COLUMNS

On the Lighter Side: I Dreamed I Was in Hillbilly Heaven

Joe Guilbeau

The title of this week’s column was from a country song of the same name written and sung by Tex Ritter.

I could have chosen the title of many country music songs for the title of this column, such as “Pistol Packin’ Mama” by Al Dexter.

Joe Guilbeau

Music is our universal language. The lyrics of “You Are My Sunshine” comprise the one most recognized song melodies in the world. You could step off a plan in Japan, and they would be signing “You Are My Sunshine” in Japanese.

I like all kinds of music, from bluegrass to country, from Cajun to Kris Kristofferson … and now, fasten your seatbelt, I also own recordings of the Boston Pops. I also play two musical instruments.

King George of England, in World War II, said “You Are My Sunshine” was his favorite song. His oldest daughter Elizabeth became her majesty Queen Elizabeth II of our lifetime.

I had the privilege of seeing the original draft of “You Are My Sunshine,” the original recording of the song was in Chicago with session musicians who had never heard country music, which explains why you hear clarinets in the song.

I will make two comments: You’ve never heard country music until you’ve heard a Cajun band with a saxophone. And the funniest thing I ever heard was a Cajun band play a rap song.

The No. 1 music format, by far, in America is country music. The reason is that music lovers can relate to the ballads and the stories of life they hear in country music.

As the caption of this column indicates, I will list titles of many interesting country songs.

Here we go:

  • “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” popularized by George Jones, is considered the all-time greatest country song. It was the perfect song by the perfect singer with perfect musicians at the perfect time.
  • “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer”
  • “All I Have to Offer You Is Me”
  • “Send Me the Pillow You Dream On”
  • “I Love You a Thousand Ways”
  • “You’re My Memory No. 1”
  •  "Mama’s Hungry Eyes”
  • “Tight-Fittin’ Jeans”
  • “Wasted Days and Wasted Night”
  • “Doggone Baby, I’m in Love”
  • “I Wouldn’t Change You If I Could”
  • “Cold Cold Heart”
  • “There Goes My Everything”
  • “I Want to Hold You in My Dreams Tonight”
  • “I Need Someone to Hold Me When I Cry”
  • “I Overlooked an Orchid While Looking for a Rose”
  • “Lovesick Blues”
  • And my favorite … “I Saw the Light,” written by Hank Williams. The song is engraved on his tomb. I visited his grave in Montgomery, Ala.