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    Killer Country Music

    Surprisingly violent references found in country music that have been completely over-looked.

    So "violence is never the answer," huh? By definition violence is something intended to damage someone or something. An act of violence can come in many different forms, and for a variety of reasons. It can be purposefully bumping into someone in the school hallway, or as serious as an argument ending in gunfire. Either way, the occurrence of violence has been an issue to deal with throughout the years. After some research, turns out that maybe kids should go back and tell their parents that violence IS the answer, according to what they have learned from listening to country music. The implementation of violence in many country songs seems just a little too smooth and prevalent. Violence is not something to make light of, seeing as it kills millions of people worldwide, every year. Today, we here of many cases of violence in our everyday lives from the news, like the re-surfacing case with Hope Solo. However, it's not only just recent songs that adopt casual violence into their catchy chorus, because this topic appears to have a history. Though one might argue these country songs are about "revenge", they each take a dark turn and spiral into an un-flattering category; one that glorifying violence.

    1. Tom Dooley by the Kingston Trio

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    The Kingston Trio introduces us to the topic with their song “Tom Dooley,” which was released in 1958. The song repeats over seven times “Poor boy, you’re bound to die”, after an opening stanza that states “I met her on the mountain/ There I took her life/ Met her on the mountain/ Stabbed her with my knife.” Two people killed in just the first song on the list, what a precedent. Looks like country music is starting us off with their guns a’blazin’.

    2. Fist City by Loretta Lynn

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    Don’t be fooled, “Fist City” is not a real place people. Well, unless you consider getting punched in the face by Loretta Lynn a destination. This country song, released in 1968, alluded to a bit of “cat fight” between a woman who decides to *literally* fight for her man, if this other woman doesn’t back off. Why not go after your cheating man Loretta? Maybe she feels more confident in some hand-to-hand combat kind of confrontation.

    3. (Pardon Me) I've Got Someone To Kill by Johnny Paycheck

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    At least the title and verses of this next killer song (wink, wink) express a hint of country musics "southern charm," even if the artist himself does not. Johnny Paycheck released “Pardon Me I’ve Got Someone To Kill” in 1978. Hey Johnny, your manners have not gone un-appreciated! However you see, being possessive of your women is one thing, and being possessive of your woman to the point of killing another man who threatens to take her away, is just too far. What is with country music stars and their killer instinct? Well, in Paycheck’s case, he actually did go to jail for shooting someone in 1985, (7 years after the release and successes of this song) so can’t really say he didn’t warn ya…

    4. And The Thunder Rolls by Garth Brooks

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    Even country music’s classic, and beloved, artist Garth Brooks adds to the list of violent country songs. “The Thunder Rolls”(1990), a successful Garth song, tells the tale of a cheating man being caught, and shot. Is Garth Brooks saying this is what the regular punishment of a cheater should be? “She reaches for the pistol/ … Cause tonight will be the last time/ She’ll wonder where he’s been.” Luckily it’s clear that that is not a real thing in this world, but OK… We see you taking it to the next violence level Brooks.

    5. Goodbye Earl by The Dixie Chicks

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    So, most are well aware of the Dixie Chick scandal of 2003. But turns out the Dixie Chicks aren’t solely about trash-talking presidents, they also aren’t afraid to sing about killing a man. Their song “Goodbye Earl” (1999) talks about this killing, “And it didn’t take them long to decide/ That Earl had to die.” Count me out for going anywhere near these three women if they are hangry.

    6. Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood

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    Sweet Carrie Underwood, dubbed America’s sweetheart after winning American Idol in 2005, wouldn’t hurt a fly, right? Well, ever heard her popular song “Before He Cheats” from 2005? It’s a doozie. Get mad, get even is what this song advocates. After being cheated on Carrie sings of “slugging” out headlights and “smashing” holes into not one, not two, but “all FOUR tires” to teach that man his lesson. Acting out violence seems to be a reoccurring theme for Carrie, as she returns to it multiple times like with “Two Black Cadillacs” and her duet with Miranda Lambert, “Something Bad.” So, just saying, Carrie would totally hurt a fly.

    7. Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert

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    Now our next contributor to the ongoing list of country songs written with a bend towards violence, and their artists getting by unscathed may not come as much of a shock to some, because Ms. Miranda Lambert is known to be a bit of a feisty one. Her single “Gunpowder and Lead” (2007) really does “show you what [she] is made of” (if you know what I mean). And it is yet another country song about shooting someone else… Coincidence? After recognizing this theme’s past, I think not.

    8. Redneck Crazy by Tyler Farr

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    Lastly we will end the montage of violence with a more recent addition released in 2013 by Tyler Farr, “Redneck Crazy.” This song talks about recklessly driving through a neighborhood and throwing objects at a past lover who has left him. I mean, thankfully Tyler here can recognize these actions as “crazy” (as seen by song title choice), but nevertheless, this intentional harm to others grants him a spot on the naughty list.

    But when it comes down to it, violence does seem to be the answer if one is solving a problem in the context of a country song.