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Everybody Dies: Killer Country

by Jim Allen

Everybody Dies: Killer Country

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If country music is known for preserving old-school family values, why does the country canon have such a high body count? From Blake Shelton’s “Ol’ Red” and the Dixie Chicks“Goodbye Earl” all the way back to classics like Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” there’s an unsettlingly high number of country tunes where somebody ends up taking a dirt nap. Sometimes the casualties are the result of a cold-blooded killer, and sometimes it’s just an unfortunate soul who falls into fatal circumstances by accident, but Music City seems to have more than its fair share of blood on its hands.

Maybe it’s that selfsame morality-minded side of the country mindset that’s got something to do with it. After all, how long do you expect a good ol’ boy or gal to toe the line before something snaps and they end up going postal? Of course, a lot of the time there’s the perfidy of a false-hearted lover to blame, like in Johnny Paycheck’s “Pardon Me (I’ve Got Someone to Kill)” or Porter Wagoner’s “The Cold Hard Facts of Life,” but sometimes it’s simply a case of a God-fearing soul going off the deep end and embarking on a killing spree, like the main character in Tom T. Hall’s “Turn It On! Turn It On! Turn It On!” Whatever the reasons, the history of country sometimes looks like a season’s worth of CSI fatalities. But never fear -- we’re prepared to help you sift through the best of the bloodiest right here.

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