Saving Country Music’s Worst Country Songs of All Time
We all know them and we all hate them, those ubiquitous and ridiculous pop country songs that make us hang our heads in shame, embarrassed to call ourselves country fans, constantly making us having to explain that no, we don’t listen to that type of country. They pursue us doggedly, on the radio, over the speakers at the grocery store, blaring from a car full of high school kids at a red light.
Saving Country Music’s Greatest Songs of All Time
Please note that this list has a few ground rules, namely that a song must have been released as a single to qualify (i.e. no Brad Paisley’s “Accidental Racist”). Also, songs that may have been classified by radio as “country” but were classified by artists or their labels as pop (principally Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”) will not be dignified by being included on this “country” list either.
15. Country Girl (Shake It For Me) – Luke Bryan
Positively nothing more than a pop dance song with a banjo, Luke Bryan commands country girls to “shake it” for the birds, the bees, for the crickets and the critters and the catfish swimming down deep in the creek, for the gerbils crawling way up his rectum to massage his prostate”¦ oh wait, he left that line out, but you get the point. This song is like a frozen sledge hammer to the balls of anybody who has any sort of musical taste or dignity.
14. Corn Star – Craig Morgan
Yes my friends, this song actually exists, and was even released as a single. How do you out cornpone your corny competition? Make a pun about corn and insert into a sexually-charged urbanism, aka the Honky Tonk Badonkadonk songwriting formula. The writers of this song Jeffrey Steele and Shane Minor are not laughing with you, they’re laughing at you for buying into this worthless piece of drivel. If you think “Corn Star” is funny, then the joke’s on you.
13. Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland
This song sounds like it was made with a bubble machine. I don’t know what I hate worse in this song, the reggae breakdown, or the way Jennifer Nettles sings way on top of every note making this song especially unbearable to listen to. At least Sugarland’s cries for relevancy were answered by the song reaching #2 on the country charts, and eventually being certified double platinum. However since then, they have yet to have another hit single, and both Sugarland members are pursuing solo careers.
12. Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line is a horrible combination of Rascal Flatts pretty boy hyper-pop, and designer jeans Jason Aldean “backroad” laundry list pap. They are everything bad about quotation mark “country” combined into one big stuffed crotch sandwich. Punctuating how pathetic “Cruise” is, is the fact that these two dudes apparently don’t know how to use punctuation. The first line of the song goes, “Baby you a song,” instead of, “Baby you’re a song.” But what else can you expect when the title of their first EP was It’z Just What We Do. Yes, it’s one of those albums, blurring the lines between Ebonics and idiocracy. (read song review)
11. Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy) – Big & Rich
Big & Rich may think they’re saving horses with their fringe-lined parasols, dandy top hats and prancing midgets, but it is at the expense of our hearing. “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)” acts like a good healthy turn of a corkscrew right after it’s been inserted in one’s earhole. “Save A Horse” has the the shelf life of a knock knock joke. Hear it once and maybe it makes you smile. Hear it twice and you can’t reach for the radio dial quick enough. This song is the reason fans of other genres think all country music sucks.
10. She Think’s My Tractor’s Sexy – Kenny Chesney
Boy, little did we know back in 1999 that this machination of mixing sex and farm machinery would become such a prevailing trend in country music. Chesney should’ve just stuck to figuring out what to rhyme “coconut” and “flip flops” with in his idiotic and incessant beach songs. What Kenny and his sexy tractor cohorts lost sight of is that the beauty of country living is in its simplicity.
9. Brown Chicken Brown Cow – Trace Adkins
Some songs we call “a joke” figuratively. This one is a joke, literally. No really, they took a punch line and figured out how to build a song out of it. “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” mentions corn fields and slopping pigs, but since these days less than 2% of Americans actually live this type of traditional farm lifestyle, he is not using these things to relate to people, but to disguise the fact that this really is a hip-hopish rock song, and that he isn’t singing to country folks, he’s singing to suburbanites that like to listen to this kind of smut as a form of escapism. Trace Adkins has become one of the kings of gimmick songs, with his super hit “Honky Tonk Bandonkadonk” being his most well-recognized hit. But even Trace had to admit later that”Brown Chicken Brown Cow” went too far, saying, “I guess I went to that well one too many times.”
8. Red Solo Cup – Toby Keith
That’s right ladies and gentleman, raise your red solo cups high, and let’s all toast the onset of idiocracy! This is not only one of country’s worst songs ever, it was possibly the first song written to be a video first and foremost. Make a stupid viral video for an even more stupid song and you have the spoon fed public eating out of his hands. And just because Toby Keith admits this song is stupid, doesn’t mean it’s still not in fact stupid.
7. Truck Yeah – Tim McGraw
A creatively-repressed Tim McGraw finally breaks free from the 20-year-old bounds of Curb Records, and like an out-of-control Catholic schoolgirl unsupervised, releases this scandalously ill-advised attempt at country rap, forever soiling his reputation. Realistically speaking, this may be one of the worst, if not the worst song on this list. But since it’s creative depravity is so heinous and obvious, it petered in the charts, and its impact was marginal compared to the Frankenstein-like super hit McGraw and new label partner Scott Borchetta were hoping to score.
6. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
“Achy Breaky Heart” is country music’s version of waterboarding. The song itself was not as awful as the machine gun frequency and pandemic-like omnipresence it terrorized society with throughout 1992, until it and Billy Ray Cyrus’s atomic mullet rose to the level of becoming a national embarrassment that America will likely never absolve.
5. I Wanna Talk About Me – Toby Keith
Yes, you forgot about this little bit of mullet-era Toby Keith awfulness, didn’t you? Before there was “1994” and before there was “Dirt Road Anthem,” there was this wretched piece of pseudo country rapping released in 2001, written by Bobby Braddock of all people. The song was supposed to be a hit for a young, emerging Blake Shelton, but his label turned it down as too risky. “I Wanna Talk About Me” wasn’t even Toby Keith’s first country rap. He had another single “Getcha Some” in 1998. But it isn’t just the rapping that makes this song awful, it is the self-centered arrogance of the lyrics.
4. Honky Tonk Badonkadonk – Trace Adkins
The title says it all. No really, it does.
3. Boys ‘Round Here – Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here” is songwriting by algorithm and analytics, fashioning together words and sounds known to have the widest impact on mainstream radio’s weak-of-mind demo. It is the worst combination of both mainstream country rap and laundry list songwriting. The “boys” in the title of “Boys ‘Round Here” is fitting, because this song is rank immaturity. It’s the audio equivalent of sneaking out of your mom’s house to smoke pot behind a Pizza Hut. Though Jason Aldean’s “1994” may be a worse song, “Boys ‘Round Here” might be more dangerous as because it is a chart-topper.
2. Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean
This song seems rather innocuous now compared to the newest wave of country rap that has given rise to songs like “1994,” “Boys ‘Round Here,” and “Truck Yeah.” But at the time, “Dirt Road Anthem” was the edifice of awful, the one that broke the doors open for country rap. As the best-selling song in country music in 2011, the impact of “Dirt Road Anthem” cannot be understated.
1. 1994 – Jason Aldean
Jason Aldean and his crack team of producers and songwriters were exhaustive in their efforts to compile only the absolute worst elements from every corner and crevice of popular music and then assemble them together to compose this ode to the decay of Western Civilization. At their dispose are hip-pop, wiener rock, laundry list country, Auto-Tune, and the general douchebaggery awfulness caused by a complete lack of self-awareness that Jason Aldean is a exemplary specimen of. These ingredients are then extruded into a feces-like industrial slurry that is injected into the hollow, mulleted, cop-mustached corpse of 90”²s country semi-star Joe Diffie’s dwindling career.
In Music Row’s everlasting quest to train all of its resources on scouring America to unearth only the finest, most purest form of audio diarrhea, they have struck the mother of all motherloads originating from Jason Aldean’s unholy bowels. Yes Nashville, pat yourself on the back, let all of the Auto-Tuned stars sing out in unison as Stratocasters bray out a cacophony of stadium rock riffs in unified celebrationyou have officially discovered the shittiest country music song to ever touch the human ear drum. (read full review)
May 20, 2013 @ 9:46 am
Well, this is just about the best thing I’ve ever read.
April 23, 2014 @ 11:58 am
OMG …This is as entertaining , as honest and as well-crafted a collection of ‘reviews’ I’ve come across in my lifetime and I’m 62 . That’s a lottalifetime . THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SCM for this site , these call-it-like-you-hear-it comments and for doing your part in keeping guys like me sane in these times . The emperor really doesn’t have any clothes…but he has a cowboy hat and some nursery rhymes .
May 20, 2013 @ 9:47 am
Tim McGraw’s “Southern Voice” is the worst country song of all time.
March 15, 2019 @ 2:19 pm
Eh. It’s not very good, but the worst offenders on this list are definitely worse.
May 20, 2013 @ 9:50 am
Nice picks and right on the money. Those are beyond bad.
