Song of the Day #4,636: ‘The Hunter’s Wife’ – Pistol Annies

Today’s track is from Pistol Annies’ debut album, and was penned and performed by Angaleena Presley, the least-famous Annie.

This tongue-in-cheek tune explores the life of a hunter’s wife, and throws in enough hunting jargon to weigh down an 11-point buck.

It got me thinking… what came first, country music’s music or its lyrics?

No other genre would give you a song about a hunter’s wife. I just listened to around 200 Joni Mitchell songs — not one about a hunter’s wife. Rock, gospel, metal, R&B, you name it. No hunters’ wives. But you could probably dig up ten more country songs on the topic.

People who hunt, drive tractors, and wear denim overalls listen to country music. Do they listen because they hear stories about themselves? Or did they listen to this style of music long before the lyrics were written to match?

I suspect both happened around the same time, as early pioneers transformed European folk ballads with bluegrass instruments and wrote songs about life in the South and West. As that lifestyle evolved in the modern world, pick-up trucks and fishing (and hunting) found their way into song lyrics that once focused on living off the land.

All along, I suppose, these songs also spoke with earnestness about family, love, loss, and all the other deep topics modern country music tackles with either sensitivity or sentimentality.

All of this raises a thorny question, which is when one looks down on country music, how intertwined is that with looking down on the people it’s about? You could ask a similar question about the dislike of rap music.

Discuss, dear readers.

[Verse 1]
He’s got 17 coon dogs out in the pen
Ten 11 point bucks hangin’ in his den
If he ain’t a’huntin’ he’s a’watching a show
Teaches things about huntin’ that he don’t know

[Chorus]
And if I was a bettin’ woman
I’d lay my money down
I’d bet he spends more time in them woods
Than he spends in this house
I got myself a problem I can’t figure no way out
It’s like I’m married to a shotgun-carryin’
Tobacco-chewin’, no good blue tick hound

[Verse 2]
Well, I’m sick of squirrel gravy and I’m sick of coon stew
Fence posts, shock collars, chicken wire, too
If he ain’t a’huntin’ he’s out at the lake
Suckin’ on a long neck, changin’ his bait

[Chorus]
And if I was a bettin’ woman
I’d lay my money down
I’d bet he spends more time in them woods
Than he spends in this house
I got myself a problem I can’t figure no way out
It’s like I’m married to a shotgun-carryin’
Tobacco-chewin’, no good blue tick hound

Go boys…

[Verse 3]
He may as well be invisible in his Realtree overalls
I can barely see him through the tree stands
Heated underwear, and turkey calls
The Lord help me with this problem I can’t figure no way out
It’s like I’m married to a shotgun-carryin’
Tobacco-chewin’, no good blue tick hound

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,636: ‘The Hunter’s Wife’ – Pistol Annies

  1. Peg says:

    Hmmm interesting question to ponder. I think from my personal perspective I know what is pleasing to me for my listening pleasure. I’m not a fan of rap music but have no issues with the folks who sing it or their fans. Except for some of the misogynistic lyrics of course. The same for most country music. Also I love rock and roll and many opera arias but not always the artists or the fans. So for me I would say it’s what my ears enjoy hearing.

  2. Andrea Katz says:

    Certainly there is a generous heaping of truth in this insightful question. Since music is such a big part of culture it does seem like rejection or dislike of a genre could be closely connected with disdain for the people/culture these songs depict.
    I’ve been spending time in Arkansas this past year and a half. Bewildered coastal city friends are perplexed and perhaps a bit worried for me. In fact, I’ve now earned the moniker, Ms. Walmart.
    Is rap a representation of scary black revolutionaries?
    Is country a shmaltzy cover of racism?

  3. Dana Gallup says:

    I’m not sure dislike of country music or rap is necessarily looking down on the artists or their fans, as much as it is about comfortability and appreciation for the known and familiar. I suspect my doppelgänger in Dallas grew up listening to country radio, even if he otherwise lived a very urban life. I grew up on folk and rock and roll, and, with limited exceptions, have resisted listening to other genres, not just country or rap, but Latin, world music, opera, classical, etc. The ear likes what the ear likes, although, admittedly, that ear is preconditioned by early and persistent exposure to some genres of music over others.

Leave a Reply to Andrea Katz Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.