also it is terrible

A Close Read Of Mitt Romney’s Favorite Terrible Toby Keith Song, Which Is Terrible And Is By Toby Keith

Quick, deport him!Every country music song today is about a) how America is the strongest, bestest country ever pulled from Baby Jesus’ egg sac and b) how America is doomed for some reason, probably because of the socialist medical programs that keep alive the country’s kabillion Wal-Mart employees — the store where a third of all country albums are purchased. Since that contradictory mix of jingoism/irrational terror is the Republican platform, it’s no surprise that Nashville hits are played at Republican rallies, even those of likable everyman Mitt Romney, who in real life probably listens to the King Family Singers or the feathery rustle of Scrooge McDuck swimming through C-notes.

Anyway, back in February, the Washington Post was scandalized to discover that Romney rallies were closing with the songs of man-mountain Toby Keith, a bellicose fellow whose music is to ’70s country and rock n roll what pink slime is to Angus. Quoth the Post:

The campaign has started using the song “American Ride,” which channels blue-collar unhappiness about immigration, gas prices and political correctness. (“Don’t get busted singin’ Christmas carols.”) It has a sardonic tone that seems out of sync with the genial, G-rated Romney himself.

As does the cursing.

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“Daddy works his ass off, paying for the good life,” the speakers boom. Then: “Hot dog! Hot damn!”

“American Ride” is a terrible song, of course, one that whole-hog rips off the riff from “Pictures of Matchstick Men” and then somehow compares America to a totally awesome souped-up car that is somehow being destroyed by im’gints. Its reckless swearing — “ass,” “hot damn,” “hot dog!” — has already singed the ears of some evangelicals, including one sad woman who no-shit complained and then got called “bitch” by the right-wing blogosphere.

Still, the song is in lots of ways perfect for Romney, and not just because it’s made up entirely of bits nicked from songs popular before it, or because of that line about a hardworking daddy working so hard you now have the cash to gad about the country pretending you know how to save it.

Let’s look at TK’s words, which butter up America and then warn it’s in dire danger — just like the Music Man selling us a pool table!

The opening lines are “winter gettin’ colder/ summer gettin’ warmer,” but those are either a mistake or evidence that the Republican Party’s understanding of science is less nuanced than Toby Keith’s. After that comes the confusing lines about gas being expensive and the warning “Don’t get caught singing Christmas carols,” which is a legitimate fear in America today.

Wheat we can learn from other great “American Ride” lines:

“Poor little infamous, America’s town/ She gained five pounds and lost her crown.”

Mitt hates reality TV!

“Plasma gettin bigger, Jesus gettin smaller.”

Mitt hates that the expansion of television screens has not been accompanied by a proportional expansion of the size of Jesus!

“Spill a cup of coffee/ Get a million dollars.”

Mitt hates that one sweet old lady! Also: Trial lawyers! [Shakes fist.]

“Customs caught a thug with an aerosol can.“

Mitt hates graffiti kids riding airplanes! Or, no, Mitt hates that innocent Americans are treated like criminals at airport security! Or, maybe, Mitt hates environmentalists who hate ozone-killing aerosols! Or, shit, this hatted ham Toby Keith is impossibly vague.

“If the shoe don’t fit, fits gonna hit the shan.”

Mitt loves spoonerisms and comfortable footwear!

In conclusion, Toby Keith lyrics are the new constitution forever. Cover up your shans!

Note: Toby Keith’s “American Ride” is not to be confused with Toby Keith’s “American Soldier,” about American soldiers, or Toby Keith’s “American Made,” about being made in America, or Philip Roth’s “American Pastoral,” about how women go crazy and blow things up and will stab sweet old men at dinner parties.

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175 comments

  1. DaRooster

    Welp, at least it's gonna be a down hill ride… much easier to push our shopping carts.

