Buck had a post recently that featured John Prine and Bonnie Raitt and that reminded me of today's song. I found it on the Tube of You and put it in my hopper as a post to write later.
Guess what. It's now later.
This time Prine is paired with Iris Demint. In my opinion, it's a perfect pairing for a great country song--"We're Not the Jet Set."
This song was written by Bobby Braddock, a great songwriter (13 #1 hits) who's now a producer in Nashville. One of those 13 songs is "He Stopped Loving Her Today," considered by many to be the all time greatest country song. (He's also the guy who discovered Blake Shelton back a few years ago.)
But back to "We're Not the Jet Set," which was not one of Braddock's chart toppers. It was first recorded by George Jones and Tammy Wynette back in 1973 and reached the #15 spot on the US Country charts.
Based on the song's invention, originality, and wit, I think it should have been a #1. The lines aren't forced like many songs, and the rhymes here are pleasantly unexpected--kinda like the sudden burst of liquid sweetness when you popped a piece of that old Freshen Up Gum in your mouth and chewed down on it. One good example is: "Our steak and martini is a beer and a weenie." Martini-weenie. Not every songwriter could have banged those two together like that.
Joyce and I have been to Paris...Tennessee. And Rome...Georgia.
We've been to Manchester...Tennessee.
And also to Manchester, England. In 1987. (Damn, was that 25 years ago?)
So, we've been around the block. But we're not the jet set. Definitely. We like other places and people in other places. But we like home better. And the people and friends here that we feel comfortable with.
I may be wrong about this, but I think "We're Not the Jet Set" cuts both ways. The speakers (singers) are making a little fun of themselves as they make their comparisons, but they imply a strong preference for the unsophisticated, country, and on a larger scale American values. They're not ignorant. They obviously know about these other places, things, and people, but they like their own things better. Enjoy.