Tag: Merle Haggard

THE TOP ‘MOST PATRIOTIC’ COUNTRY SONGS–WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE? by CHERYL PIERSON

 

Summer seems like the most patriotic time of the year in general, doesn’t it? We kick off the summer months with Memorial Day in May. Poppies are worn in remembrance of veterans on Memorial Day and on Veterans Day in November.

On June 6, we are reminded of the sacrifices made on a faraway beach in Normandy that resulted in many deaths in WWII, but turned the tide for the Allies and helped us gain victory. June 14th is Flag Day, a fine “tune up” for our huge 4th of July celebration that’s right around the corner.

Is anyone more patriotic than a cowboy? I don’t think so!  So many country and western songs have been written through the years that are a tribute to not only our troops, but to first responders, and to all the “regular” American people who love our country.

Here is my list of top country and western patriotic songs, compiled from several on the internet—all different, but all wonderful—and all with one thing in common: our love for our country. These are in no particular order. I don’t know how anyone could choose one over the other since they all are products of excellent songwriting and musicianship—and heartfelt sentiments about America! And goodness knows, I didn’t list them all here—no room! Like I said, there are a lot of patriots in the country music field, and a huge number of songs to listen to in order to get in the patriotic spirit of things! I’ve included the youtube links in case you want to pop over and give these a listen!

This first one is an odd one, but I just love it. It was recorded by David Ball, who didn’t have that many hits, but this one will stay in your memory when you hear it for the very first time. I get chills every single time I hear it.  A young man buys a ’66 Corvette and discovers a letter in the glove box “My name is Private Andrew Malone, and if you’re reading this I didn’t make it home…” Which always makes me think about so many young men who could have written this following line…“For every dream that’s shattered, another one comes true…”  It’s called RIDING WITH PRIVATE MALONE and it has a very twisty ending you’re sure to love!

 

https://youtu.be/v5dyHPX8Cos

 

Probably the most recognized country song that many call our “unofficial” American anthem was written and performed by Lee GreenwoodGOD BLESS THE U.S.A. Written in 1983, it’s become synonymous with patriotism, and is loved by countless Americans, whether they are typical country and western fans or not. Its simple message is one that grabs you and holds on, and I have to admit, that even after nearly 40 years of hearing it, I still get teary! “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me—so I’ll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, for there ain’t no doubt I love this land—God Bless the U.S.A.!”

 

https://youtu.be/yH61hFsma24

 

Another “oldie but goodie” is Merle Haggard’s THE FIGHTIN’ SIDE OF ME, written in 1970. Oh, goodness. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard my husband play and sing that back when we used to have our band…fond memories, and it was a song that was a frequent request, whether we lived in West Virginia or here in Oklahoma. “If you don’t love it, leave it, let this song that I’m singin’ be a warnin’—when you’re runnin’ down my country, hoss, you’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me…” I love the sentiment of this song. In true “Merle” fashion, he’s saying that we can disagree on things without trashing our country. I think everyone in the audiences we played to knew the words to this song!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIxBmyRQlwQ

 

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE WORLD STOPPED TURNING? is not a “patriotic” song in the way we’d normally think of one, but it was not written during normal times. Penned by Alan Jackson in 2002 after the horrific events of  9/11/01, this song is packed with emotion and validates the many thoughts and feelings that Americans went through during the aftermath of that day. Each chorus of this song ends with the reminder that God’s greatest gift to us is love—even though we were going through some horrendous times. This song was nothing short of a masterpiece that drew Americans together, gave us hope, and let us know we were not alone in our feelings.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNsfx_4k-JA

 

In 1974, Johnny Cash wrote RAGGED OLD FLAG, a recitation about all the incidents that happened to “the ragged old flag” that hangs in a little town’s courthouse square as told to a town newcomer by one of the old men who lives there. “She’s been through the fire before, and she can take a whole lot more…on second thought, I guess I do like to brag, cause I’m mighty proud of that ragged old flag!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KqrjeScLSI

8TH OF NOVEMBER, another patriotic song written about the Vietnam war, is performed by Big and Rich. It is the true story of a terrible battle in which the 173rd Airborne was engaged. That day, 48 Americans died with very few survivors when they were ambushed by 1200 Viet Cong. “With the fire rainin’ down and the hell all around there were few men left standin’ that day…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozpdBvB0hek

 

 

 

There are countless others, in case you want to put together a country and western playlist for your big Independence Day shindig! Take a look!

SOME GAVE ALL by Billy Ray Cyrus

LETTERS FROM HOME by John Michael Montgomery

HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN? by Darryl Worley

IF YOU’RE READING THIS by Tim McGraw

HOME by Dierks Bentley

I DRIVE YOUR TRUCK by Lee Brice

FOR YOU by Keith Urban

IT’S AMERICA by Rodney Atkins

FLYOVER STATES by Jason Aldean

COURTESY OF THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE (THE ANGRY AMERICAN) by Toby Keith

WHERE THE STARS AND STRIPES AND THE EAGLE FLY by Aaron Tippin

AMERICAN SOLDIER by Toby Keith

THE BALLAD OF IRA HAYES by Johnny Cash

This isn’t all of them, either! Hope you all have a very happy 4th of July with family, friends, and loved ones. What’s your favorite country and western patriotic song, and why? It’s hard to pick just one!  