May 20, 2013 @ 10:44 am
What makes me so sad about this list is that it could actually be reversed to be “Top 15 Best Country Songs” for far to many people.
May 20, 2013 @ 10:51 am
i dont think “red solo cup” belongs on the list it is extremely stupid but its catchy and fun to sing along to. it reminds me a lot of “fight for your right” which i fucking hated back in the 80s but now i like it. cup is nowhere near as good as fight but im just saying they are meant to be fun not serious.
“achy breaky heart” is hands down the vilest crap ever shat out by cyrus or satan and should have been #1 dont forget that it lead to line dancing fever when it hit. other than that cool list
May 20, 2013 @ 12:50 pm
I did factor in the songs that are meant to be novelties, and that is why songs like “Red Solo Cup” and “Save A Horse” were not higher on the list. But I also feel like calling something a “novelty” song is a diversionary way to sell people crap. Shel Silverstein wrote novelty songs, but they didn’t insult the intelligence.
May 20, 2013 @ 2:02 pm
But again, intent must be judged. There are clever and stupid jokes abound in this world. Many of the stupid ones are no less funny just because they “insult intelligence,” though there is a fine line between jokes that are just stupid and ones that are a slap in the face, I’ll admit.
May 21, 2013 @ 11:33 am
I wanna talk about me is only one disagree with. if you’re calling it self centered arrogance, you’re kinda missing the point of the song. should be relatable for any man who’s ever dated more than 1 woman in his life.
May 20, 2013 @ 10:53 am
I’m a fan of some of these,is that a crime?
May 20, 2013 @ 11:21 am
Yes, a crime against humanity.
May 20, 2013 @ 12:41 pm
lol,they’re not all that bad. Achy Breaky Heart’s not bad at all,Red Solo Cup is decent but wouldn’t listen to regularly,same with honky tonk badonkadonk and boys round here. It’s a matter of preference,though. What Trigger sees as some of the worst country songs,some folks may see as “not too good,not too bad” kinda songs. know what i mean?
May 20, 2013 @ 9:13 pm
I understand. It means you border on these song’s targeted demographic. Congrats. I wish I could be mildly entertained when subjected to them at lake parties and bars.
May 20, 2013 @ 12:49 pm
No, it”™s not. As they say, everyone has an opinion and you shouldn”™t be ashamed of yours. Plus, it”™s not like Trigger is oppressive with his opinions; notice that the title is “SAVING COUNTRY MUSIC”™s Worst Songs of All Time” not “The Most Blatantly Terrible Songs to Ever Grace An Ear and You”™re An Idiot if You Don”™t Agree.” Trigger”™s fine if you disagree with him and he makes it blatantly clear that this is HIS opinion. Where you have to worry is the fact that this is the internet, and no matter how ignorant someone is, they can still get access. Unfortunately, you”™ll probably be insulted for having the courage to admit to what you like and what your tastes are (and I see that Bobby has already started the tirade).
May 20, 2013 @ 1:33 pm
I wonder how many Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts songs would be on “The Most Blatantly Terrible Songs to Ever Grace An Ear and You”™re An Idiot if You Don”™t Agree.” list. Probably their whole collection lol.
September 21, 2016 @ 8:28 pm
No, a lot of these songs are really good. The older ones anyway. It’s ok for a country song not to fit the mold now and then, that’s why they were ok when they came out. The problem now is that the style has changed even more and it’s taking the genre with it, as every song moves away from true country.
May 20, 2013 @ 11:41 am
I agree with all but two entries – “Save A Horse” and “I Wanna Talk About Me”.
First off, I’ll say the obvious: “Save a Horse” is a novelty song. It’s worth depends entirely on whether or not you find the joke funny, and I find it funny enough that it doesn’t really belong here. I wouldn’t listen to it all day (or even every day), but every once in a while, in the right situation, it can be funny. The joke depends entirely on context.
As for “I Wanna Talk About Me”, yes, it is pseudo-rap. Unlike most other ‘country rap’, however, there is no hip-hop beat. I can defend it partially, but really it just boils down to that I thought it was funny when I was a kid and I liked it then, so it really nostalgia more than anything.
Now, I am EXTREMELY disappointed you did not include “Cruise” on this list. That song is mind-bogglingly terrible, and the ‘pop remix’ is even worse. That ALONE should place it on this list.
Additionally, other songs to consider:
“Mississippi Girl” – This song is terrible. Period. There is not much to say about a song that is this bad, but it is terrible and it is one of the worst songs of that decade.
“Redneck Woman” – A very, very bad laundry list song.
May 20, 2013 @ 11:43 am
I meant to say Cruse should be higher – that is, top five at least.
May 20, 2013 @ 1:16 pm
I would agree with you on these two songs and yes, I DO think that the context of the song should matter in how it is received and judged. Neither “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” nor “I Wanna Talk About Me” are supposed to be taken seriously in any way, particularly not the former. For whatever reason, people don’t seem to realize that almost none of Big & Rich’s songs are intended to be taken seriously AT ALL. They are all tongue-in-cheek, as they say. While Trigger’s right about the joke running thin on too many listens, the song still doesn’t deserve to be on this list. B&R have never, ever even gotten close to trying to portray their image as anything but silly; they make fun of themselves in their music and this song is no exception (hence the crazy video). Their whole mantra is “Music without Prejudice,” implying creative freedom, obviously. With that in mind and Trigger’s assertion that songs that “aren’t technically Country” will be excluded, why are B&R here? They have ALWAYS blended genres and almost never portrayed themselves as pure Country (certain non-single songs, notwithstanding). While it annoys me when other artists blend genres, I cut B&R slack because that was their battle cry from the very beginning, not a last ditch effort to cross over into other genres (Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, etc.) while still portraying themselves as 100% backwoods. They’re anything but. Sure, the song makes them seem self-centered and exudes machismo, but if interviews and fan interactions are to be believed, the two men are anything but arrogant. They have never portrayed themselves as setting out to do anything but make FUN music, which is the first meter that songs should be measured on (not how “Country” they are or anything of that sort). I think they succeed in making music that is fun to listen to, but I understand criticism of the duo and this song. It was also a bit odd that Trigger never mentions Big Kenny or John Rich in any articles, either together or apart, but they’re apparently been on his radar long enough for him to include a song of their’s in this list. The other artists here are constantly lambasted.
“I Wanna Talk About Me” is not quite as defendable, but Trigger’s assertion of the “self-centered arrogance” in the lyrics seems a bit off. With a title like that, what EXACTLY were you expecting to hear? David Allan Coe talking about flying burritos? The whole IDEA of the song is self-centered arrogance, and as with “Save a Horse,” it seems odd to criticize a song for succeeding in what it set out to do. Judging on the fun meter, “I Wanna Talk About Me” succeeds where the majority of these other songs fail, particularly TK’s other entry, “Red Solo Cup.” Songs like “Red Solo Cup” and “Corn Star” dip from the fun meter to the embarrassment meter, in which I would completely agree that they’re terrible. I have no such problem with “Save a Horse” or “I Wanna Talk About Me” (though I DO explain to others that the former is a joke as it seems to elude many people).
If anything, I would remove “Save a Horse” and “I Wanna Talk About Me” and include “Pontoon” (Little Big Town), “She’s Country” (Jason Aldean), “Big Green Tractor” (Jason Aldean), “Kick it in the Sticks” (Brantley Gilbert) and pretty much anything else by Luke Bryan or Jason Aldean (but those in particular). In fact, it utterly defies logic to me that THESE songs are exempt from the list but “I Wanna Talk About Me” is number 5 and “Save a Horse” is even here to begin with.
May 20, 2013 @ 8:20 pm
“Bad” and “worst” are obviously subjective terms, and as I said before, I did consider intent from the artist. But the thing I considered the most is the annoyance factor of these songs. When making this list, I did a lot of research to see what other people were saying were their least favorite songs. “Save A Horse” came up many times. I understand that Big & Rich are not meant to be taken seriously, but that doesn’t mean that their song isn’t grating on the nerves of many listeners. Like I always say, songs are like jokes, and if you have to explain them, they don’t work. Someone telling me after the fact, “Oh, you can’t take Big & Rich so seriously” doesn’t take back my feeling on a song the first or second time I heard it, nor can you expect everyone to be privy to that information.
May 20, 2013 @ 8:58 pm
While I obviously don’t agree, I understand what you’re saying and thanks for the reply. The biggest flaw of the song by far is that it’s not completely obvious that it’s a joke (as you say). I’m not sure if that makes it clever or stupid, but I get the fact that it can be grating. I’m quite apt to defend B&R, however, as many people only know them from this song. “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” is not their best work, but it’s by far their most popular and they get judged unfairly because of it. I don’t care if anyone agrees with me, but I would like to pose this question: how would you like it if Waylon, Willie, Johnny, Merle, George, etc. were judged on the merits of one song? Lord knows, not all of their music is classic or even good and if somebody thinks that, they’re either extremely nostalgic or biased to the point of delusion (that said, I really tend to enjoy Waylon’s late 80’s recordings and was surprised to learn that they are considered a low point in his career). People are entitled to their opinions, but it annoys me when Big & Rich make music that is meant to be laughed at but a lot of people don’t get the joke. I guess the song was destined to be polarizing, given that music is already subjective and humor is even moreso.