  2. ManchuCandidate

    I do miss country songs about losing your gun, truck, six pack, job, dog and sometimes wife instead of Cousin Cletus and Jingoistic Shitkickers autotuning "Don't Fuck Wit R Flag Muslin!"

    /grew up in rural Canada City, slightly ashamed of his 70s/80s country song knowledge/

    1. prommie

      My wife done run off with my best friend, and I miss him. Thats the good kind of country song, yessiree bob.

      1. SorosBot

        Whoa, angelfire still exists? I was expecting a patterned backround that makes the text almost impossible to read and severe overuse of the blink code.

    2. Lascauxcaveman

      Stompin' Tom FTW.

      Not just wheat fields, oil rigs and pickup trucks, but specifically CANADIAN wheat fields, oil rigs and pickup trucks.

      1. Chichikovovich

        Not to mention PEI potatoes, Tillsonburg tobacco, Sudbury nickel and drinking, an Ottawa Valley Paul Bunyan manqué and lest we forget "Hello out there, we're on the air, it's Hockey Night Tonight!…"

      1. AbandonHope

        Aren't they typically double-features? You know, so folks don't have to gas up their Hoverrounds to visit two different places.

    1. prommie

      Like as not you'll see an odd number of legs in that row, the results of various "Hey, y'all, watch this" incidents.

  3. CogitoErgoBibo

    All right. Which one of you shrank Jesus? I told you not to put him in the dryer!

  4. DaRooster

    Needs more-
    American Woman,
    Stay away from me-ee.
    American Woman,
    Momma set me free-ee…

  5. el_donaldo

    And what about fedora-wearing latte-sipping Obama? Will he counter with LCD Soundsystem?

  6. Callyson

    Somehow I made it to 1:34. With apologies to Michelle, for the first time in my adult life I am ashamed to be an American…

    …OK, well, for the first time during the Obama administration anyway…

  7. Mumbletypeg

    "Back then they called him crazy/ Nowaday's they call him a saint." — Waylon & Hank Jr., "Let's Talk About Your Daddy"

    Ease up on old Keith Toby, Mister Monocle. Today's brand o' crazy could be destined for greatness in tomorrow's treasure heap amid the "Trash" pile.

  8. iburl

    Question:
    What is Toby Keith's sexual orientation?

    Answer:
    Toby Keith, the American Country singer has not stated his sexual preference in public. WikiAnswers will not speculate on what is personal and private information to any individual.

    1. SmutBoffin

      Let's be more specific: what type of paraphiliac is Keith?

      Flagophile?
      Truckosexual?
      Dude-who-likes-to-slap-his-trucknutz-on-the-graves-of-actual-country-singers?

  9. DerrickWildcat

    (little musical note((I don't know how to do it)( here) and soccer is for faggots give me the NFL.
    and the ACLU are faggots too .
    And Acorn can stick it right up their butts
    and the U.N. are faggots too

    1. el_donaldo

      I think it's something they teach out there in those California colleges instead of American history.

  10. prommie

    I remember that "King Family," which to you is probably just a funny archaic reference to something you have heard was pretty whitebread. You don't know the true horror. There were eleventy-bajillion of them, and they made Lawrence Welk look like the Sex Pistols.

      1. Rotundo_

        I'll bet "Lady of Spain" just ain't the same anymore after that. It must have been incredible, Lawrence always turned them loose for extended solos and that was the genius of it all. A polka jam band and punk experience. No wonder my parents were deeply into that stuff in the day…

  11. sullivanst

    Nice one Toby Keith. Ripping off an ancient British band singing about a British artist is totally pro-Murka!

    You know them Brits are Yooropeens, right, asshole?

  12. SexySmurf

    I prefer Lady Antebellum; all there songs are about booty calls with zero references to sodomizing people with footwear.

    1. LettucePrey

      I digress, but am I the only person bothered by that band's name? A white country band calling itself Lady Antebellum? Really? When they came up with it, did no one in Nashville blink and say "Seriously?"

