The 20 Worst Songs of 2010, #7: Aaron Lewis featuring George Jones, Charlie Daniels, and Chris Young, "Country Boy"

F2K10 is a countdown of the 20 worst songs of 2010. Track our progress here.

aaronlewiscountryboy.jpg
Let's say you're Staind frontman Aaron Lewis. You're a titan of the post-alt era who made his bones moaning about the frustrations of the rock-embracing American male--but you're a bit long in the tooth, which means that wallowing in teen angst might not be the best look for you. What's a safe space for you to continue your musical career without being forced to make yourself as happy as Uncle Kracker, or as Scott Stappy as the former Creed frontman?

In 2006, you might have mused to a newspaper about how you were inspired to lay down a "male Portishead record." But in 2010, when potential audience members are as precious as they are fickle, you'll have a different artistic impulse, one inspired by seeing a Kid Rock-provided light some 11 years after it was shined in your face.

"When Staind did our first tour with Kid Rock in 1999, I rode the bus with him on a couple occasions and we bonded over this music. I haven't been able to let go of it since then," Lewis said around the time of the release of his debut solo single last month. The genre he's speaking of is country, and just in case you didn't quite get that, the song in question is called "Country Boy." It's an allegedly autobiographical song -- yes, Massachusetts now counts as the heartland -- that also gives a platform for Lewis' strict-constructionist tendencies:

Now two flags fly above my land
And really sum up how I feel
One is the colors that fly high and proud -- the red, the white, the blue
The other one's got a rattlesnake with a simple statement made
"Don't Tread on Me" is what is says, and I'll take that to my grave
Because this is me
I'm proud to be American and strong in my beliefs
And I've said it before but I'll say it again
'Cause I never needed Government to hold my hand
And I've said it before and I'll say it again
Because my family's always fight and died to save this land
And a country boy is all I'll ever be.

(The rhyme scheme works better in the context of the song. Sort of.)

Politics aside, what's most impressive about "Country Boy" is the way that this "country" song is little more than a Staind track that's angry at the government instead of a girl/mom/cruel world. It plods! It's lyrically awkward! Lewis' vocal range is about five notes wide! Do a side-by-side contrast of the new track with Staind chestnuts like "It's Been Awhile"-- the only differences here come from the verse supplied by the beautifully cracked voice of George Jones and the contributions of Charlie Daniels, who schmaltzes up "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" on his fiddle and provides the following message-board-worthy rant over his string-playing:

"I love my country. I love my guns. I love my family. I love the way it is now, and anybody that tries to change it has to come through me. That should be all of our attitudes. Cause this is America, and a country boy is good enough for me, son."

Daniels' mic stays on after that; the producer allows him to ramble a little bit more, perhaps for the purposes of making the song feel more "real". At the very least, indulging him spares us from Lewis yowling New Hampshire's state motto over and over.

"Country Boy" is a relatively recent release, so whether or not it'll catch fire among radio programmers is up in the air. But if the EP containing this track is hastily reworked to include a mashup of "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" and "Gimme Three Steps," we should probably all start worrying about Lewis eventually deciding to follow his heart and make good on those "male Portishead" threats.



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60 comments
toobig2lose
toobig2lose

Umm I live in the Northeast and it can be very country so clearly this Author has never travelled and second, its a great song.  Don't hate on a guy that has been an icon and wants to switch it up a little bit.  Of course it sounds like Staind...same singer buddy who never claimed to have a wide range, just a great voice.

urbankaos1
urbankaos1

This article is part of the reason why country music has exploded nationwide,, we are sick of people trashing our beliefs of god, family and love for our country, you don't hate this song you hate the lyrics, it's obvious because you highlighted the most anti liberal segments of it.. This article sounds like it was written on a battlefield by the enemy... Aaron Lewis keep up the good work and pay no mind to these clueless anti American idiots like this fool who wrote this article..