May 21, 2013 @ 1:01 pm
It is completely unfair to judge and artist on one song. It is also completely understandable. The first interaction most people had with Big & Rich was “Save A Horse.” If you want to be taken seriously as an artist, you have to understand this might be what happens. I never took Big & Rich any bit of serious until I heard John Rich’s “Shutting Detroit Down,” but at first I didn’t believe it. I thought he was bandwagoning because I couldn’t get the “Save A Horse” bad taste out of my mouth.
Billy Ray Cyrus has a huge catalog of music, but guess what he will always be known for?
May 21, 2013 @ 9:04 pm
“It is completely unfair to judge and artist on one song. It is also completely understandable. The first interaction most people had with Big & Rich was “Save A Horse.” If you want to be taken seriously as an artist, you have to understand this might be what happens. I never took Big & Rich any bit of serious until I heard John Rich”™s “Shutting Detroit Down,” but at first I didn”™t believe it. I thought he was bandwagoning because I couldn”™t get the “Save A Horse” bad taste out of my mouth. Billy Ray Cyrus has a huge catalog of music, but guess what he will always be known for?”
I see what you’re saying. Thing is (and I can’t overstate this enough), Big & Rich have never really WANTED to be “taken seriously as artists.” A lot of their music is intended for no more than a good time. That said, they still have some GREAT songs. I know it seems like I’m beating a dead horse here, but B&R have always been all over the map when it comes to their music, which was the intent. If anything, they’re almost chameleons; they can switch from banal rocker mode to serious ballad in a flash. As solo artists, their attitudes are completely different. Plus, shouldn’t the individual songs speak for themselves? I think that’s the attitude they approach their own material with, given that they see no problem putting silly and serious songs back-to-back on albums. I’ve included some links below to prove my point. I know you’re busy, but if you have the time, I’ve added descriptions so at least listen to the songs I’ve labelled as “serious.” I guarantee that you’ll like some of them or at least gain a new respect for Big & Rich’s music. If not, I’ll leave it be (on this article, anyway).
“When the Devil Gets the Best of Me” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCHRPnh5Ni8
(Ballad, deathly serious and almost depressing. Serious Song.)
“Born Again” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyxfhcWYsBs
(Country Rock featuring Bon Jovi. Silly Song.)
“Live This Life” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQuS6gBVxR4
(Ballad with deep, deep implied and interpretable meaning. Serious Song.)
“Drinkin’ Bout You” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8C8Gu-Ar_E
(Ballad about drinking, obviously. Silly Song.)
“Holy Water” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dXLC1butGc
(Ballad about domestic abuse/rape that is more Country than most songs on the radio. Serious song.)
“Party Like Cowboyz” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1PZP3uzFso
(EXTREMELY stupid rocker, but still fun if you’re in the right mood. Silly song.)
“Deadwood Mountain” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq9W0I96Av4
(Ballad that is also deep with many meanings. Serious Song.)
June 24, 2013 @ 11:35 am
I was 12 when Save a Horse came out and even I knew that it was a joke. It amazes me when others don”™t seem to get it, ESPECIALLY after they watch the music video.
May 20, 2013 @ 11:54 am
Very good ”¦ erm ”¦ very bad list. I definitely agree with “1994” being number one, while it might not be as dangerous as “Boys Round Here”, holy crap is it just awful.
Hmm, I maybe would have found a space to cram in “Pontoon” too. God, I hate that song.
May 20, 2013 @ 12:05 pm
I think Jason Aldean has to be my least favourite artist in today’s music at the moment.
“Somethin’ like Somethin'” by Dakota Bradley just came out, but I feel that it will make a future version of this list.
May 20, 2013 @ 12:08 pm
1994 is thomas rhetts song, jason fraudean just gave it the karaoke treatment
May 20, 2013 @ 12:14 pm
Big&Rich ripped off that song title from Haley Bonar who had a song by the same name that was released a full year before. and it’s a damn shame to because her song put’s that B&R shit to shame.
May 20, 2013 @ 1:40 pm
I just listened to Bonar’s version on YouTube and your assertion that Big & Rich “ripped it off” is completely incorrect. The title is the same and the similarities end there; the tune is different, the tone is different, and the lyrics are different. How EXACTLY does that qualify as a ripoff? Are two songs not allowed to have the same title? Plus, if she was ripped off, why didn’t she ever bring it to light? All of these other low-rent songwriters seem to have no problem doing so. Just the other day I read an article in which a girl claimed that Brad Paisley ripped her off for the song “Remind Me” and was seeking a piece of the pie. The article had lyrical excerpts and her version was completely different, just like Ms. Bonar’s. Calling two completely different songs ripoffs due to a cursory similarity makes little sense. Case in point: Gretchen Wilson has a song called “Work Hard, Play Harder” that you might have heard and Montgomery Gentry have an album cut by the exact same title.
“Work Hard, Play Harder” (GW): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EflVJA6kKf0
“Work Hard, Play Harder” (MG): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcO5OvLhyQU
Listen to those and tell me whether you think one is ripping the other off. You have about as much to go on as those people that used to claim that Creed ripped “With Arms Wide Open” (a song about the singer’s son) off from a single lyric in Pearl Jam’s “Given to Fly” (which was “Arms wide open with the sea as his floor”). I know that this is Saving COUNTRY Music, but this is still a relevant example.
“Given to Fly”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htfy83TiYP8
“With Arms Wide Open”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99j0zLuNhi8
Maybe I’m wrong; maybe I’m defending a bunch of hacks that pass themselves off as “artists.” Hell, I wish I could take one line from a song and write a completely unrelated song and have it be a hit. But the pure and simple fact of the matter is that this is not David Allan Coe admitting that he stole. Until I hear a confession or see some evidence, I’m going to assume that you have no idea what you’re talking about and that you’re groping for a reason to criticize music that you don’t like.
May 20, 2013 @ 12:41 pm
I think the only thing I’d change here would be the inclusion of “I Love This Bar” over I Wanna Talk About Me by Toby Keith.
ILTB is way too cliched and much more well known by the common person who only hears country at the occasional bar or sporting event.
Plus I’ll admit I like “Dirt Road Anthem.” At the time I just took it as a novelty, with no idea the sub-genre of Country Rap that it would eventually inspire.
Slick Rick KY
May 20, 2013 @ 6:17 pm
May have to respectfully disagree there. ILTB has too many steel licks and clean tone guitars to be put in with rest of these messes. It is actually one of the few TK songs I mite let play when it comes on.
May 22, 2013 @ 9:09 am
I agree here; as far as arrangements go, ILTB is surprisingly good. The lyrics aren’t that great, but I really like the arrangement. Plus, it spawned “I Like NASCAR”, which is an amazing parody song.
May 20, 2013 @ 12:50 pm
I know despite it’s long run at the top of the Billboard Mongrel Country Chart Swift’s “We Are Never Ever, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together” is not considered country but I still think it deserves a dishonorable mention.
May 20, 2013 @ 12:57 pm
Disregard, I see you did mention it in your introduction.
May 20, 2013 @ 1:26 pm
As a medical marijuana patient 1994 is the only song ever to completely kill my buzz. Jason Aldean owes me 15$
May 20, 2013 @ 1:52 pm
That picture of Luke (Mr. Sexual Ambiguity 2013) Bryan conjures up foul images in my mind, but, for that matter, so does the cover of his new CD “Here to Party”.
I haven’t heard about 2/3 of these songs, which I am sure is for the best.
However, I will confess to enjoying Colt Ford’s version of Dirt Road Anthem (and a fair amount of his other songs), and I think that TK’s Red Solo Cup is okay.
I would have to add anything by Donna Fargo, Highway 101, Exile, and Ballie and the Boys.
And, as an aside, the worst album of the last year is, by far, Shooter Jennings’ new one.
May 20, 2013 @ 4:02 pm
All solid choices, garbage every last one of them. I’d add the following for discussion.
“Stealing Cinderella” Chuck Wicks
“International Harvester” Craig Morgan
“Watching You” Rodney Atkins
“Ticks” Brad Paisley
“Backwoods” Justin Moore
“Kick It In The Sticks” Brantley Gilbert
May 20, 2013 @ 4:29 pm
Sorry, but Ticks doesn’t belong with that list. Brad Paisley is of a WAY higher calibre than any of the guys you mentioned. But I have to agree that ”Kick it in the Sticks” is absolutely horrible. It’s Metallica with a Southern accent and horrible lyrics.
