A recipe for country song success

You?ve probably heard the joke about what happens when you play a country song backwards: You get your truck back and your dog back and your girl back and your name gets erased out of the federal gun registry.

It implies that country music is written and sung by a bunch of whiny, sensitive, backwoods boys who wear their hearts on their sleeves like they wear their belt buckles on their pants.

But I?m convinced that stereotype is not the standard anymore.

Instead, if you tune to a country-playing station you?ll likely hear an upbeat, careless tune sung with abandon about a dusty personification of inspiration wearing a pair of Daisy Dukes. It will have clever phrases like, ?Girl, you make my speakers go boom boom,? and, ?Baby, you a song; you make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise,? peppered throughout it. And the grammar will be bad. Real bad.

There are three components that are mandatory for this kind of song: a beat-up pickup truck (preferably a Chevy), a cold drink and a physically attractive young woman in flip flops. For good measure the song will often make reference to her strawberry-flavored lip gloss.

At this point it?s time to admit that I might occasionally tune my radio to country music. It?s not something I talk about, and definitely not something anybody would ever be able to prove in court. But occasionally, when an NPR program ends, I slide the dial over a little.

It?s sort of like squirting a little ranch dressing onto the end of a celery stick.

All confessions aside, this type of dirt-road-puppy-love song is so prevalent that I?ve actually formulated it. That?s right: I have reverse engineered the modern pop-country love song so that you, too, can write your very own.

Here?s the structure:

Reference the weather. Mention your pickup truck with Rhyme A. Describe vision of woman. Cheesy drink metaphor with Rhyme A. Address woman with poor grammar. Cheesy livestock metaphor with Rhyme B. Make romantic commitment request. Reference lip gloss with Rhyme B.

Then just fill in the blanks. Here?s one of mine, sung to the tune of ?Oh, My Darling Clementine?:

I was cruisin? through the hot sun

In my dusty, old Chevy

When I saw her, gold hair and flip flops;

She was sweet, as a sweet iced tea.

Girl, you the vision of perfection;

Burnt your brand my heart across.

Now let?s smooch now and forever:

I love the taste of your lip gloss.

It?s that easy. The next step, of course, would be to submit your song to a record company so the country music stars can start recording it, which would then allow you to be rich and famous and a special guest at next year?s Country Music Awards.

Who knows? Your brilliance might even earn you an award!

But a word of warning before you begin: If you come up with a really clever, witty line, make sure somebody else hasn?t used it before.

For example, ?Gettin? on your hillbilly bom-ba-bom-ba-bom-bom? is already taken.