kennyblackburn352
kennyblackburn352

The author of this article should be fired and have they're communist ass kicked!!!!

fetishfatale
fetishfatale

I refer you to the crazy, ridiculous, amazing beast that is Aaron Lewis's voice. Listen. Can you sing like that? Try again. Still No? Didn't think so. Go listen to your "Oh so cool because they're foreign and obscure" playlist and leave the real talent alone. Kthxbye.

jonblaze7
jonblaze7

This article is a joke.  Anyone with any clue whatsoever as to what a real musician is, respects and appreciates Aaron Lewis.  I've heard him called a cyborg because of his abilities.  His take on country music is reminiscent of some of the classic hit writers such as George Jones and Merle Haggard.  I too created an account on this site just to let the author of this article know that 1) You aren't NEAR as intelligent as you think you and 2) I'd like 60 seconds of my life that it took to read this story back.  Payable immediately.

dtuleta
dtuleta

Easily the worst article I have read in my life.  So bad that it inspired me to make an account on this site I have never been to just so I can boo you.  What is the point exactly?  Why are we even making lists of "worst songs" of the year?


Some career this author has carved out for themselves.  Poorly writing articles with no conclusive point that are attacking an artist with actual talent.  Any hack with internet access can write an article.  Try playing guitar, writing and singing songs, and be successful at it for 15 years.


Whoever wrote this must love obama, love lady gaga and jay-z, and never shot a gun in their life.  Probably cant put bait on a fishing hook.  Probably never leaves the house without sanitizer in their man-purse.  Probably spends more time staring at their ipad than they do outside in a given year.  


We don't need people like this author in our country.  If you dont like country boys then keep it to yourself because any country boy would have no problem busting your nose wide open and getting blood on your 200 dollar designer tee shirt.

apoisonivie
apoisonivie

Listen I have listened to this song over and over

Since 2010. I am 13 years old and I understand politics because that's all that school is in Texas. So this song should not be put down in that type of format. And are you really taking this song into your thoughts. Just remember that he is making a statement through the song and he IS RIGHT. If you want to open yourself

Up then I suggest you take our side. Country music is about the story and it's put together well.

austinems
austinems

Love this song and love the lyrics.. sorry that whoever wrote this article can't see why this song touches base with a large section of Americans.. 

alf1970
alf1970

I had the pleasure of attending an Aaron Lewis performance in Detroit and it was intimate and inspiring. His new music resignates with those of us that are sickened by the current state of this Great Nation and our love of family.

nicoenarg
nicoenarg

Who's this idiot who wrote the article? The article barely makes sense. It sounds like some whiny moron who got a large stick up her ass because "waaa waaa Aaron Lewis likes his country and I don't like that...waaa waaa." A little tip, don't write blog posts when your brain isn't functioning properly. Lastly, go f*** yourself....and this is from an Argentine!

ss-sounds
ss-sounds

aaron lewis has an amazing amount of talent and has the right to write and perform whatever moves him period


jtizzle3342
jtizzle3342

Who the f**k is Maura Johnston???.....exactly. No one knows who she is because she's a NOBODY. She is obviously someone who writes about things she has no clue about.....like good music. Get a clue girlfriend and get into a new line of work.

yup
yup

This song came out months before it was on any country station, as a rock song on one of those music channels on direct tv. He made a lot of money with both rock fans and country. In the original version he didn't have everyone talking in it, he made enough money to do that in maybe 3-6 months before it went to a different genre. It's a good song, you can mock it because you're not proud to live here , that's cool. But he's still succeeding, while you're on the internet whining. 

Bigfish
Bigfish

I hate to be the jerk off that posts a year later, but I just stumbled across this. This song is Aaron Lewis saying "Hey, I went the staind route for a while, but this is who I actually am." He talks about changing himself just to succeed in the music world, but then realizing 'what the hell am I doing? I'm a country boy.' A musician finally realized who he is, but because it's not what society built him to be all of a sudden he's a sellout, worthless piece of trash? If you knew half as much about people as you think you know about music, you'd realize it's an amazing song.