May 20, 2013 @ 5:26 pm
I agree. Brad gets a bad rap around here simply because his music is modern and many of Trigger’s readers equate “modern” with “bad,” with little to no reason why or thinking behind it. “Accidental Racist” aside, Paisley has some good songs under his belt and I’ll argue that with anyone.
May 21, 2013 @ 3:51 pm
I thought about mentioning a few more of Brad’s songs but tried to keep it to one per artist. Brad gets too much credit because he can actually play an instrument which is a rare thing with today’s country singers, doesn’t mean that he has any integrity or credibility. He is another Nashville tool. Singing cliche corny songs. He may have a few songs that aren’t that way but so does Craig Morgan, Kenny Chesney, Ect. But no one is confusing them for talented artists.
May 21, 2013 @ 8:31 pm
Actually, I have all of Brad’s albums and my own opinion of his music, so excuse me if I vehemently disagree with pretty much all of your assertions. Given that we’re talking about music here, it seems rather stupid to discount skill with an instrument, especially when quite a few others apparently CAN’T play instruments. And what’s wrong with some cliche or corny songs? Like Big & Rich, Brad’s singles don’t even come close to representing his entire output, and even if it did, not all of his singles are corny or cliche. And do tell what makes him a “tool.” Last I checked, he wrote 95% of his own material (unlike Craig Morgan, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Jason Adlean, etc.). His albums are also quite good, with little hidden tracks and clever lyrics. He has a dry sense of humor that he enjoys employing in his music, which seems to be what you’re referring to. Humor, much moreso than music, is subjective, so if someone doesn’t like the jokes, I can’t really hold it against them. That said, I CAN refer you to some of his music that ISN’T corny or cliche (in my opinion). Some are single, some aren’t.
“You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C541d1Z3e0
“Who Needs Pictures” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWM5P2GgT_E
“Whiskey Lullaby” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZbN_nmxAGk
“I Wish You’d Stay” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV-kzLZs650
“The Cigar Song” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd0b9srEcNs
“When I Get Where I’m Going” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYHT-TF4KO4
“Oh Love” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GX7x_IdnVQ
“Mr. Policeman” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlQQMLTDbFE
“No” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GaaXmnoISw
“This is Country Music” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_KxM4rU38Q
“Don’t Drink the Water” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76YU14Jox_8
Some of these songs ARE silly, but I don’t necessarily think that makes them corny and given that I’m not you, I wouldn’t presume to know what you think constitutes one or the other. Me, I appreciate Brad’s sense of humor and the fact that there’s a decent amount of twang in most of his music. Even then, the songs are mostly well-writtten, regardless of their corn factor. Disagree if you want, but given the amount of likes on my comment as well as Eduardo Vargas’ comment, I’m going to assume that you’re in the minority on this one. You’re entitled to your opinion, but don’t act like it’s an obvious fact that you’re right.
May 20, 2013 @ 5:24 pm
What is so bad about “Watching You”? If anything, that song is quite sweet and has decent meaning to it, both implied and at face value.
May 20, 2013 @ 6:15 pm
I worked for Handleman (distributed CDs to Walmarts, Best Buy…) for years and developing artists would come in an play the atrium during lunch from time to time. Mr. Atkins came in and at the time “If Your Going Through Hell” was climbing the charts and I liked that song. I remember walking back to my desk during his second song. That song was “Watching You.” When the chicken nuggets went flying I was over it. It is a terrible song. But, not top 15.
May 20, 2013 @ 4:05 pm
We think we know why Colt Ford is missing from this list… he would take up all 15 spots.
May 20, 2013 @ 4:44 pm
Good list. Watermelon Crawl should be on here somewhere, though.
May 20, 2013 @ 4:50 pm
Great list, though I think somehow a Shania Twain song like Man I Feel Like a Women could’ve been a contender, but I can’t see any dreck I’d take off the list to make room for it.
May 20, 2013 @ 7:35 pm
Oh lord, I hated that one, especially the video. It got played to death, too…
But if we’re going strictly by songs, I’d have to say 1995’s “Any Man of Mine” was way more obnoxious.
May 30, 2013 @ 8:47 am
Like Sulla seeing nest of Marius’ in Caesar, so to did Shania Twain give us Taylor Swift et al. For my money, her worst was “I’m Gonna Getcha Good”. Awful, awful awful.
From the Amazon review: “(“I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” is confection perfection.) There’s something oddly hypnotic about much of this project, and it may be simply hearing what Shania can do when she abandons the pretense of being a country singer and concentrates on music. Call this a guilty pleasure–pop, country, or somewhere in between.”
May 20, 2013 @ 5:09 pm
I would rank “Boys’ Round Here” #1 instead of “1994” (which I’d rank probably #3 after “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” as well)………….only because “1994” has failed chart-wise while “Boys’ Round Here” could very well become Shelton’s biggest hit to date on the all-genre chart. I would also consider “Country Must Be Country Wide”, “Kick It In The Sticks” (despite failing on radio, it is an unmistakably massive digital phenomenon) and “Beer With Jesus” worse than “Stuck Like Glue”.
Overall, though, we get the idea……………and concur none of this should have any place on (supposedly) country airwaves!
May 20, 2013 @ 5:12 pm
Wait. “Bait A Hook” should DEFINITELY be in the Top Ten despite failing at radio (it is a huge YouTube success for a country song). I’d prefer listening to “Red Solo Cup” between the two any day because the former actually encourages a dangerous “culture wars” attitude in how much contempt it displays for being green, eating ethnic food and choosing not to indulge in alcohol, while the latter, as mind-numbingly stupid as it is, at least doesn’t try to judge, preach or indoctrinate.
May 20, 2013 @ 5:14 pm
Oh, and had it fared better on the airwaves……….”Bob That Head” (AKA “The Fellatio Song That The Rascal Flatts Trio Nonetheless Vehemently Deny Has Anything To Do With Blowjobs Whatsoever”) would be a prime candidate for #1! 😉
May 20, 2013 @ 5:15 pm
There’s gotta be some shitty older songs out there, after all it is an all-time list…
Although I couldn’t really come up with much…
Conway Twitty’s “you’ve never been this far before” and “tight fittin jeans”
I mean they are ironically funny but holy shit are they bad…
Johnny Cash had some real stinkers later on, like “Chicken in Black”
So did Walyon with kids singing in the backround… ugh
Side note, Shania Twain “that don’t impress me much.”
I dont know if any of those could kick any of Triggers out, but man they’re cringeworthy…
May 20, 2013 @ 8:30 pm
I thought hard about a lot of classic country songs and I just couldn’t find any that were worthy of replacing any of the ones that made this list. And if I had stretched the list out, it probably would have been even more recent songs, like “Kick It In The Sticks,” “Pontoon,” “Bait A Hook” etc. When looking at bad songs, I think it supports the theory that country is getting worse. The worst of the 50’s-80’s combined can even compete with the new stuff. But maybe a classic-flavored version of this list is called for in the future.
My official nickname for Conway Twitty is the “Sexual Miscreant of Country Music.” I don’t hate him, but man some of his songs are creepy.
May 20, 2013 @ 9:01 pm
Trigger! You’re going to make me go back and listen to ‘Me and My Gang’ and ‘Bob Your Head’ then argue why those two songs are far worse than ‘Red Solo Cup’ or ‘She Thinks My Tractors Sexy’! But, not tonight.
March 17, 2019 @ 10:18 am
I’m 6 years late, but Bill Anderson’s country/disco mash-up “Double S” is worthy of this list. It was a B-side, but it reached #30 on the charts.
May 20, 2013 @ 5:17 pm
Boys ‘Round Here grows a little in its awfulness each time I hear it. For example, today I noticed there is the lyric, “You don’t do the Dougie? No, not in Kentucky.” Just to fortify the inanity of the song, you could justifiably argue that University of Kentucky basketball player John Wall actually introduced the Dougie to the masses (i.e., middle aged white people). If it weren’t for Kentucky many people would not know how to do the Dougie. You throw in the overtly stereotypical-to-the-point-of-racist opening to the video and I think it leapfrogs Dirt Road Anthem. It’s a race to the bottom
May 20, 2013 @ 5:43 pm
I think both 1994 and Boys Round Here mention doing the Dougie.
May 21, 2013 @ 5:09 am
Funny, too, that country’s plea for relevancy is a three-plus year old dance craze that peaked two summers ago.
Also, while I’ll admit I’m more a Stones guy myself, are the Beatles really some kind of musical anti-Christ? The Beatles are one small step removed from rockabilly, one of their greatest early influences was Carl Perkins (also Buddy Holly), and there are many great country covers of Beatles songs. Off the top of my head: Willie Nelson – Yesterday, Johnny Cash – In My Life, Steve Earle – I’m Looking Through You…
May 21, 2013 @ 6:30 am
A few more,off the top of my head:
I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party – Roseanne Cash
Here, There, and Everywhere – Emmylou Harris
For No One – Emmylou Harris
Then of course, they covered Buck Owens’s Act Naturally (on 1965’s Help! album) when I’m pretty sure it wasn’t cool for a rock band to cover a straight country artist.
