Country songs for the fledgling mid-‘90s rebel girl in all of us

A notch on our wedding to-do list(s) is picking must-play songs for the reception DJ. We are allowed 10 choices that he’ll play for sure, but we also have the option of picking songs that are on a no-fly list.

I added “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” to songs I don’t want played, partly because that’s not really our scene but mostly because I’m no longer a drunk party grrrrrl and I think that song’s kind of grating if not plowing shots of tequila ironically at a line dancing club for “cowboys” who know nothing about cows but a lot about boys.

There’s also a section on the DJ form where you can cross out any genre of music you DON’T want played at the wedding reception. We crossed out “New Country.” We don’t really listen to it and don’t want our party to become a Taylor Swift free-for-all (though, Justin probably wouldn’t be too opposed to that).

But I lingered on the genre “Classic Country.” What does that mean? Like, Johnny Cash classic? Or classic in the way Saved By The Bell is now playing on TV Land?

I like classic country. I was, after all, 1995’s Dairy Feeder Showman of Showmen. A third-grader coming strong straight out the gate.

I didn’t win squat my next 11 years of showing. But I’ll always have this trophy.

This task, like most things I try to do with efficiency, led me down a YouTube rabbit hole.

My favorite country songs from the ‘90s are super indicative of the type of person I turned out to be — someone who doesn’t really listen to country anymore, spent her early 20s surviving mosh pits, and has tried a Diva Cup.

These songs are probably not making the wedding party Top 10 song list, but hot damn I love them and the outlet they gave that little sheltered farm girl burgeoning desperately into a grown ass woman.

“Fancy” by Reba McEntire

Best lyric: “I mighta been born just plain white trash, but Fancy was-uh mah name!”

I was not born plain white trash (saved that for college), but I recognized, even that young, that some people don’t think you’re worth much when you’re from the country. Fuck that.


“Wild One” by Faith Hill

Best lyric:
“He said you can be anything you want to be/ she’s a wild one/ runnin’ free.”

I’m sure the liner notes footnoted the warning that “anything” can also make your nice family super disappointed in you, but you do you, boo!


“XXXs and OOOs” by Trisha Yearwood

Best lyric: “Got a picture of her mama in heels and pearls/ She’s gonna make it in her daddy’s world.”

I think I just liked the thought of being a woman in heels and pearls.


“She’s In Love with The Boy” by Trisha Yearwood

Best lyric: “Mama breaks in, says don’t lose your temper / it wasn’t very long ago / you yourself was just a hay seed plow boy / who didn’t have a row to hoe.”



“Some Girls Do” by Sawyer Brown 

Best lyric: “Well I ain’t first class / but I ain’t white trash.”

I may as well have just used this for all my AIM, Myspace, Facebook and book jacket profiles. Tombstone epitaph? My admiration for this song and its message in my subconscious probably influenced our naming of lo-class studios.

“Trashy Women” by Confederate Railroad

Best lyric: “You should have seen the looks on the faces of my dad and mom / when I showed up at the door with my date for the senior prom / They said, ‘Well pardon us, she ain’t no kid! / That’s a cocktail waitress in a Dolly Parton wig / I said, ‘I know, Dad, ain’t she COOOL / that’s the kind I dig.”

Marry me.

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