Monday, November 4, 2013

Tyler Farr's Redneck Controversy

Tyler Farr, the country singer best known as the lovable cross-dresser Klinger from the classic TV show M*A*S*H, told me this joke recently:

What do you call a girl with two black eyes?
Someone who didn't listen the first time.

     "Chris Brown told me that one," he laughed, trying to impress me with his name-dropping.
     Who's Tyler Farr?
     Tyler Farr is the hot new country singer out promoting his hot new country single Redneck Crazy, which is about a good man done wrong by his two-timing ex-girlfriend who had the bad judgement to cheat on him after they had already broken up. The song has drawn some controversy because some--probably feminists and homosexuals--see  the scorned narrator as a potentially violent stalker.
     "Not true, not true," Farr explained, kicking a dog that had the bad judgement  to lay down in his way. "True, the narrator does park in front of his ex-girlfriend's house and terrorizes her and her new boyfriend by tossing empty beer cans at her window and getting his 'pissed-off on,' but it's all in good fun. Besides, the song's catchy. Women can forgive anything as long as the song's catchy. Just ask Rihanna."
     I wondered if that was true, so I asked him for a free copy of his new CD.
     "You want it for free?" he asked me.
     "Well," I said, explaining the facts of life to him, "you don't think I'm going to give you a good review if I have to pay for it, do you?"
     Point taken.
     "Don't you wish Elvis was still alive?" he asked me as he handed over my free CD. I shook my head. "Yeah, me too," he said.
     I must say, his Redneck Crazy CD quickly became one of my top ten favorite CDs of all time. All the CDs that I get for free immediately make my top ten. Why, I must have hundreds of CDs on that list, but that's neither here nor there. Well, maybe there, but definitely not here. And speaking of "here..."
     Hearing the song Redneck Country in context with the rest of the CD, well, I just don't know what all the fuss is about. From the bluegrass fiddles on This 'N That

If you didn't do this, I wouldn't do that
You broke my heart, so I killed your cat.

to the hard rockin' guitar riffs of Zombie Apocalypse

I'm gonna eat your guts and eat your brain.
I'm gonna kill you dead and cause you pain.

and coming to full bloom with the touching ballad 99 Times

I stabbed you 99 times.
How can you still be alive?
Is that the cops I hear?
Girl, you're in for it now!

Farr's catchy tune is but a small piece to a larger puzzle. The picture he paints is of a man--a good man--who, through no fault of his own, is forced to do things he doesn't want to do by selfish women who doesn't deserve his love, but get it anyway.
     You can, as Bill Clinton is fond of saying, feel his pain with song titles such as: I Didn't Mean To Do It, It's All Your Fault, You Made Me Do It, and I Did It Because I Love You. You can hear him indulge his playful side on tracks like You Know You Want It, Sometimes No (Means Yes), and I'm Gonna Love The Life (Right Out Of You).
     Two outstanding tracks that you shouldn't miss are the twangy Daddy Bought A Big Ol' Gun and the hillbilly rocker Rootin' Tootin' High School Shootin' Blues. My personal favorite on the CD is the song Tyler Farr's record company is considering releasing as his next single, From My Cold Dead Hands. The passionate emotions he manages to bring to the surface when he croons the words

They're gonna hafta pry my fingers
From your pretty little neck.
They're gonna hafta pry your love
From my cold dead hands.

breaks my heart every time I hear it. You can hear the yearning of those very emotions as he cries out

You don't want to find out
Just how far I'll go
To keep you mine.

and the way he ends his catchy tune Redneck Crazy with

Did you think I'd wish you both the best,
Endless love and happiness?
You know that's just not the kind of man I am.
I'm the kind that shows up at your house at 3 a.m.

he ends his CD with the powerful (You're Never Ever) Getting Rid Of Me. In his plaintive cry

You don't want me to kill
Your entire family,
Do you?

you can feel the anguish he's feeling. He doesn't want to do it. Why are you making him do it? He just loves you so much.
     Tyler Farr's new CD is a work of true genius, and I'm not just saying that because I got it for free. As soon as I had a chance, I made it a point to personally tell him myself. I found him shooting at cow turds in a pasture just outside of the city limits.
     "Klinger," I teased Farr, punching him playfully on the shoulder, "Redneck Crazy is one catchy, catchy CD. I wouldn't worry, this controversy will all blow over. You won't have any problems from anyone, except maybe feminists and homosexuals."
     "That's good, that's good," he told me, relieved. Then he quickly finished off the beer he was working on, and, just as quickly, popped open another one that had the bad judgement to be within his reach. "As Jackson Browne once told me when I couldn't help but notice the shiner on his girlfriend Daryl Hanna's left eye, 'Do you know why she has only one?'"
     Because she listens.


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