May 21, 2013 @ 6:34 am
Oh, and Norwegian Wood by who? Hank Jr., that’s who.
May 21, 2013 @ 6:55 am
Uh oh. Hope that one doesn’t run through the jukebox “needle” or we’ll have a pissed off honky tonk full of confused boot stompers on our hands. Our only hope is that “ice cold beer” will calm them down.
May 20, 2013 @ 5:19 pm
Re: your Kenny Chesney pick — THANK YOU, TRIG!!! Could not agree more! (I didn’t get cable until the late ’90s, and that damn song/video was all over CMT.)
I’m surprised Brantley Gilbert isn’t on here; there have already been a few shout-outs in the comments to “Kick It in the Sticks,” but I would also suggest “Country Must Be Country Wide.”
And while I notice Jason Aldean is already on here twice (your top two picks), I think “She’s Country” is right up there with them in sheer awfulness. :p
May 20, 2013 @ 5:51 pm
I see people already mentioned this band, but I think it warrants reiteration that Rascal Flatts deserves some spot on here. Me and My Gang, Bob That Head, Life Is a Highway, maybe Banjo. There’s so many to pick from.
And good call including Craig Morgan. He’s kind of under the radar, but he’s another one that you could pick a handful of his songs and make it on here.
Back when I worked in a restaurant and we’d have the local country station on, he was always one of those guys who I’d get embarrassed of when his song would come on.
Ohh, Josh Turner’s “Your Man” not even for his performance, that song is just so poorly written. It feels like its trying to be Jeff Bate’s Long Slow Kisses, but just can’t get off the ground.
May 20, 2013 @ 6:07 pm
The omission of any of those Rascal Flatts songs is a crime!
May 20, 2013 @ 8:45 pm
This isn’t a list of bands, it is a list of songs. So just because an act is heavily disliked, doesn’t mean we should include them here just to give their name an appearance. I don’t think any of the Rascal Flatts songs you listed are in the league of this top 15. I don’t particularly care for anything that Rascal Flatts has ever done, but what I’ve found over the years is that there’s just stuff that is so much more offensive out there, it is not worth wasting breath on Rascal Flatts. They’re pop country, but there is a place in the world for pop country. If Rascal Flatts was the worst thing on country radio right now, the genre would be improved many fold. Rascal Flatts just does their thing. I would say the same about Carrie Underwood. They keep their noses clean, never do anything too risky. That doesn’t mean we have to like it, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with it either. Someone has to sing songs for 14-year-old girls to lip sync in front of their mirrors to. Mainstream country rap is good for nothing, except maybe cultural erosion.
I had a blogger call me out about a year ago, saying there was no worth in screaming about how Rascal Flatts sucks over and over, and instead I needed to spend more time supporting good music. That blogger failed to check that aside from some quippy, passing comments, I’ve never written a negative review for Rascal Flatts, and maybe never will. There’s much bigger problems.
May 20, 2013 @ 8:54 pm
Yeah, as much as I hate them, the only song they’ve ever done that was truly criminal was their butchering of “Life is a Highway”.
I loved that song until their version came out and got never-ending radio play.
Chris LeDoux did the best version, probably because, unlike Gary LeVox, his balls had dropped and he had the correct vocal range to do the song justice.
May 20, 2013 @ 9:08 pm
Trigger! You”™re going to make me go back and listen to ”˜Me and My Gang”™ and ”˜Bob Your Head”™ then argue why those two songs are far worse than ”˜Red Solo Cup”™ or ”˜She Thinks My Tractors Sexy”™! But, not tonight.
Slick Rick KY
May 20, 2013 @ 6:24 pm
I thought H-101 put out some decent tunes in the 80s.
May 20, 2013 @ 7:59 pm
I just realized that Toby Keith is Raffi for adult children.
May 20, 2013 @ 8:51 pm
Sugarland had a far worse song.
“All I Want To Do” is the most annoying thing ever. Worse than “1994”, “Brown Chicken Brown Cow”, “Pontoon” (which should’ve been top 5 for this list), and “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” put together. (I would’ve thrown Red Solo Cup in there, but all the white trash I work with love it to the point of having it for ring tones, so it’s lost it’s potency at this point, though it’s still awful and totally belongs on the list.)
“Save A Horse” doesn’t really belong on this list. It was a goofy introduction to Big and Rich, who, while throwing out some real weird/bad shit over the years, have also put out some amazing; even thought-provoking songs (“8th of November”, “Holy Water”, “Live This Life”, “Wild West Show”, would be examples). No, it wasn’t great, but it was fun for a short while, and served it’s purpose. Their follow-up, “Comin’ To Your City”, on the other hand… was redundant, was damn-near Jason Aldean-country-rap bad at points, and should totally be on the list.
“I Want To Talk About Me” doesn’t really belong either, because it’s original intent was to be a damn-near parody of the music that was out there at the time, and it actually succeeded. It was borderline brilliant in it’s subtlety, because it doesn’t come across as subtle at all.
“Pontoon” belongs on this list for being absolutely awful (especially when we’ve seen SO much better from Little Big Town. I loved “Boondocks”, even if it was laundry-list-like.) The song wasn’t just bad, it was totally stupid. The verses sound like some redneck/white-trash Fergie-wannabe followed by someone bellowing “ON A PONTOON” then a retarded chorus, followed by an allusion to a sexual act. Throw in the weird-as-hell Asian-sounding instrumentals, and we have what should’ve been at least #3 on this list, if not #2.
I’d also nominate “Downtown” by Lady Antebellum for this list. The vocal delivery is weird, like the girl singing is trying to emulate Madonna one second, Britney Spears the next, then Fergie, then throwing it into country overdrive to start the chorus then pulling another u-turn into some weird pop vibe.
May 21, 2013 @ 7:48 am
I’m not a B&R fan by any means and “Save a Horse” took a while to grow on me, I ended up kind of liking that one — it was silly and fun, and it was just so different from everything else that was happening at the time.
And I agree that “Comin’ to Your City” would’ve been a better candidate for this list — it was like a bad self-parody.
May 21, 2013 @ 9:12 am
What other songs by B&R are “bad,” in your opinion? Just asking, not judging or anything.
May 21, 2013 @ 11:41 am
I agree, Sugarlands ”All I Want to Do” is beyond annoying.
May 21, 2013 @ 1:05 pm
I can’t stand “Pontoon” and if this list was stretched out a few more slots, it definitely would be on there. I’m a little surprised by the “Pontoon” hate though. I included it on some lists for last year’s worst songs, and its apologists came out of the woodwork saying it wasn’t bad and that Little Big Town have something.
May 20, 2013 @ 11:45 pm
I hope you’ve copyrighted this list, Trigger, cos someone’s gonna see it and release it as a compilation! And just watch it fly off the shelves! “Country Music for People who Don’t Like Country Music” or maybe even “Country Music for People Who Don’t Like Music”!!!
May 21, 2013 @ 7:22 am
We’re patiently waiting for the Rant on the Nelly Remix of Cruise.
May 21, 2013 @ 3:06 pm
This Is The Greatest Thing I’ve Ever Seen! All These Bastards Have Ruined Country Music, And Now Have Made It Harder For Guys Like Me To Get Gigs And Make Real Country Music! All These Old Boys Can Kiss My “Bakersfield Sound” Ass! God Bless Country Music And God Bless America!
May 21, 2013 @ 3:12 pm
After years of religiously reading his blog on a daily basis, I finally disagree with Trigger! His assement that neither “Me and My Gang” or “Bob That Head” aren”™t even ”˜in the same league of [his] top 15”™ is preposterous! Not only do they belong, I think both songs are far worse than his #1 worst country song ”“ “1994.”
Me and My Gang
First of all, any country song with the term “gang” in its title is doomed from the start. I know “gang” originally defined a band of thieves. However, Gary and the boys are not singing about being Jesse James. It”™s the crony, thuggish connotation of “gang” the song is referencing that is usually reserved for songs of the rap genre and urban regions.
The song begins with a terribly annoying talkbox effect that Bon Jovi retired in the 80”™s. Then the song is all over the map, literally ”“ Alabama, Brutte, Montana (random), California, Oregon, and New York City. Besides Alabama, do any of these regions suggest country? But that doesn”™t stop the songwriter from starting a country laundry list consisting of the Lord, Allman Brothers”™ ”˜Ramblin”™ Man,”™ hillbillies, trains, daisy dukes, Elrod, Beer, Bonfires, and Coors (specific beer).
Then there are lines in the song that make no sense. Such as, “it”™s a brother and sister kind of thang.” Like real brothers and sisters? Or brothers and sisters like my hommies? Once again I need an urban dictionary to figure this song out.
Then we get the line “we”™re gonna rock this thang, cock this thang” WTF? Cocking used for the bathtub? Is Gary”™s leather pants making him cockeyed?
