Every now and then your favorite band may surprise you – whether negatively or positively is not really important, as that’s just a by-product of change. “You’re Annoying”, one of the latest singles by the rock duo Paul Barrere & Roger Cole, surprised me. Firstly, it’s a Country and Western song, which is a couple of steps to the left, or right – depending on your point of view – of what they normally do. And secondly it’s a facetious take on the genre.
These types of Country songs – with a healthy dose of humor — strangely enough are actually a longstanding country tradition. The genre’s always had a special knack for folding cutting humor into its seemingly pristine verses, to create an even more perfect package. While the best-known example may be Johnny Cash’s interpretation of Shel Silverstein’s “A Boy Named Sue,” it actually goes back much further than that.
From the early days of Jimmie Rodgers and his “Pistol Packing Papa” and Jimmie Davis’s “Tom Cat and Pussy Blues” to the Tune Wranglers “Red’s Tight Like That”, the genre’s founders often dipped their pens into the blind side, frequently pairing them with a jaunty jingle and big old smile. In fact, much of rock and roll’s daring roots can be found in how brazen early Southern music could be.
These days, weaving irreverence into country music can be a trickier art: use too many dirty words, or too much quirk, and there’s the risk of being labeled a comedian, something that’s not plagued Paul Barrere & Roger Cole on “You’re Annoying”, simply because they don’t use dirty words or say anything too quirky. Instead they imply, they lay down the gauntlet verbally in every line, and then allow you to complete the phrase and capture its meaning.
You’re annoying, I didn’t ask you
But it seems your opinion is sure to last
I’m sure there’s nothing you haven’t been through
If you keep talking I am gonna kick your…
Ask me anything, see what the conversation brings
We can parlay with a little give and take
And as you’re listening, your brain surely bristling
But at least it will give your jaw a break
I am a modest fan of classic country music, but a big fan of novelty tunes. Paul Barrere & Roger Cole’s strengths as creative songwriters and outstanding interpreters of songs, added to this new founded (for me), natural satirical exuberance, results in yet another endearing tune from these dudes.
If you didn’t know the meaning of the words, “You’re Annoying” would sound like a serious song because of Roger Cole’s interpretative ability and dead pan humor. Stuck together with the bouncy barnyard beat and sweet harmonies, this track will bring a big smile to your face, country fan or not!