Too Dumb for New York

December 5th, 2008

Kenneth J. Meier, a political scientist at Texas A&M (naturally), wrote an article a while back in Policy Studies Journal, normally a serious publication. The title of Meier’s article, taken from a John Denver song, was “Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth ‘Cause I’m Kissin’ You Goodbye: The Politics of Ideas.” According to Richard Morin in a column back then in The Washington Post:

Meier offers a novel argument: that many now well-established theories of social behavior appeared first in the lyrics of country and western songs even before they were proposed by scholars or policymakers.

Other scholars answered Morin, of course, with their own at least partly tongue-in-check arguments that phenomena such as Broadway musicals and TV shows were even more important in influencing social behavior.

What I found most interesting in the column was a list of actual country and western song titles that Morin proposed for use in the academic argument. Samples:

Too Dumb for New York, Too Ugly for L.A. (Waylon Jennings)

You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly (Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty)

You Shot the TV but You Were Aiming at Me (Chuck Wagon & the Wheels)

My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend and I Sure Do Miss Him (Phil Earhart)

You Done Stomped on My Heart and Mashed That Sucker Flat (Mason Williams)

Did I Shave My Legs for This? (Deana Carter)

Only in America!

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3 Responses to “Too Dumb for New York”

  1. doris |

    Did I shave my legs for this, I wholeheartedly agree and love this song!!! I think our country songs reflect society, rather than the other way around, for sure.

  2. Andrea |

    “You Shot the TV but You Were Aiming at Me” – was it a flat screen LCD? 🙂

  3. Tom |

    I don’t know, but if it was a new, big flat screen LCD, that would be really tragic. I think I would prefer that she hit me instead of the TV!

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