That is followed by the hilarious line “banging”™ on gongs and singin”™ our songs.” I”™ve been to hundreds of country music concerts and I”™ve yet to see someone banging a gong.
The ultimate worst part of this song is the elementary chorus:
”˜with me and my gang/ we live to ride/we ride to live/me and my gang”™
What 3rd grader wrote this? Tony Carl Mullins. And he”™s laughing at us. After scoring big with Tim McGraw and Kenney Chesney hits during the late 90”™s. Mr. Mullins took the low road and the easy money and has been churning out trash that is below the standard even for the Nashville Machine.
He wrote Rascal Flatts”™ “Backwards,” which also appears on the Hannah Montana movie soundtrack. The song takes the joke ”˜what happens if you play a country record backwards?”™ and puts music to it. Not very original. Other “artists” who have recorded Mullins’ crap are Craig Morgan, Rodney Atkins and Phil Vassar. Nice company you keep, Mullins.
Terrible song by a terrible songwriter performed by a terrible group. Still not top 15 material?
Bob that Head
“Bob that Head” could be omitted from this list on the basis that it”™s disqualified on the grounds it”™s not even a song. 50% of the song is made up of “bob that heads” and “yeah”™s”.
Gary LeVox co-wrote this song (it apparently took three people to compose this crap) and that explains the self-fulfilling line “Rascal Flattin”™ all night.”
Trigger justifies ignoring Rascal Flatts”™ existence by claiming “they keep their noses clean, never do anything too risky”
However, I could argue this song is all about a sexual act performed at interstate truck stops during Rascal Flatt national tours:
“bob that head/ awwh, awwh, ah/ seat reclined/ come on, bob that head/ feelin”™ that rhythm/ now he”™s cruisin”™/ don”™t want to lose it/ and right back on it/ up and down/ that”™s right/ come on, feels good/ let it go shake it loose”
Make no mistake, ‘1994’ is a bad song. Although terribly executed, I know its purpose ”“ drum up nostalgia for us in our mid thirties that grew up with mullets and listened to Joe Diffie. ‘Me and My Gang’ and ‘Bob that Head’ are terrible songs without any purpose or reason.
May 21, 2013 @ 3:18 pm
Valiant case Matt. I honestly have to say I hadn’t even heard of “Bob That Head” until you mentioned it. Both of these songs deserve a closer examination. Still, since how popular a song was and how much it was played factored into this list, I’m still not sure either of these would have qualified, but I apologize for not at least giving them an honorable mention ;).
May 22, 2013 @ 8:19 am
“Bob That Head” was so bad it was the first song by Rascal Flatts that country radio utterly rejected – it peaked at #15, well below any of their other singles up to that point. It is not surprising many people have not heard of it I’m by no means a hater of them (I like several of their songs), but that song is pretty terrible.
May 21, 2013 @ 8:37 pm
Damn, I’d almost repressed the memory of “Me and My Gang”…
Yeah, it belongs on this list.
“Me and my gang, we live, to whine, we whine, for a living…” should’ve been the chorus to that… Hell, Hanson had a more macho sound in 1998!
May 21, 2013 @ 5:24 pm
With all the “Save a Horse” and “I Wanna Talk About Me” defense going on, and the lavish amount of “Pontoon” hate, it almost seems like it’d worthwhile to swap it out for one of them.
That said, it’s your site man, your will be done.
May 21, 2013 @ 8:31 pm
May 22, 2013 @ 11:10 am
Eh, kinda made this to be a static list. I’ll take it under advisement…
May 22, 2013 @ 12:50 pm
Well, while you’re taking it under advisement, why don’t you listen to some (or all) of those Big & Rich songs I posted for you in my previous comment above?
Sally Jo Mama
May 22, 2013 @ 5:53 am
No homo, but Trace Adkins must shop at the same stores where Luke Bryan buys his tight pants and t-shirts.
Dear Trigger, please stick to covering real country music. Do we really need a list of the worst country songs of all time??? After viewing a bit of the video yesterday, I don’t remember the tune to Honky Tonk Badonkadonk but I can’t extricate the song’s title out of my mind this morning. It’s like waking up and remembering yesterday’s car wreck. Thank you so much.
May 22, 2013 @ 5:48 pm
I started this website with the belief that there were millions of country music fans just like me that were frustrated with the direction of country music, and needed a place to come together to commiserate just as much to share with the REAL country music out there being made. These articles I believe not only help us all feel like we are not alone in our disgust for these such songs, but also help reach out to people who feel the same way who do not know that there is an alternative. 2/3’rds of the people that come to Saving Country Music every day have never been here before. But they take to Google or the search engine of their choice to see if anyone feels like they do. I hear from these people every day, thanking me for showing them that they are not alone. But they don;t get here from the articles I write about artists they’ve never heard of, they get here from articles like this. Covering the good stuff will always be the top priority, but articles like this are just as important.
I hope that makes sense.
May 26, 2013 @ 10:54 pm
I found this site by searching for “will Gary Levox’s balls ever drop.” It brought up an article about Hunter Hayes and how he “makes Gary Levox sound like Johnny Paycheck.” (Never did answer my question, though.)
It was a relief to find somewhere with so many like-minded people. I think articles about the good as well as the bad in modern country music, mainstream and otherwise, are necessary and appropriate to the site’s goal of “saving country music” and enjoy them both.
May 22, 2013 @ 8:58 am
“Mr. Mom” by Lonestar surely deserves a place on this list. If we’re going back farther, I would also nominate “Holes in the Floor of Heaven.”
I agree with those who believe “Boys Round Here” is capable of doing much greater damage than “1994.” Everyone, even pop-country fans, seems to recognize the latter as a silly, disposable trifle with a short shelf life.
May 22, 2013 @ 10:28 am
“Mr. Mom” is a horrible, horrible song. It probably belongs somewhere on this list.
May 22, 2013 @ 11:09 am
I thought Michael Keaton was great in that movie…
Hmm, what rhymes with sippy cup?
May 22, 2013 @ 9:39 am
I think it’s safe to assume that there is no honorable mentions because it would be way too long?
May 22, 2013 @ 4:25 pm
I remember when I first heard “Dirt Road Anthem” I thought “this isn’t horrible,” and then he started rapping. Yikes
May 22, 2013 @ 5:06 pm
“Redneck Woman.” Awful.
“If I Could Have a Beer with Jesus.” Probably my pick for worst country song ever. Insulting on multiple levels — and I don’t even believe in Jesus.
May 22, 2013 @ 7:15 pm
Shift work by Kenny Chesney & unfortunately George Strait was also a horrid song….especially since I am a shift worker. Hated it1
May 22, 2013 @ 9:09 pm
I have to say, I take issue with a few of these. I think “Tractor” really isn’t all that bad when you judge it on it’s own, and not as a harbinger of things to come in recent years.
Save A Horse… yeah. Honestly haven’t listened to it in a while, so nostalgia may be kicking in, but I do like the song. And I do think that B’n’R managed to blend rap and country better than the latest iteration of songwriters.
May 23, 2013 @ 1:07 pm
What about “National Working Woman’s Holiday” by Sammy Kershaw? That was back in the 90’s when the Nashville pandering was to overbearing Murphy Brown wanna be soccer moms.
May 24, 2013 @ 5:10 pm
Theres a guy called jessta james coming through who’s going to rock this list and probably put 2-3 on it within the next year.
Before someone got him to take advantage of a terrible country music industry:
May 24, 2013 @ 5:14 pm
LastFM link isnt working but I guess these are some single album covers
May 25, 2013 @ 11:52 am
“The worst of the 50”²s-80”²s combined can even compete with the new stuff.”
Agreed! You can even include the 1990’s and the 2000’s. I remember when “Pickup Man” made me cringe. Hell, even “Queen Of My Doublewide Trailer” is better than the shit that is popular now.
Like a lot of the older folks here, I was country when country wasn’t cool. I even played drums in a few country bands from about 1983 – 1998. I took a hiatus and even though “country” is the hottest genre and the drumming is more fun (rockin’) I would have to be starving to play in at top-40 country band today.
May 25, 2013 @ 12:51 pm
these songs could be used as a form of torture
May 25, 2013 @ 3:51 pm
I would of included “Indian Outlaw” and “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” in this list.
May 28, 2013 @ 8:02 am
A list like this with no “Grundy County Auction” or “Watermelon Crawl” is not a real list.
May 28, 2013 @ 5:52 pm
All sippy cup songs. Lonestar – My Front Porch Looking In and Mr. Mom are more suitable for Radio Disney. Maybe this is how country radio turned into soccer mom radio.
May 28, 2013 @ 9:37 pm
Yes, most of the songs on this list are truly horrible.
But no Taylor Swift songs? No Shania Twain songs? Really? I’m disappointed that two of the individuals who have done the most damage to country music were given a pass.
