“I Create a Story. It’s What Songs Should Do.”

From the October 2nd Washington Post obit of French singer and composer Charles Aznavour:

“Country music tells stories, and my songs tell stories,” he said. “I start with anything — you, me, the telephone, the kids — and I create a story. It’s what songs should do.

“Sure, I’m a country-music writer,” he added, “but my country is France.”

One of my favorite short pieces the Washingtonian published was a collection of country song titles put together by Larry Sons and Doug Todd. At the time, Sons was a Dallas advertising executive and Todd was public relations director of the Dallas Cowboys.

The story’s head, “The worst you ever gave me was the best I ever had,” was one of the lines. Some of the others:

I’m going to put a bar in my car and drive myself to drink.

I don’t mind getting burned if I can just be near the glow.

My wife ran off with my best friend, and I miss him.

When I’m alone I’m in bad company.

I wouldn’t take you to a dog fight even if I thought you could win.

I’ll be under the table when I get over you.

I’ve never had a thing that ain’t been used.

I’ve been a long time leaving, but I’ll be a long time gone.

When the phone don’t ring you’ll know it’s me.

If you can fake it I might make it.

Thank God and Greyhound you’re gone.

A sad song don’t care whose heart it breaks.

For better or for worse, but not for long.

If you want to keep the beer real cold, put it next to my ex-wife’s heart.

The devil is a woman and she wears a short red dress.

Country music doesn’t often get into politics but a few lines seem timely:

There’s no use running if you’re on the wrong road.

You can’t make a heel toe the mark.

Hey, Barnum and Bailey, can you use another clown?

It wouldn’t be so bad if it hadn’t been so good.

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