According to Willie Nelson, “Three Chords and the Truth–That’s What a Country Song Is.” Well, it that’s true, this song is half way to being a country song, since it has those three chords, and only three. The “truth” part is a harder call, though this song is based, as was “The Curse,” on a true story or rather on multiple true stories, since I am sure this story is told in one way or another many times a day, around Nashville and probably in rural China too. But then we hedged our bets a little. The refrain runs:
Heading down that long road
All I got is gone
Feels like I am stuck inside
A real BAD country song….
So if we ain’t got the truth…or hit it somehow…it could still be a country song, though a REAL BAD one, making allowances though for that particular inflection in the sixties when BADD meant GOOD.
So perhaps the truth is ambiguous. And while it might not be the truth exactly, I do pride myself on having imparted at least a little social realism and immediate relevance with:
We’d lived too long on credit
Up to our necks in debt
When everything had been sold
There wasn’t nothing left…
A reference again to hard times. At one point I worked a yard sale into the song, but the rhyme didn’t work out.
And finally I can’t think of being stuck inside something without thinking of Dylan’s “Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.”