May 28, 2013 @ 10:29 pm
First, this isn’t a list of artists, it is a list of songs. Choosing songs from artists just because we think they’re bad would be against the spirit of this list. Also, as explained in the introduction, artists like Taylor Swift and Shania Twain are really more pop then they are country, and so including them here would in a way legitimize them as country artists when they don;t really deserve that distinction.
I hope this makes sense.
May 28, 2013 @ 10:09 pm
My biggest problem with the latest country music, is that its hard to even believe these people have anything to do with being country. They sing about it, but don’t have clue what small town, simple living is even like in their big mansions.
I have really fell in love with the more red dirt country, it has more downhome roots then anything else out there.
May 29, 2013 @ 7:19 am
When Aldean releases a greatest hit cd, that will consist of the worst songs in country music, though he more akin to Bon Jovi than George Strait.
May 30, 2013 @ 8:50 am
I remember hearing ‘Truck Yeah’ and just shuddering in disbelief and horror. As for ‘Honky Tonk Badonkadonk’, an unmitigated catastrophe of a song by any measure, that gives country a bad name. I almost feel compelled to tell people, ‘Yes, I like country, but not that Trace Adkins crap.’ And why does he always sound like he has a mouthful of molasses?
May 30, 2013 @ 10:53 am
Lest we forget Aldean’s “Big Green Tractor” obviously written by a 7 year old.
May 30, 2013 @ 7:04 pm
Thanks to Sirius/XM (and spending years abroad and in NYC), I haven’t even heard at least seven of the songs on this list. Now I live in Oklahoma City, but I haven’t even turned on the dial of a country station since I came back two years ago. And I love the Jamie Johnson kind of country. I mention JJ because I think that is what mainstream country should be, I like a lot of the other stuff mentioned on this blog too.
May 30, 2013 @ 9:06 pm
I’m a big Jamey Johnson fan as well, I’ve seen him live several times and he puts on a great show. Sadly he has written some bad songs, such as Honky Tonk Badonkadonk…hopefully he was just needing a paycheck at that time. He has redeemed himself though I feel with albums like That Lonesome Song and The Guitar Song.
May 30, 2013 @ 8:44 pm
If these songs are bad, then why make a post about them? probably because you like them. Well, I do hate these songs. They aren’t country. They are songs performed by industry whores who wear the boots and the fake persona. They are not country people. it takes more than a pair of boots, jeans, and a green tractor to be country. Someone who is truly country wouldn’t stand within 50 feet of the filth they play on the radio these days. Society is becoming twisted because of popular culture. I would say the flattening of America would be the only way to reset things back to the way they were meant to be. We live in a sewer full of disease infested whores.
May 30, 2013 @ 9:45 pm
“If these songs are bad, then why make a post about them? probably because you like them.”
This is the first comment you have ever posted. How did you get to this website? Now, click on the “home” button and check out all the coverage of good country music. That will answer your question.
June 24, 2013 @ 9:55 am
I was 12 when Save a Horse came out and even I knew that it was a joke. It amazes me when others don’t seem to get it, ESPECIALLY after they watch the music video.
July 22, 2013 @ 11:09 am
This is a pretty good list you put together, although I don’t necessarily have a problem with Achy Breaky Heart. It’s fine for what it is, which is a catchy song for line dancing. For whatever reason, that song just got too blown up and probably ruined BRC’s career. I believe that was on Some Gave All, which if I remember right, was a pretty good album. Anyways, I’m glad I discovered this site. I’m beyond frustrated with country music right now. It’s like a bad dream.
July 23, 2013 @ 9:29 pm
You left every other country song ever written of the list, therefore your list is incomplete and sucks…. Just like any country song…. Ever.
July 29, 2013 @ 3:33 pm
I don’t think you’re giving Alabama’s “God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You” proper consideration. The song was bad enough, but then they had to top it off by wearing matching white outfits, That’s when alot of us just threw up our hands and walked away. I haven’t really trusted the direction of Nashville since.
August 15, 2013 @ 12:20 pm
I agree with everything except I wanna Talk about me. It’s not that bad.
August 21, 2013 @ 3:50 pm
You know, I am sick of country and rap together. You know what I want to hear? Country and black metal!! Give us Steve Earle and Darkthrone, Merle Haggard and Bathory, or better yet, David Allan Coe and Varg Vikernes from Burzum!!!
October 4, 2013 @ 3:40 pm
I agree with most of this list especially honky tonk badonkadonk one of the worst songs ever cant stand that song some ive never heard but I disagree with I wanna talk about me I like that song and I think that maybe the person who wrote this missed the point of that song
October 4, 2013 @ 5:37 pm
I agree with this list 100%. However it should be updated to include the latest and greatest hits such as drivin around song by Jason Aldean and Colt Ford and my kinda night by the frat douche Luke Bryan.
October 11, 2013 @ 3:24 pm
The 15 worst country songs of all time were all released within the past 20 years? You obviously didn’t live through the seventies, when Merle Haggard and George Jones were the only reason country music survived. If you really want to vomit in your mouth, try Red Sovine’s “Teddy Bear”, Melba Montgomery’s “No Charge”, or Wynn Stewart’s “It’s Such a Pretty World Today”. All guaranteed to induce reflux. I do agree with at least one of your picks…”Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy makes me want to choke somebody. Preferably, that cocky little squirt Rich. But how could you not include their buddy Cowboy Troy’s “I Play Chicken With The Train”? Must have been an oversight.
November 10, 2013 @ 9:06 am
I loathed that song “Live Like You Were Dying”. It was on constant rotation for two years. I can’t stand the lyrics or anything about it.
Yesterday, I watched an older cowboy walk up to the perfume counter and ask for a bottle of “McGraw”. I wanted to laugh outloud but on second thought…I felt empathy for him. I realized this man probably had a date in mind and wanted to make a good impression. I went over and helped him everyway possible to find that bottle of “McGraw”. Tim McGraw’s music and brand…. still impacting authentic cowboys.
November 10, 2013 @ 3:36 pm
I couldn’t disagree more about “Live Like You Were Dying”. I think it was one of the greatest mainstream country songs in the last 10 years. However, this is just a matter of opinion.
Interesting fact: Tim was inspired to sing that song by his father’s death from cancer.
November 10, 2013 @ 11:58 am
Man, this article says exactly what and how I feel.
November 13, 2013 @ 11:25 am
I know that song was about family, but I still can’t listen to it. I found it over the top.
Any George Jones song creates an elegant atmosphere….a blend of tension and uplift…brilliant and beautiful.
I have never closed my eyes and reacted to a Tim McGraw song…in the way that a George Jones song sneaks up on you and steals your heart.
December 17, 2013 @ 1:07 pm
“Save A Horse,Ride A Cowboy” is one of my TOP FIVE SONGS,NOT JUST COUNTRY SONGS,EVER!!!!!!(Hopefully,some curvy blonde cowgirl between 25 and 40 will take John’s and Big Kenny’s advice,and,well….)
January 31, 2014 @ 12:58 am
I applaud the fact that NO women made this list.
January 31, 2014 @ 1:11 am
Not to argue semantics but I don’t consider Jennifer Nettles a “woman”.
March 30, 2014 @ 9:08 pm
You’re forgetting anything by Lady Antebellum…ever.
April 25, 2014 @ 10:41 pm
I found this site trawling around for info on Toby Keith, due to a gag Steve Earle made about him when I saw him recently (he sent him Calico County but ‘he never writes, he never calls!’). I understood that he was pretty much pop trash masquerading as country, but not being in the US we (both luckily and unfortunately) are not in the country music loop, so to speak. So this site and this list are pure gold in my opinion. I know that in some ways lists suck but this was a great way to introduce, or warn off if you will, an outsider. I admire the passion and knowledge with which you have put this together, and look forward to all the time I expect to waste updating my ‘real’ country knowledge and reading your always amusing and intelligent reviews.
April 26, 2014 @ 3:48 am
Oh and I couldn’t listen to any more after the first two. They made me gag.
June 2, 2014 @ 8:25 am
OKAY THE ONLY BAD COUNTRY SINGERS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
all songs by:
Florida Georgia Line
Real country singers are the following:
Brooks & Dunn
Carrie Underwood (35% of the time)
Jo Dee Messina
Lee Ann Womack
The Band Perry
Anyone not listed in my last list sucks. THE END
p.s the only good non-country singers are Selena Gomez and Katy Perry
July 31, 2014 @ 9:36 am
Great list! Although, I sincerely believe Jennifer Nettles’ “Stuck like glue” and her stupid, idiotic. repetitive “All I wanna do” attempt at a ‘song’ is without a doubt the WORST! 50% of the song is nothing but “ooh ooh ooh ooh”… Then when you add that with Nettles over-emoting fake country voice makes me beg to be water-boarded.
August 2, 2014 @ 10:05 pm
Here’s a great Jennifer Nettles song:
August 2, 2014 @ 10:06 pm
Another great one:
August 2, 2014 @ 8:03 pm
I always thought I hated country, but I think what I hate is “modern” country. I hate every one of these songs you’ve listed. The sound of the songs are obnoxious, the lyrics are artificial and shallow, and there’s nothing soulful about any of that.