Morgy
Morgy

If you don't love and live by this song, you're and obvious member of al-Qaeda and supporter of the Obama Administration.

Maz
Maz

I'd consider a negative article in the Village Voice a badge of honor. Have fun leading the way down the rathole NYC. You have more in common with communist Russia than real America.

Quintonthurmond
Quintonthurmond

haha, it's a country thing, you just don't get it, that's why you don't like it

Tadracket
Tadracket

Leave it to a Yankee from Long Island, self proclaimed "Blogging Pioneer" to hate on this song.

George
George

Y'all can get butthurt about the song if you want, but the truth is that this man is more successful than the lot of you are likely to ever be.

So, have fun in your little hypercritical, self-righteous world.  Mr. Lewis is gonna be singin' "Haters gonna hate" all the way to the bank!

countryboy
countryboy

fuck who ever wrote this this is a good song this is a american song lisnen 2 the words at the end those r words everyone should live on

Rachel_rodery1991
Rachel_rodery1991

This song is one of the best songs I've heard in a long time and it is the truth of how we all should be.

Northwoods WI country boy
Northwoods WI country boy

One of the worst songs of 2010 are you kidding me? I thinks it's a good thing for a artist like Aaron lewis to Go back to his roots.... hes been in the scenes and motions of fame and fortune, and for him to write a song about who he is and where he comes from, he earns my respect for that. He takes pride in who he is and what he stands for... stick to your your guns... and dont tread on me!...

RNREDNECK
RNREDNECK

Whatever !! That is an awesome song!! You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to mine! It is a reflection of life! I am an RN and damn proud of my "backwoods" "redneck" Farming family!! We love the Lord, Love each other, Love our Land, and Love to hunt! So what! Just because I enjoy throwing on a hat jumping on the tractor and plowing a field doesn't mean anything other than I was raised that a little hard work never hurt anyone and I'm a girll!

Joshua
Joshua

I'd be willing to bet my left nut that the author, as well as those writing the comments in agreement with the author, are probably people who have only seen trees in parks and only been to a farm on a field trip in grammar school. Therefore, their opinions are really null and void. They don't like the song because they don't understand what the song is about.

And why does Aaron need to be from the "heartland" for what he's singing about to hold any weight? That's an ignorant an uninformed opinion. Hank Williams Jr. said it best when he said that there are country boys in little towns all around this land. I'll never understand why people go out of their way to put down on the internet. I can only suppose its either out of jealousy for the subjects success or because they have nothing better to do with their lives.

Scott-toggle
Scott-toggle

You people have never heard country music before cause that is country! Better then Taylor swift and rascal flatts any day!

Tyler Cunningham
Tyler Cunningham

Who ever said this is one of the worst songs of 2010 is fucking retarded i love this song it has so much meaning

Annalynnd
Annalynnd

I love that the beginning of the song refers to him selling his soul to make money and becomming something he isn't which I can only assume is a reference to Staind. Guess who Aaron Lewis is recording with and due for a new album in 2011? That is right Staind.

If you like it just ponder on that part. Can you imagine being one of his Staind bandmates? I would kick him out for being the ultimate in saying/singing anything to make money from any demographic.

Also, I am a huge country fan.

Music_Is_Life
Music_Is_Life

I absolutely hate country but I accuatly liked this song and am still listening to it!

guest
guest

this is a horrible article because this song is really good and everything i stand for...

RobE
RobE

So let's look at the totals:

Lewis hangs out with shop class refugee and country-metal redneck has been Kid Rock (Gen X's Vince Neil) and that spurs him to take alt-rock to a teabagger rally, where he proves that he isn't literate enough to try to update the sentiment of Merle's "Okie from Muskogee."