I’m Just an Okie from Muskogee

Welcome Tina Radcliffe, Author of Claiming Her Cowboy! 

 

 

 

Book Description

Attorney Jackson Harris regularly goes toe-to-toe with the world’s toughest lawyers—but none of them compare to Lucy Maxwell. The feisty director of Oklahoma’s Big Heart Ranch for orphans is as stubborn as she is pretty. But Jack must stay focused; he’s only there to evaluate the ranch’s funding. Falling for Lucy and the sweet children she protects is out of the question. Though Lucy is determined to keep the ranch, she’s not about to give control to a city slicker—even a devastatingly good-looking one. But as they bump heads, Jack and Lucy gradually nudge open their hearts. Could a temporary cowboy become a permanent part of Lucy’s life?

 

 

 

A big 2018 HELLO, to the Fillies of Petticoats & Pistols!

One of my very favorite places to set a story is in Oklahoma. I’m partial to the state after living there more than seventeen years. To me, there’s nothing sweeter than an Oklahoma drawl.

My blog title comes from the Merle Haggard song, and I apologize if you now have that tune in your head all day. The song is nearly fifty years old and while the lyrics may be a tad bit dated, the sentiment is not.

It parallels the philosophy of the Oklahoma cowboy. There are cowboys and ranches in all fifty states, there’s something special about an Oklahoma cowboy, especially the way he thinks and the way he talks. He’s hard-working, loyal, an all-American patriot who loves Okie football, and when he opens his mouth to speak I’m swooning a little.

Oklahoma dialect is unique although depending on where you’re from in the state it can overlap with Texas and Arkansas speech patterns. This is why you’ll hear terms like“y’all and “fixin’ to,” across borders. With the mobility we see today in the job market, much original Okie dialect is watered down. It’s also watered down or erased by Oklahomans purposely to avoid the stereotype that confuses language with culture.

When writing the Oklahoma cowboy for my new series from Love Inspired, Big Heart Ranch, I let a secondary character, old wrangler named Dutch Stevens, spin the Oklahoma dialect most of the time with some help from five-year-old named Dub Lewis, because too much dialect from primary characters can take away from the reading enjoyment.

There’s a charm and music to speaking Okie and nothing makes me happier than overhearing a conversation where the speaker says “I’m fixing to get some chicken fried steak, but first I’m going to stop at the QT for some pop.”

Speech patterns for true Oklahoma dialect are slow, methodical, and often with pauses if the sentence is more than a few words. Oklahoma-speak can often be pinpointed by the identification of certain terminology and there is an entire lingo that is unique to the state.

If you want to get a real taste for Oklahoma cowboy in particular, take a look at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum website. Check out the Cowboy page and the videos here. The museum is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

There’s no definitive dictionary of Okie terms because Oklahoma is diverse and culture and environment play into the mix. But I can tell you that my arrival in Tulsa from New York was a culture shock.

People shut off the light instead of turning it off. They put groceries in sacks instead of bags. They ate salary instead of celery too. Fish and chips meant catfish and fries. Football fell into two categories Sooners or Cowboys. Liquor stores were closed on Sunday and there was a church on every corner.

Then there were those strange words like:

Mere – Mirror

Skeeter – Mosquito

Soda – Pop

Agg – Egg

QT – Quick Trip Convenience Store (Home of Lamar)

Chicken Fried Steak – See to Understand

Chigger – Mites

OKC – Oklahoma City

T-Town – Tulsa

Tony Lama – Western boots

PeeKahn – Pecan

My Ideal Oklahoma Cowboy

To create my ideal Oklahoma cowboy I take my favorite Oklahoma terminology and culture and then sprinkle in Western speak and lingo. If you’re a city slicker, you can find some fun and helpful Western speak here and here.

GIVEAWAY!

Have you got any Okie-isms of your own? Do you speak Okie or Cowboy Okie?

Leave a comment today and I’ll be sending a print copy or digital copy of Claiming Her Cowboy to three commenters along with a fun Western surprise. If you’ve already read the book, I’ll send a thank you and a fun Western surprise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally from Western, N.Y., Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany and ended up in Tulsa Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N. Her move to Colorado led to a career as a library cataloger. A 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner, she has won first place in over twenty RWA chapter affiliated contests in her career and she is on the RWA Honor Roll. Tina is also a short story writer and has sold over two dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

Stay up to date on all her releases and fun giveaways by signing up for her newsletter here. Visit her on the web at http://www.tinaradcliffe.com Facebook Twitter

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