Song of the Day #1,115: ‘I’ll Take You Back’ – Brad Paisley

For a guy who is so good at writing earnest love songs, Brad Paisley sure has fun taking things in the other direction.

After I discovered Paisley through his 2009 album American Saturday Night, I started buying up his previous albums. Time Well Wasted was either the first or second record I picked up, and ‘I’ll Take You Back’ was an instant favorite.

I don’t care if you don’t like the simple constructs of a typical country song (like some of my frequent commenters!) — I defy you to listen to this track and not have a ball. Apart from the funny lyrics (the “waa waa waa” chorus is my favorite), just listen to his guitar playing, and that instrumental jam that makes up the last minute-plus.

In an NPR interview following the release of Time Well Wasted, Paisley said he likes that traditional country music forces you to stay within certain boundaries. He’s a fan of jazz and other musical forms that value experimentation, but he enjoys the challenge of having a very distinct canvas on which to work.

I’m not at all well-versed in country music, but I feel like Paisley’s work is bursting at the seams with creativity and energy, and I see what he means about liking the fact that the seams are there.

When a freight train jumps off a track
And rolls down my road
And it’s summer time in Texas
And they’re playing in the snow
When politicians everywhere stop telling lies
And only state the facts
Right then, that’s when
I’ll take you back

Let’s say I get bucked off a bull and fall and hit my head
And then I get amnesia and forget the things you said
I lose my better judgement and I take up smoking crack
Right then, that’s when
I’ll take you back

Go on keep trying
Come on keep calling
You know I like it
When you come crawling
It’s like music
To hear you bawling
Waa, waa, waa, waa, waa

When Donald Trump takes a part time job parking cars
When Clint Eastwood does ballet in a big pink leotard
And a donkey wins the Derby as he takes his victory lap
Right then, that’s when
I’ll take you back


The day that old morning sun rises in the west
And they pass a law in L.A. banning artificial breasts
When cars can run on water, gasoline and oil ain’t worth jack
Right then, that’s when
I’ll take you back


4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,115: ‘I’ll Take You Back’ – Brad Paisley

  1. Dama says:

    Okay, get ready, Clay….I like this song:)

    As I said before, I enjoy country music far more at a faster pace. And, in addition to having clever lyrics, the instrumentation in this song is outstanding.

    The other day, Amy was suggesting that, when I like a country song, I rationalize it by saying it is country plus (much like our old comedy plus debates about movies). So, I will like country plus jazz, country plus blues, etc…In that vein, I suppose I could argue that today’s SOTD is country plus rockabilly, but it still lies within the traditional “canvas” of country music–bursting at the seams perhaps, but still decidedly country.

  2. Amy says:

    Boy, does this song remind me of a Johnny Cash song! Not the chorus or the guitar solos but the verses… but I haven’t figured out which song it is yet. Maybe Cocaine Blues?

    Anyway, it’s a whole lot of fun.

    I’m glad to see that Dana confessed his “country plus” proclivities, as I was going to have to out him sooner or later.

  3. Clay says:

    I guess Dana and I are mirror images when it comes to music and movies (as you pointed out a couple of weeks back). Country music is the ‘comedy’ of the music world — under-appreciated in its basic form.

    In recent years I’ve come around to appreciating more comedy-neutrals (as opposed to pluses), and I wonder if my new fondness for country music is married to that.

  4. Phil says:

    Fun song but done back in the mid-80s by the underrated blues band Little Charlie and the Nightcats.. “I’ll Take You Back” from the album All the Way Crazy……”I’ll take you back when the sun don’t shine and murder ain’t a crime.” “When James Brown ain’t funky and King Kong ain’t a monkey.”

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