outside world.  And, c'mon, Ray Wylie Hubbard!  (If Marie had been a boy, she would have been named Ray.)

"Songs About Texas"--Pat Green (plus a few others, in this version).  Obviously, the title of this post.  As is typical of pre-Nashville Pat Green, there are several versions of this song floating out there.  This is a particularly good one.

"London Homesick Blues"--Gary P. Nunn/Jerry Jeff Walker.  Nunn wrote the song, but Walker covered it.  Both are on this link.  Of course, looking at it you wouldn't think it's a song about Texas, but of course it is.

"What I Like About Texas"--Gary P. Nunn.  This and the other are probably the ones he is best known for. 

"Nowhere But Texas"--Steve Helms.  A bit cliched, but still pretty good.

"Welcome to Texas"--Brian Burns.  Same vein as "Screw You, We're From Texas", but a little more pointed.  As in, have a nice vacation, and then get the hell out.

"I've Been Everywhere in Texas"--Brian Burns.  The only version of this song that doesn't make me want to stab out my ear drums using fine-gauge knitting needles.

"Corpus Christi Bay"--Robert Earl Keen.  Perhaps stretching it a bit, but it's as much about the location as anything else, so I'm including it.  That, and it's my favorite REK song.

"Amarillo Highway"--Robert Earl Keen.  Hey, it's REK.  How can I not like it?  (We're all going to politely pretend "Copenhagen" doesn't exist.)

"Comal County Blue"--Jason Boland & the Stragglers.  More of a south Texas song than anything, but so, so good.  Anything by Jason Boland is, really.  For my money, no one in the red dirt scene has a better voice, and very few folks come close.

"Boogie Back to Texas"--Asleep at the Wheel.  Probably the most famous song I'm going to bother putting here, bar one.  The last concert I went to--an embarrassingly long time ago--was an Asleep at the Wheel concert in Norfolk, and for some strange reason they did not do this song.  For extra WTF-ness, check out this clip.

"Galveston"--Glen Campbell. Totally mainstream, yes.  But this is as much a love song about the city as a more run-of-the-mill love song, and that's why I have always loved it.  (I adore Galveston itself, of course, though if I'm headed down to the coast I wanna go to Rockport.)

"Texas"--George Strait.  Honestly not a song I have much affinity for--too new for me to have heard very often.  But I'd never get laid again if I left King George off this list.

"Texas Cookin"--Guy Clark.  This is one of those songs that everyone and his brother has covered down here--including King George (but he didn't release it as a single).  I'm pretty sure Clark wrote it, which is why I'm going with his version.  And this isn't a stretch at all--Texas is the food!

"Hill Country Here I Come"--Tommy Alverson.  Definite ear worm potential.  I think of this song every time we're on 281.

"Roadtrip"--Gary P. Nunn.  Very similar song to the Tommy Alverson tune, but I have no doubt this one came first.  What can I say, some the best parts of Texas are along US 281!

"They Call It The Hill Country"--Randy Rogers Band.  Rounding out my trifecta of songs about the Hill Country.  Probably the one I most identify with.  Erik is used to me randomly frothing at the mouth about how the Hill Country has been raped and, well, leveled and paved.

"Dallas"--Joe Ely.  I can't explain why I like this song so much.  Reminds me of the trip I took up to Dallas Spring Break of my senior year of high school, to look at a school up there.

Hmm.  Well, that was certainly more songs than I thought I'd come up with when I sat down to write this post.  Funny how one song reminds you of another.  My crappy memory for titles and artists made this a long post--I wasn't sure, for example, if "Roadtrip" was a) titled that and b) by Gary P like I thought it was.

You'll note that a few very famous songs aren't on here.  Probably no one expected me to skip over "San Antonio Rose."  Here's the thing, though--that song's not about San Antonio.  It's a lost love song.  Likewise, I kept looking for an excuse to include "Beaumont", 'cause I freaking love Hayes Carll, but I couldn't in good conscience.

Beyond that, I don't pretend that this is an exhaustive list.  If I missed anything blindingly obvious, though, let me know in the comments section.


Anonymous said...

Maybe not blindingly obvious, but still a good one...

AlanDP said...

"Texas" by Chris Rea.

AlanDP said...

"Memories of East Texas" and "Gladewater" by Michelle Shocked.

BobG said...

"Galveston", "Houston", and "Amarillo By Morning".

Word verification: temator
What they call tomatoes in Oklahoma.

AlanDP said...

"Back on the Safe Side" by James McMurtry.

"El Paso" and "El Paso City" by Marty Robbins.

AlanDP said...

I can't believe I forgot "The Ballad of the Alamo," also by Marty Robbins.

Albatross said...

I love "Boogie Back to Texas."

But what about "Texas Flood" by Stevie Ray Vaughan?

Albatross said...

Ooh! And don't forget this!

Good stuff, Maynard!

Anonymous said...

"ROTFLMAO, Albatross! "What do you mean you ain't got no more liquor?"

Mattexian said...

I'd like to toss into consideration, Lyle Lovett's "That's Right (You're Not from Texas)".

Mattexian said...

Can't believe I forgot about Kevin Fowler's "100% Texan"!

BobG said...

"Luchenbach, Texas" by Waylon Jennings.

TimD said...

Somewhat late to the party.

Getting away from the country music:
China Grove by the Doobie Brothers


TOTWTYTR said...

This is my sad face :(, because you managed to miss all three of my favorites.

"Sweet Mother Texas" by Waylon Jennings

"Texas Being Texas" by Red Steagall

"You're From Texas" by Bob Wills.

phlegmfatale said...

OMG. I'd TOTALLY forgotten about "Copenhagen" and I'm glad you reminded me. It's going to be on my IPod about 3 minutes after I post this comment. That and "Welcome To Texas" by Brian Burns-- fabulous song Thanks for this post! Love it.