  13. Mumbletypeg

    "Merle Monocole," eh? Rearranges to create "Come Mole Loner."

    So — welcome, Mole Loner! No one else here but us misfits.. And I don't mean anything derogatory by the "mole" suggestion, I'm just having fun running your moniker through the anagram generator is all.

  14. Goonemeritus

    When the inevitable divorce happens between America and the former Confederate states they can have Toby and Wal-Mart in the settlement

  15. i_AM_ready

    From Wikipedia: "In April 2008, Keith said that Barack Obama "looks like a great speaker and a great leader." At the same time he remarked, "I think [John] McCain is a great option too." He also told CMT that he would likely vote for the Republican ticket, partially because of his admiration for Sarah Palin.

    From Blazing Saddles: "You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land…the common clay of the New West. Y'know: morons."

    1. SmutBoffin

      Toby obviously doesn't really give a shit about politics or writing nuanced songs about the same.

      He just enjoys taking money from idiots.

  16. Serolf_Divad

    "Why buy a gallon, it's cheaper by the barrel.
    Just dont get busted singin' Christmas carols."

    I'll vote for Mitt if he promises to make this guy Poet Laureate…

    1. AbandonHope

      I don't even get that. What, is he going to fill up his pickup truck with straight crude oil?

      Actually, strike that. I don't want to give him any ideas.

      1. Serolf_Divad

        I've got a magic Pickup Truck that runs on Christmas carols…. at this very moment Imam Obama and his Sharia enforcement police are chasing after me trying to seize it so they can destroy it. You see, it threatens the oil profits of Obama's Saudi Arabian masters.

  17. anniegetyerfun

    Does Taylor Swift count as country? Because even though her songs are jingoistic, I feel like she is truly the very embodiment of evil.

    1. SorosBot

      Nah, I think Taylor Swift is the living incarnation of blandness. There is none more bland.

      1. Terry

        She needs to do a duet with Carrie Underwood where they both advocate trashing some guy's car.

  18. OneDollarJuana

    Hey! Country music isn't all "America is the best!" and "America is being ruined by libruls!". It's also "Country ain't Country liked it use-ta be!". The funny thing is that they're pining for country music from the '90s, which pined for the music from the '70s, which pined for music of the '60s and '50s. At least in the post-WWII war years the country singers were merely long-suffering harmless drunks abused by their demanding wives.

    1. Mumbletypeg

      Not enough thumbs for this assessment.
      I grew hearing country music without understanding it.
      By the time I was intentionally listening to it (1990s) it became necessary to retro-appreciate it. Apart from Lyle Lovett and Randy Travis, it was around that time the face of CW started getting more "prettified" also, too. I harkened for Skaggs and Don Williams *because* they wore their ugly proudly, and retained talent as well.

      long-suffering harmless drunks abused by their demanding wives

      See: Keith Whitley, RIP 1954-1989

        1. Mumbletypeg

          If only I could view it from work!
          And wanting to add, now you've mentioned it — Hank Jr. belongs w/ my lineup of 'ugly mugs' (the afore-referenced LL & RT) but his similarity to those icons ends there.

          1. SayItWithWookies

            Oh, that song's about the Hank, not that manufacturer of trite abominations Hank Jr. Who but the original would have the balls to write a song called "My Son Calls Another Man Daddy?"

      1. dinkybossetti

        When I was a kid, my dad had a tape he bough at some truck stop called "Rowdy Country," and he would always play it in the car, so all of us kids would sing along. For his birthday one year, we found it on vinyl and gave it to him. I hadn't heard the songs in so many years, but it was pretty funny to listen as an adult and understand what we had been singing about as children. It had some real gems on it: "War is Hell (on the Homefront Too)" about a woman whose husband is away at war so she seduces the grocery delivery boy, "Older Women" about how older women are better lovers, "I Like Beer," etc.

    2. Terry

      I have loved some ladies and I have loved Jim Beam and they both tried to kill me in 1973.

