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“Bandy the Rodeo Clown” by Moe Bandy

Bandy the rodeo clown is one rodeo song that made our listOriginally written by Lefty Frizzell, Bandy the Rodeo Clown is a light-hearted, (yet sentimental) account of the ways of a rodeo clown and the woman who took his heart. “I could ride ‘em all, the bulls and broncos knew I was boss,” sings Bandy, but discloses that “the ride that woman took me on” was something he would never be able to emotionally overcome.

7 Rodeo Songs

7-rodeo-songs-music-countyThe Rodeo is one of America’s greatest pastimes and it is no secret that many songs have been written to describe the life of the rodeo cowboy, the sacrifices made, and the dangers of performing in the sport. Rodeo songs are almost as old as the rodeo itself, however, some artists have touched our lives with their renditions that depict the rodeo way of life. Some rodeo songs pump us up, some touch our hearts, and others leave us somber as they describe the obsession that often accompanies the rodeo lifestyle. We took a long, hard look to find some of the best rodeo songs that were written specifically about the sport itself (or at least have a rodeo theme to them in the lyrics).

Here are 7 classic gems that make us fall in love with country music all over again, and remind us that it takes a certain kind of cowboy to lend his heart to the rodeo.

 

 

Live This Long

live-this-longThis song comes from the 6th album Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson made together. It was also the last album released before Merle Haggard’s death. Live This Long is song about remembering the good ol’ days and how fast they flew by; there is also a somber tone about doing things differently.

Okie from Muskogee

okie-from-muskogeeThe debate rages on over the sincerity of Haggard’s lyrics in this 1969 chart-topper. Haggard is on record as stating that the song was written as a patriotic stance during a time when the Vietnam War was occurring and young people were protesting the war. While the references to marijuana may seem silly compared to Haggard’s later views, many of the references in the song are what you wouldn’t see in Middle-American life.

Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down

tonight-the-bottle-let-me-downA song about a man who clearly can’t drown his memories of an old flame, the thoughts of a woman inhibit his attempts at inebriation. This somber tale is actually accompanied by a mid-tempo beat and melody that keeps the lyrics from being too dark, however, it is still a sad picture of a man who has run out of ways to escape from his troubling thoughts.

Workin’ Man’s Blues

workin-mans-bluesWith a twangy electric Fender intro and lyrics that encompass the blue-collar anthem, this track was one of the debuting arrangements for what would be known as “the Bakersfield Sound.” Workin’ Man’s Blues was another huge hit for Merle. The song allows country music to dip its toe into the pool of original Rock & Roll; the blend was highly accepted by country music fans all over.

The Fightin’ Side of Me

fightin-side-of-me-haggardThis 1970 tune was a mega-hit for the Hag. It references the “working man” and the “countrymen,” and is a patriotic song that condemns those for ridiculing the country and the wars we fought.

Today I Started Loving You Again

today-i-started-loving-you-againWritten with his wife Bonnie Owens, and recorded as a B-side to his song, “The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde,” this country tune has gone down in history as one of the best love songs ever written (even though it failed to chart after its release).

Mama Tried

mama-tried-hagardIt is well agreed upon that this 1968 hit was more-or-less autobiographical. The lyrics are themed around Haggard’s early life; the song is believed to have been inspired by his mother’s attempt to set him on the straight and narrow. Although the Hag never did “life without parole” like the lead character in the song, he was in fact incarcerated at San Quentin in 1957, after an attempt to escape from a lesser security prison.

An Inside Look at 7 of Merle Haggard’s Greatest Hits

7-songs-hits-merle-haggardMerle Ronald Haggard was a legendary country music singer, songwriter, and one of the musicians who pioneered the Bakersfield sound. He left a huge, irreplaceable influence on country music forever. At a young age he was faced with his father’s death and a troubled childhood, leading to a series of run-ins with the law and incarcerations.

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