My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Song titles that really aren’t

dwightyoakamI was listening to Dwight Yoakam’s ‘It Only Hurt When I Cry’ earlier today when I caught the video on the CMT Pure Vintage show. I noticed that not once does Dwight actually sing the title of the song, but rather he sings it as ‘it only hurt me when I cry’.  Every time he gets to that line, he adds ‘me’ into the title.  Dwight penned the song with the great Roger Miller.  So, maybe that’s how the two wrote it, and the title just sounded better with the omission of ‘me’.

Similarly, Ricky Skaggs’ ‘Honey (Open That Door)’ doesn’t ever word his plea that way.  Rather, Ricky adds the words ‘won’t you’ to the title as he sings ‘honey won’t you open that door’.  Mel Tillis wrote this classic, and I’ll never know why it wasn’t titled the way Ricky sings it.  Certainly the extra two words are needed to keep the beat.  But why not title it ‘Honey (Won’t You Open That Door)’?

ronniemilsap1Thinking back to some of my other favorite songs, I remembered Ronnie Milsap’s ‘There’s No Gettin Over Me’.  This tune was written by songwriting team Walt Aldrige and Tom Brasfield.  Between the two of them, they’ve written such classics as ‘She’s Got a Single Thing In Mind’, ‘The Fear of Being Alone’, ‘Holdin Her and Lovin You’, and many, many more. Anyway, let’s get back to the Milsap song …

The title of that song is gramatically correct.  But the way Milsap sings it is not.  ‘There ain’t no gettin’ over me’ is not only gramatically wrong, it adds a double negative to the line. Maybe Milsap purposely added the double negative to add to the irony of the song.  It’s supposed to be a kiss-off number, but Ronnie’s vocals tell that maybe he’s not as strong as the lyrics would have us believe.  So, in telling his lady she’ll never get over him, I think he’s just steeling himself against the all-too-certain future he knows is ahead without her.  Helluva good song either way.

Those are all I can think of right now.  But I’m sure there are more …

What other songs are examples where the singer never actually sings the title? And what songs come really close like the ones I mentioned?

Listen to Ronnie Milsap – ‘There’s No Gettin Over Me on Last FM.

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6 responses to “Song titles that really aren’t

  1. highwayman3 March 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Sissy’s Song by Alan Jackson doesn’t say the title in the song, as well as
    Revelation by Waylon Jennings.
    Romeo’s Tune by Keith Urban
    Danny’s Song by Anne Murray
    Snowbird – Anne Murray *title not mentioned in chorus

    • SD March 8, 2009 at 7:05 pm

      Kind of OT, but, does anybody know the history behind the title of ‘Danny’s Song’?
      (And I also kind of want to say that it was sung first by Kenny Loggins.)

      • Leeann Ward March 8, 2009 at 8:19 pm

        Yeah, it was first sung by Loggins and Massina (sp?). I think that version is better than Murray’s. I can’t remember a story behind the song, but I almost think there was one.

  2. Chris D. March 8, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Neko Case’s “People Got A Lotta Nerve” – she never says it, and I’m still not sure why it’s the song title, to be honest.

  3. Razor X March 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Don’t Cry, Joni” by Conway Twitty & Joni Lee
    “‘Til I Gain Control Again” by Crystal Gayle (she sings, ” ‘Til I can gain control again.”)

    She’s Too Good To Be True by Charley Pride (he sings “She’s just too good to be true”)

  4. Annie March 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Kenny Loggins wrote “Danny’s Song” for his brother Danny – who was about to become a first time father.

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