Ten country songs to bring on the spring
March is that time of year when we forget everything we've come to know about the month's wild mood swings. We ignore the weatherman's prognostications, and throw on shorts and short sleeves at the first sight of melting (read: slushy, gray, disgusting) snow. And so by our interpretation, guess what, folks -- spring has officially sprung! Soon the tulips will be poking through what little snow remains in your backyard, competing for space with all the dog poop you've neglected during the winter.
Here are 10 songs to ring in your undeniable, unshakable, totally unreasonable spring fever.
10. "I Get the Fever" - "Whisperin'" Bill Anderson (1966)
"Every time I smell melting poop, I let out a big ol' 'Whoop!' It means May is on its way... I get spring fever." Okay, not the way Whisperin' Bill sang it, but really. Don't melting poop and yards littered in previously snow-covered trash get you all excited for those lusty months ahead!?! Notable lyric: Every time a sparrow flies, up into the endless skies something down inside me cries. I get the fever.
9. "Spring" - Tanya Tucker (1975)
Jeez, Tanya always knows how to bring a person down. We're supposed to be happy about spring. It's not supposed to make us think about bastard child orphans. Notable lyric: She named her Spring. Winter's been a long time passion'. She named her Spring, and though she's never been wed...
8. "Wait 'til Spring" - Jim Lauderdale with Donna the Buffalo (2003)
Though he's well-known among those in the know, Jim Lauderdale's barely eked onto the country charts and made only infrequent forays into the bluegrass charts, and that's a damned shame. This is from his 2003 album of the same name, with New York mountain-jam band Donna the Buffalo. Notable lyric: Wait 'til spring, wait 'til spring. Mama said that's when it starts to swing. Wait 'til spring, wait 'til spring. That's when it really starts to sing.
7. "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" - Chet Atkins (1955)
Tiny Tim associations aside, this song's 'bout as old as your grandaddy, having first been published in 1929. It appeared on Chet Atkins's 1955 album Chet Atkins in Three Dimensions, the first album on which Atkins moved away from country (it combines arrangements of traditional, pop, and classical tunes), even though according to his 1974 autobiography, Atkins had been fired numerous times for "not sounding country enough." So, consider this Atkins's radical, totally experimental album. Notable lyric: You know the words. And they do not appear in this version.
6. "Never Promised You a Rose Garden" - Lynn Anderson (1970)
This song goes out to all of you who will never get a head start on your spring planting, and who have never managed to able to keep a rose bush alive. Notable lyric: I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine, there's gotta be a little rain sometimes.
5. "Spring Fever" - Loretta Lynn (1978)
Loretta's the one cheatin' for once. Must be spring fever. Notable lyric: I said: "I guess it's spring fever in the middle of winter. I hear a bird singin', an' I feel the warm sunshine too." I said: "I guess it's spring fever in the middle of winter that makes the warm of glowing love." But I just couldn't tell him it was someone new.
4. "Springtime in the Rockies" - Gene Autry (1937)
Gene Autry sang this oft-covered traditional tune in his 1937 film of the same name. Notable quote from the movie? Frog Millhouse: "Well, I'll be hung for a horse thief. Soil testin' equipment. Encyclopedias. VTC and chemicals and poison. Well, who in blazes sent all this junk out here?" Gene Autry: "That's easy, our lady boss. She's goin' to an agricultural college and takin' animal husbandry." Frog Millhouse: "Husbandry, huh? Well, it do beat all what a woman will do to get married." Notable lyric: I fancy, it is springtime in the Rockies. The flowers with their colors are aflame. And though I long to be back in the Rockies I'll wait until the springtime comes again.
3. "When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)" - Johnny Horton (1959)
Be happy you live in Minnesota -- Alaska doesn't even get a proper spring. And it's a good place to die. Notable lyric: I was as innocent as I could be. I didn't know Lil was Big Ed's wife-to-be. He took out his knife and he gave it a throw. When it's springtime in Alaska I'll be six feet below. (When it's springtime in Alaska he'll be six feet below.)
2. "Feelin' Good Again" - Robert Earl Keen (1998)
A good song for that day when you stop being a misanthropic hermit and remind your friends you haven't died over the winter. (Unrelated to spring - you totally want a biscuit after watching that video, don't you?) Notable lyric: Standin' there on Main Street across from Mr. Blues, my faded leather jacket my weathered brogan shoes. A chill north wind was blown' but the spring was common' on, as I wondered to myself just how long I had been gone. So I strolled across ol' Main Street, walked down a flight of stairs. Stepped into a hall and saw all my friends were there. A neon sign was flashing, welcome come on in. It feels so good feeling good again.
1. "It's a Great Day to Be Alive" - Travis Tritt (2000)
It's gonna be like, 30 degrees today, and maybe we'll hit 40 in a week! Fuck yeah, Travis Tritt, sure is a great day to be alive. Notable lyric: And it's a great day to be alive, I know the sun's still shinin' when I close my eyes. There's some hard times in the neighborhood, but why can't every day be just this good?
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