Saturday, April 4, 2009

She Left Me For Jesus by Hayes Carll

Most classic country songs are sad songs. They are written about the darker side of life: drinking, cheating, losing, lying and being in jail. I am thinking about Hank Williams songs like I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry and Your Cheatin' Heart or Merle Haggard songs like I Am a Lonesome Fugitive and Kern River or Townes Van Zandt songs like Tecumseh Valley. None of these will put a smile on your face.

Occasionally, there are funny songs that are well written enough to be an exception. I'm not talking about the Nashville crap you hear Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith or Big and Rich singing on the radio, but songs that are humorous and still display some songwriting craft. Some examples from the past would be Merry Christmas From the Family and Copenhagen by Robert Earl Keen, Beer Run and Doublewide Blues by Todd Snider, the classic Okie From Muskogee by Merle Haggard and almost anything by David Allen Coe. These songs are funny without being an insult to your intelligence.

I heard a song recently called She Left Me For Jesus that really knocked me out. It is on the CD Trouble In Mind by Hayes Carll. I have been warming up to Carll's music since I heard his 2005 release Little Rock. That CD included a pretty good song called Down The Road Tonight, which got decent airplay on satellite radio. I like it because the song sounds like a modern version of Subterranean Homesick Blues. Hayes certainly studied his Dylan to cram that many words into one song.

I finally picked up his latest CD called Trouble In Mind, which has also gotten pretty good reviews. It was on many best of lists for 2008. Playing through Trouble In Mind, I was initially a little underwhelmed. The songs are good and the band is good, but there was nothing that really reached out and grabbed me. Nothing, until I got to the last cut on the CD. She Left Me For Jesus has got to the funniest song I have heard in a very long time. See what you think:

She Left Me For Jesus


  1. "underwhelmed"? boy do I disagree. "Trouble In Mind" is a fantastic cd. Beaumont, Its a Shame, Drunken Poets Dream. All great soungs. Honestly She Left me for Jesus is my least favorite track- probably why its buried at the end of the cd.- This cd received tons of praise for a good reason- give er' another spin.

  2. Funny, it's not. Anti-Christian and sacrilegious, it is.

  3. Sorry Anonymous, you need to lighten up a little for this blog. Sense of humor needed to be a fan.