      That's a country song you can sing loud and proud while driving.

  19. SorosBot

    Funny how country music likes to claim patriotism when it's most popular in the traitor states.

  20. trondant

    I can only assume this man wants the government shrunk down to the size where he can drown it in a red Solo cup.

    1. Doktor StrangeZoom

      So turn off your smoke machine
      And Marshall stack

      –TMBG

      (She doesn't have to have her Young Fresh Fellows tapes back)

  21. Baconzgood

    Kinda related. I took the Baconz boys to a monster truck ralley (funny enough we went to a childrens symphony in the afternoon, so we enjoyed all sorts of culture that day) and they played "Proud to Be an American" by Some Toothless Hick that Baconz Doesn't Give a Shit About, and every one stood. Baconz jr #1 asked why I wasn't standing and I told him that Some Toothless Hick that Baconz Doesn't Give a Shit about didn't write the National Anthem and that the song was shit.

    You believe that people stood up for that stupid song. And they glared at me when I didn't to boot. This is my I hate country music reason # 10,025 story.

    1. Crank_Tango

      You know who else had people standing for a song that wasn't the national anthem…

        1. LetUsBray

          I would sooner stand for "Let the eeeeeeee-eeaaaa-gle soar" than that Lee Greenwood shit – less blatant cynicism.

      1. SorosBot

        Major League Baseball. And yes, I've refused to stand for that god bless America drivel and gotten angry looks for it.

        1. Steverino247

          Attaboy, SB. I don't stand for that shit, either. It's bad enough that I have to stand for four minutes while some Whitney Houston wannabe yodels the actual National Anthem. It's a fight song, so sing it like one. We weren't trying to get laid, we were telling the Brits to take their best shot at our flag and they muffed it.

    2. BornInATrailer

      I break out in that song all the time when I deem it is suitably ironic. It never even crossed my mind that people might actually stand for it at an event.

    3. CogitoErgoBibo

      Maybe they just wanted to already be standing when the next truck started careening into the audience?

        1. CogitoErgoBibo

          I actually considered attending one, but only in an ironic way, due to Hugh Laurie's character House and his love of monster truck rallies. But the next time one came to town, a truck ran over someone before the thing even started. Kind of killed the buzz. True story.

        2. HempDogbane

          Also consider the jingoistic atrocity that is a rodeo…I mean the Dodge Ram PRCA Rodeo, which I have attended with the non-biologically related sorta relative young person who I love like my own daughter. Nobody does jingoism better than cowboys and clowns packed into a two-seater Dodge dually pickup and dropping' their g's over a booming sound system, probably made in Singapore, driving slowly across the arena. That fucking Lee Greenwood song, too.

    4. snoopyfan2010

      You know that it is a common response of an animal that is threatened too over emphasize its strengths. So small dogs bark louder and lame horses try to run faster. Just saying….

    5. Terry

      I can't stand that song. Basically, it says that everything really sucks, but at least the singer knows he's free.

      Uh, my life doesn't suck. My life is actually fairly awesome, truth be told.

      Here's the patriotic song we should be using at events. Ray Charles singing America the Beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRUjr8EVgBg

        1. Terry

          That, too, would be fabulous. Imagine choirs trying to sing it.

          Still, Ray Charles has my heart on this one.

          1. Baconzgood

            Complete with Carl Weathers jumping up and down in his Uncle Sam Boxers out fit? I don't think Ray has a chance.

    6. EmileZoloft

      Back in aught three, some rodeo spectator didn't want to stand for that awful, terrible song and another rodeo spectator told him to "go back to Iraq" and actually started a fistfight with him over it.

      1. CogitoErgoBibo

        Oh good lord. So, if I have this correct, in reverence to a song extolling the virtues of a country where you are free to have your own opinions, the guy threw a punch over someone actually having the audacity to make use of said freedom?

        My head hurts.