That said, I actually really like classic country – Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, etc. and I’ve never considered myself a country fan. To me, the older country music is soulful and relatable. You can feel the heart and honesty in each song. Maybe I should reconsider my opinion?
August 2, 2014 @ 9:14 pm
A little over a year later and how many of this list get bumped? I’m thinking at least 90% turnover.
August 3, 2014 @ 8:04 pm
Take a look at modern country music, and go back about 25 years and look at the trend. You know who actually ruined modern country music? Garth Fucking Brooks. He is the one that made pop country popular. His first two albums had a traditional feel, but it didn’t take long for that to go away and he popped it up and made country transcend into other genres. Sure there were pop-style country artists prior (such as Sylvia, Juice Newton, Exile, etc.), but Garth officially opened the door for 90’s crap like Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Faith hill, Mindy McCready, etc…on up to today’s crap. What makes today’s crap country worse then the 90’s, is the fact that guys like Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert, FGL, and any other modern country “artist” are all posers. They’re all the country version of Warrant or Poison.
In my opinion… Keith Whitley was the last traditional country artist. about the time he died, Garth Brooks came on the scene and so began the era of the pop country sellouts.
August 5, 2014 @ 10:29 am
I agree with you 100%. Could not have said it better myself.
August 5, 2014 @ 10:32 am
I especially agree with what you said about Keith Whitley. Great musician, singer/songwriter.
"Saving Country Music" Hater
August 8, 2014 @ 7:10 pm
This guy is a complete joke. He is supposedly “saving country music”, I find that funny because all the songs he listed as the “worst” are top grossing songs. This guy really needs to find a new hobby. I’m just grateful I’m not close minded such as the writer. It’z what I do. That’s for the writer! Lol!!!
August 15, 2014 @ 11:11 pm
“I find that funny because all the songs he listed as the “worst” are top grossing songs.”
And that means nothing in a world where shitheads like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift have top grossing songs. Musical taste and individuality are long gone, and it’s down to whatever will sell to the slack-jawed minions. None of these “top grossing songs” will ever be considered legendary, iconic, or inspiring in any way, shape or form 5, 10, 20, 30, or 40 years down the road. Once they’re removed from the radio playlist, they’re forgotten about.
August 16, 2014 @ 5:49 am
I think “saving country music” hater is making a sarcastic post. But I may be wrong.
October 23, 2014 @ 12:47 am
“Big stuffed crotch sandwich”.
I can’t stop laughing my ass off! Your use of the English language never ceases to amaze me, Trigger. I had tears coming outta my eyes!
February 11, 2015 @ 5:27 pm
Nothing from the Anti-Christ of Country Music… Garth Brooks?
February 11, 2015 @ 5:56 pm
Though Garth Brooks did a lot to turn the tide of country music for the worse, the Country Music Anti-Christ is in fact the President and CEO of Big Machine Records, one Scott Borchetta.
And this isn’t a list of artists, it is a list of songs.
March 13, 2015 @ 9:53 am
I agree with just about all of these. I cannot stand Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean. DOWN WITH KOBY TEETH (TOBY KEITH). I can’t stand him, due to his arrogance, how he treated my favorite band and how he releases so many songs about drinking. Seems like someone is an alcoholic.
P.S. DIXIE CHICKS ROCK!
May 14, 2015 @ 8:22 am
Funny thing about Achy Breaky Heart is that the album (Some Gave All) that it appears on has a few very good songs.
May 17, 2015 @ 12:41 pm
Stopping by to mention two songs by legends that I absolutely despise.
Button Off My Shirt – Ronnie Milsap
Prior to the neo-traditional country taking over the radio, music row was obsessed with drenching songs with heavy synthesizers. “Button Off My Shirt” might be the worst offender of that.
This is bordering on blasphemy but….
High-Tech Redneck – George Jones
Sadly, that was George’s last top 25 hit.
June 24, 2015 @ 1:13 pm
my personal worst Country Songs of all time
15. Luke Bryan – Country Girl (Shake It For Me)
14. Florida Georgia Line – Anything Goes
13. Sam Hunt – House Party
12. Jason Aldean – Dirt Road Anthem
11. Sam Hunt – Take Your Time
10. Florida Georgia Line – Cruise
9. Blake Shelton ft. RaeLynn – Buzzin’
8. Toby Keith – Red Solo Cup
7. Luke Bryan – That’s My Kinda Night
6. Jerrod Niemann – Drink To That All Night
5. Florida Georgia Line – Sun Daze
4. Jason Aldean – 1994
3. Luke Bryan – Kick The Dust Up
2. Jason Aldean – Burnin’ It Down
1. Jerrod Niemann – Donkey
October 29, 2015 @ 5:45 am
Any song by Rascal Flatts could easily be on this list. She thinks my tractor’s sexy is a great song I don’t know why that’s on there but
November 6, 2015 @ 10:33 pm
Omg I completely forgot about “Donkey” by Jerrod Niemann. I’m sorry but that is the worst thing I ever heard in my life. I love country music and understand that it can sometimes be a little silly but that song……when I heard it at the library in my school, I literally said “What the fuck was that”
December 30, 2015 @ 11:03 pm
Stug allah gloo (Boogerland) for me is one of the worst all time language slaughters EVER. She may be cute, but BOY that Nettles chick sounds borderline retard the way she uses the English language and reggae the country way is as stiff as a 2×4. That Baybee GORL song of theirs rivals the Glue song in sheer unmitigated STOOPID almost as bad as Choo Towbackee Choo Toobackee SPIT. They are candidates for biggest hillbillys EVER.
Did I happen to mention I hate most fm country music?
January 28, 2016 @ 8:17 pm
I’ll tell you what song irritates the hell out of me. It’s that stupid song by Blackhawk, I believe, that goes “She’s got he daddy’s money, and her mamma’s good looks, look who’s looking at me.” Every time I hear that song I want to take my shotgun and shoot the damn radio. Very annoying song, pisses me off every time I hear it.
March 31, 2016 @ 7:33 am
That would be “Daddy’s Money” by Ricochet. Don’t blame you for not remembering the group, since that was their only hit.
March 31, 2016 @ 7:34 am
My vote for worst song ever would by “Redneck Crazy” by Tyler Farr. Of course, that’s not because of the musical style, but the lyrics. The lyrics are so over-the-top scary that nothing else makes up for it.
April 13, 2016 @ 8:44 pm
I am trying to find a song I heard many years ago. It might have been in the 60’s or 70″s. The title is/was: “Santa Claus is a Hippie”. It was written by a man from the north eastern Oregon town of Milton Freewater. As a country novelty song it received some local play at the time, but I can’t find any record that it ever existed. Any information on this song or a record of it would be greatly appreciated.
July 18, 2016 @ 5:19 pm
Granted, I am not familiar with half of your list Trigger.I got satellite radio about the time “Honkytonk Badonkadonk” was everywhere and I quit tuning into the current stuff .. I’m sure some of those are real tough to listen to though the “Talk About Me” song is still Braddock clever to me.
My two winners from the 90s are “Dog On A Toolbox” and “Bad Dog No Biscuit”.Amazes me that some music row morons actually thought these were good or entertaining.
August 24, 2016 @ 9:14 am
‘Country Girl, Shake It For Me’: ‘Positively nothing more than a pop dance song with a banjo’. Right on the money, the banjo player sounds like he got that gig after his first lesson. Earl Scruggs or Steve Martin would eat him alive.
Brandy D Jublee
February 16, 2017 @ 8:48 am
I think Brad Paisley song Checking for Ticks was as stupid a song that was ever in the country music category. That was not even worth sending out to the radio stations, let alone the studio time and money it cost to going and recording that song.
October 20, 2017 @ 6:36 am
I feel like anyone who likes any of these songs, or basically any contemporary “country” music from the USA is just smoking a whole lotta meth. i mean let’s be honest, the biggest industry in any country town in the USA is the production of methamphetamine – you’re either using it or making it. Anyone who thinks they are a cowboy in this day and age is just having meth hallucinations.
March 15, 2019 @ 2:30 pm
I actually like 2 of these songs. I won’t say which 2.
How could this list not include shit like Bill Anderson’s “Double S (Super Sexy)” though? That song is gadawful trash.
June 2, 2019 @ 10:36 am
Comparing these against George Jones, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, etc. it is true these songs are blasphemous. All things being relative though, many of these aren’t all that bad compared to what is being played today. I liked Ride A Horse Save A Cowboy. I also like the Boy’s Round Here though I can see the criticism of both.
I do also like Country Girl Shake It For Me as the arrangement is awesome, tune is catchy and lyrics were clever.
March 29, 2023 @ 2:31 pm
Reading this in 2023 is both hilarious and humbling. We were so innocent in 2013… we didn’t know how bad it would get!