So I guess just as how the boomers sold out and became Wall Street yuppie scum the alternative community is finding their inner klan hood and signing up for gold ol' leave 'em for dead by the side of the road conservatism. God bless America.

Hansonf
Hansonf

Man, Arron Lewis blows sooooo hard. Didn't think he could do worse than Staind.

Tasha Sadler
Tasha Sadler

You know what, Staind has been one of my favorite rock groups for years. I am a lover of all genres of music. I think that Lewis has every right to perform whatever he wants. You don't have to like the music, but I believe everyone is capable of turning a station if they don't enjoy a song. I give Lewis mad props for pursuing what he wants to do. I like the song, yes it isn't the greatest song in the world. But his passion shows and I enjoyed it. I say let people do what they want and don't judge them because who are you to judge anyone? All my respect, support, and love to Aaron Lewis and anyone else who wants to crossover to other genres than the ones they have been typecast in! ~Tasha~

C S
C S

Or he prefers, y'know, actually *good* country. Like Emmylou Harris.

dtuleta
dtuleta

@Annalynnd  He is speaking to the devil worshiping record labels in hollywood.  The labels take talented bands like staind and manipulate their image and sound in a way that is most profitable for them.  Talented individuals are used like puppets and once their popularity is died down, they are disposed of.  He was being told by his handlers to lose weight, fix your teeth, stop the libertarian talk, forget about your friends and family and they will be replaced by more attractive and trendy people.  He is anti hollywood.  Anyone who is not anti hollywood is not a country boy.

Tiffany
Tiffany

actually, he's referring to how people in the Hollywood music business were trying to make him change everything he was just so people would listen to STAIND. Obviously he did not change and remained an amazing artist who writes and sings beautiful songs with his band mates which are his best friends in life.

Sherry
Sherry

You're also a huge idiot!!

Sherry
Sherry

Thanks, that's what the world needs...an open mind! :)

Guest
Guest

Lol, everything you stand for must be pretty pathetic then. This song is so fake it's not even funny. Lewis just made a list of anything that qualified as "country" and strung them all together in a shitty, monotonous, cliche song. Listen to some real country.

Sherry
Sherry

I agree with you. It's a nice change of pace for Aaron. I am proud of him for going out there to record a song at another level. If you don't care for country, you should still respect Aaron if you are a true fan! Love that he's got George Jones singing with him, what a legend! Love the song!

Brandon
Brandon

Your argument RobE is fundamentally flawed. Did you even bother to listen to his lyrics?Go to a soup kitchen and feed your poor, sick, and hungry you outrageous ba$terd.

Sherry
Sherry

RobE...too bad you don't have the gumption to try something new in your life. I say hats off to Aaron for trying something new. He hasn't ditched Staind, but branching out to try a new venture. I think he did a damn good job on this song/video...love George Jones too!

Sherry
Sherry

He has a right to show another side of his talents besides Staind...get a grip ....MORON!

SWANKSTER14036
SWANKSTER14036

your a retard .Aaron has wrote some many songs and if you actually know anything about him then you would know that, outside, Zoe Jane, Its been a while and several other songs are basically all country !!!!  Me knowing from personally talking to Aaron several times that's one thing he has been trying to cut out of Staind is his country sounding songs and get back to the roots of Staind which was more like Tormented so go FUCK YOURSELF HANS!!!

Sherry
Sherry

Just wondering what bands you enjoy? LOL

Sherry
Sherry

Surely you jest!

Sherry
Sherry

Couldn't have said it better!

Swankster14036
Swankster14036

PUT YOUR NAME UP PUSSY !!!! You want to go and listen to fucking hank williams go right ahead .But Lewis knows more about music in his pinky than you ever can even imagine

willostew34
willostew34

@Sherry Cant people like country and rock?  i listen to both, and aaron lewis sings both.  Huge fan.... dnt listen to these dirt bags bud, i grew up in a town of 500... served in iraq and somolia.... no one knows usa pride like a small town boy!

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