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Writing A Country Song

Updated on April 11, 2012

There's nothing like country music. With its heartfelt songs about blue collar America, it speaks of a simple time without life's complex problems. Although some may sing about good people and good times, there can be a lot of tear jerking in country music.

I've noticed a basic formula when it comes to these songs. Heartache, followed by drinking, causing more heartache, which leads to loss of job and thus more drinking. Throw in a few lines about a pick up truck, a line about a dog, and you're on your way. These are just the basics, let's take it slow.

Confused? Don't be, let's build a country song from the ground and work our way up:

Your wife has left you – This is going to be your foundation. How could she do this to you? She just picked up and walked out of your life. To make matters worse, she blindsided you, moving out while you were at work.....working at the foundry. Yes, working at the foundry, that's plenty blue collar enough, which leads us to...

Dead end job – Working at the foundry, very nice, this way you relate to the working man. Here you are working 50+ hours a week, earning a paycheck for your family, with no time for beer drinking or bowling. Did someone say beer drinking?

Drinking– How else are you going to get over the devastating loss of your old lady? Counseling? Please, real men don't see shrinks, and you are singing to real, American men. After clocking out, there's nothing you need more than an ice cold Budweiser. You're an American, so that means no drinking Heineken or New Castle, that's for Euro trash. You go to the watering hole and drown your sorrows. Upon arriving home you notice your dog has run away. Momma said there would be days like this...Crap, that one's taken.

The dog – Country songs usually mention dogs at some point. The dog is the faithful companion of the singer. So Cleatus has fled and you're drunk and alone. (Cleatus should be some sort of hound) Time to get out on the porch and wait for either the dog or the woman to come crawling back. Why don't you come when I whistle? We may have found ourselves a title...

The Porch– Sitting on the rocking chair, strumming a guitar while sipping on some good old George Dickel. This is going to be a hit, I can feel it already. If you've ever been to a cracker barrel, you know how country fans feel about their rocking chairs. You can always substitute the rocker for a hammock, it's your discretion.

Pulling it together – Okay, now you take all of these misfortunes and tie them together. You can sing about how your woman had straightened you out and now you're going back to your mean ol' cowboy ways. Or you can go in another direction, how you're glad she's gone but miss the dog. If he comes back, he can sleep in the bed, then the two of you can go fishing. It's all up to you!

*Note: It's important to remember to make the chorus of the song as simple as possible. Drunken people need to be able to relate and follow along. You don't want to ruin it with complex two syllable words they cannot chant in the bar.

Okay, let's give it a try:

I punched the clock, after a hard days work.

Got the boss on my back, that guy is a jerk

I just want to get home and see your pretty smile

and maybe pet my dog, and drink for a while

But as I get home, the lights are so dark

I pull down the drive and put the truck in park

As I walk in, I can tell somethings wrong.

It's quiet and cold, and Cleatus is gone

And that's when I see it, a note as it lies.

It's wrinkled and wet, with tears from your eyes

I know the handwriting, it reads how you've tried

But you just can't keep on, and put up with the lies


The love that was lost, the words never said

We knew all along, that tears would be shed

You made me better, and I'll always know

That I've got my dog and you're free to go...

So there we have a basic country song. Feel free to add other forms or heartache or heartbreak. You can also take it in a humorous direction, the choice is yours. Also, this is not meant to bash country music, as I think in the future I will start a song writing series. Complete with rap songs, rock songs, and maybe even a good old protest song.


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    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Glad you enjoyed it lyricwriter, Thanks for voting and sharing!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      Weestro, very funny article. Don't know if I should admit that I write country lyrics? LOL Your right though, nearly all songs can be selected in such categories. Got a great laugh from this one, well done. Voted up, funny, and awesome. Shared also.

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      You're very welcome sweetguide, my expertise in this field is plentiful as I'm sure you noticed;) Thanks for reading!

    • sweetguide profile image


      6 years ago from River side

      Thank you very very much for sharing such a Great Information dear weestro

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      So glad I could help Jeannie! There may be a rap song in the future as well!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 

      6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is pretty awesome. I've been meaning to write a country music song for a while now, but didn't know where to start. Now, because of this hub, I feel like I can begin my music career in country music. Thank you!

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      I'm sure we can squeeze that in Kathy!

      Thanks Alecia!

      Dickel and Beam, take your pick I guess stclair.

      Jools, There's always the duet!

      Yes, the pick-up is crucial Ashley!

      Thanks for the comments guys...yee haw or something like that!

    • Ashleymckinnon profile image


      6 years ago from Coleman, WI

      Very cute. Love it. Vote up for sure. Did you mention a pickup truck? That is also vital.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      6 years ago from North-East UK

      Cleatus beat us' and God He Cheat us'

      The padre he would never meet us'

      And so for now you're gone but plee-us

      Tell me where you hid the chee-us

      "Damn! I'm hungry - where you gone?"

      Mmmm...Weestro you're better at this than me, I really enjoyed your hub, I'm still smiling! I will stick to the occasional haiku, my lyrics aren't fit for country or any other sort of song I suspect. Voted up, funny etc,etc

    • stclairjack profile image


      6 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks

      holy crap,... you mentioned george dickle,.... i'm still gigling,.... not the smoothest stuff on earth,.... but very apropriate for this!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      That's a country song for you but this hub is pure gold!

    • KathyH profile image


      6 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Well, it looks like the only thing you forgot here is Momma being run over by a train, otherwise, it's perfect! :) Very good hub, voted up and funny!!


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