  22. UnholyMoses

    Toby Keith is to good music what a brain-damaged schnauzer is to good music.

    ADDING: Deconstructing a country song? You, Mr. Monocle, either have mad skillz in the ways of crazy, or way, way too much free time.

  23. freakishlywrong

    Is Merle Monocole our new Wonkett cuntry music correspondent? If so, howdy, Merle!

  24. HelmutNewton

    "Every country music song today is about…"

    c) How much the singer wants to boink his old pickup truck with a beer in one hand and a shotgun in the other.

  25. WiscDad

    Romney has apparently never heard of Mark Griffin…better known as MC 900 Ft. Jesus. He's bigger than ANY teevee…and shit

    1. widestanceromance

      I light the fires, while the city sleeps. . .or something like that (s'been a while)

  26. Nesnora

    The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid
    And the marshals and cops get the same
    But the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool
    He's taught in his school
    From the start by the rule
    That the laws are with him
    To protect his white skin
    To keep up his hate
    So he never thinks straight
    'Bout the shape that he's in
    But it ain't him to blame
    He's only a pawn in their game.

    (except that Toby Keith, having gold-plated truck nutz, is just pretending not to be a rich racist wanker).

  27. SayItWithWookies

    Art is supposed to hold a mirror up to society — it would be nice if the mirror weren't covered in shit, but whatcha gonna do? Soon nobody'll remember the litany of fleeting cultural references, just the disjointed "throw everything in a bag and bitch about it as though it were all related" ethos that comes with lazy songwriting and bad thinking — which is why it's so palatable to the masses, I guess.

  28. owhatever

    Mitt prefers Utah country music performed by the all-wives Vulture Tabernuckle Banjo Band. But he also like the Tennessee brand. And the Austin sound, too. And the Athens hard country-rock, and the Seattle sound, and whatever the hell they sing wherever he happens to be campaigning today.

  29. Joshua Norton

    What's with the name "Toby"? Sounds kinda fruity to me. Know what I mean? Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.

    1. FNMA

      Friend of mine always says if Johnny Cash were alive today, he'd straighten all this shit right out.

  30. BarackMyWorld

    Watching part of the video where the president is crowd surfing (or whatever) on Wall Street begs the question: are the rightwingers ever going to decide between Obama being a puppet of the bankers or being a socialist? Because this is just plain getting confusing.

      1. doloras

        No joke, the John Birch Society's analysis was that communism was invented by the international bankers (aka Jews) to rip off god-fearing Aryan yeoman farmers and small sweatshop owners.

  31. MrsBiggTime

    Ted Nugent's gotta be pissed – he's been pandering to rednecks for years and gets passed over for some guy named Toby. What a pussy name!

  32. AbandonHope

    Lesser known are Toby's songs "American McMansion," "American Homeschooling," "American Toddlers and Tiaras," "American USA Flag Bible Guns Constimitution YEEHAW" and "American Hero John Wilkes Booth."

  33. JustPixelz

    "Spill a cup of coffee/ Get a million dollars.” The true story.

    This lawsuit has become iconic. Everyone thinks they know what happened: Stupid old lady spills coffee on herself, sues McDonald's, and wins millions from a Oprah-ized jury. And almost everyone is wrong.

    Stella Liebeck spilled the coffee on herself when she was adding cream and sugar as a passenger in her grandson's car. The car was stopped. The McDonald's coffee was intentionally served at a very high temperature. In Ms Liebeck's case it was hot enough to cause third degree burns. She wanted McDonald's to pay her $20,000 medical bill, but the company refused. So she sued. It turns out hundreds of other customers had complained or been burned by the extremely hot coffee. But McDonald's didn't lower the temperature because — they felt — the hotter coffee helped increase sales. The jury thought that was reckless and awarded Ms Liebeck a share of McDonald's daily coffee revenue.
    http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

    1. AbandonHope

      Argh, I know, this one drives me absolutely nuts, but it's even more grating when a no-talent propaganda hack like Keith brings it up.

