There’s no song like a country song. Whether you’re into Charley Pride, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline or the “new school” of Garth Brooks, Trace Adkins, Miko Marks and a score of others, there’s not a doubt in my mind that country’s roots are entwined with the blues both musically and lyrically. Some of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard were from either of these genres, usually by men, who’ve acted up so bad that they drove their woman, and sometimes their dog, away.
Today we’re going to look at and listen to some dark country songs that go even deeper into the human psyche, past crying into your beer or sittin on the porch weeping, into murder, mayhem and ghosts.
The first one is by a musician who performs one of my all time favorite country songs. The Charlie Daniels Band is perhaps best known for its rollicking fiddle-fest “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”, but they also did a mysterious song that tells of a swamp, an old man and a treasure.
It’s a song that tells a story and it starts off like this:
Well, if you ever go back into Wooley Swamp
Well, you better not go at night
There’s things out there in the middle of them woods
That make a strong man die from fright
Things that crawl and things that fly
And things that creep around on the ground
And they say the ghost of Lucius Clay
Gets up and he walks around
To say anything further would ruin the scarily told/sung story, so click here to listen for yourself:
As a child, Johnny Cash’s rumbling bass always used to scare me. It also didn’t help that he was called “The Man in Black” which rendered him as some sort of evil being floating around, scaring kids with his guitar and flashy country shirts. As I grew older, however, I was more able to appreciate the music and I give you “Ghost Riders in the Sky”. Can’t get much scarier than that.
Rachel Brooke – The Black Bird
This sparse arrangement leaves room for Rachel Brooke’s hauntingly innocent sounding voice to a story of illicit love…and that black bird always watching. Also, the video is pretty creepy too!
Comment below with your dark country artists!