    2. barto

      there's a whole documenti-film on it "Spilled Coffee", which actually only tells part of the story (and extremely disturbing pictures of the actual burns). it mentions that McD knew the problem for a long time – 700 people complained before the famous one, but leaves out that they did a cost/analysis and decided it was cheaper to fend off the law suits. That's why you have to hit them with a huge reward – otherwise they'll just ignore the problem.

  34. EmileZoloft

    Jesus said "I am the Way", which implies he'd be pretty effective as an electrically conductive filament. With a dense plasma focus, electromagnetic acceleration generates a plasma expansion accompanied by compression(plasma pinch aka Bennett pinch) of the conductor (i.e. Jesus). Incidentally, this will throw off X-rays, the kind of X-rays that could burn the image of a dude onto some linen.

  35. V572 Hogan Gidley

    The idea that Mitt likes C&W is still more credible than GHW Bush eating fried pork rinds. Those things are fucking gross—smells like dumpster juice when you open the bag.

  36. LetUsBray

    Wow, no one's yet huffily insisted that Toby Keith is a registered Democrat and how dare we impugn the noble slab of lard etc., etc?

  37. barto

    Shan may refer to: [edit] People. The Shan people, Southeast Asian ethnic group inhabiting Myanmar. The Shan language · Dai people, also known as Shan,…

    Those poor people!

  38. BlueStateLibel

    Mitt's favorite Toby Keith line, "Bought me a company on borrowed money, time to fire all the workers and become a millionaire."

  39. LettucePrey

    Toby Keith is a REAL 'Merican. His blood is red, his picket fence is white, and his last album blew.

  40. snoopyfan2010

    This is why jazz wil always be considered the truest form of American music. No words, no politics and accessible to everyone.

  41. fartknocker

    Toby Keith is the CMA version of Ted Nugent. For a real C&W song, try "Drop Kick Me Jesus" by Bobby Bare.

    When it comes to Texas Swing music Asleep at the Wheel rules as far I am concerned.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      There's also Kinky Friedman's classic "I'm Proud to be an Asshole From El Paso" and "The Ballad of Charles Whitman."

  42. mindo99

    Since Toby is an independent who has voiced support of Obama in the past, I wonder if he's approved Mitt's use of his song? Or did Mitt appropriate it the same way Mormon's appropriate dead historical figures?

  43. TheGyrus

    This is a dumb song, but let us not forget the previous Republican nominee's favorite song was "Dancing Queen."

  44. littlebigdaddy

    Meanwhile, you know Barry is totally going to use one or more of the songs from the amazing new Bruce Springsteen album, gratis, probably even get the Boss to do one or two appearances. Rmoney is so going to lose!

  45. lisawines

    I don't know why but right-wingers don't seem to have any taste – in music, tv shows, comedy. But this isn't just the case in 'merica – When Sarkozy won in 2007 in France I laughed out loud when I saw that Johnny Halliday (who somebody called an aging tax-evading crooner) was paid a million eurobucks to headline Sarkozy's victory concert. Somebody else said Halliday is the French Elvis except for the fact that he hasn't had the decency to die.

  46. Guppy

    Customs!? Serves the kid right for wanting to leave the US of A! It's "love it or leave it," you can't do both!

    Also too, I now have Status Quo stuck in my head.

  47. C_R_Eature

    Yeah, well that's not Country Music. Real Country Music, as any serious student of the form will tell you has a singular defining characteristic.
    If you play it backwards, your girlfriend on the side becomes unpregnant, your wife comes back with the kids, your dog comes alive again, your barn unburns itself, your truck is fixed, you grow hair and teeth, you're released from Prison, you graduate High School and suddenly, you're unfired.

  48. Baconzgood

    I don't know if they were offended that I said "shit" to my 5 year old or that I called the song "shit".

Comments are closed.