This time, our series on the great country songs of the past tackles a time-honored topic: the urge to cut and run. Restlessness forged this nation. It pushed our boundaries, defined our opportunities, framed our conflicts and impelled us to our rewards. But once the frontier dried up, restlessness gave way to respectability and the demands of domestication.
Traditionally, country music celebrated restlessness like a badge of honor, an enthusiasm for lawlessness and failure. It reveled in reassuring tales of those that lived neither wisely nor too well. Piety, temperance, responsibility and obedience may have ruled the day, but folks still had their dreams.
At home, moms and dads hid a gnawing ambivalence about the sacrifices they'd made. But for their children, restlessness took on a greater urgency. Theirs was a more profound dissatisfaction that questioned the direction of society as a whole. Challenged by younger country songwriters like John Hartford ("Gentle On My Mind") and Kris Kristofferson ("Me And Bobby McGee"), the new generation set out to look for the frontier their parents had lost.
But new reasons for restlessness failed to produce new results. Once their energy was gone, it was time to face up and settle down. Some never returned, having found the trouble they went looking for. Those that still had homes returned to them. But they kept an ear to the open window, in case they ever heard the call again. (They didn't.)
1. Bumming Around - T. Texas Tyler
2. It's A Great Life- Faron Young
3. Cash On The Barrelhead - Louvin Brothers
4. Big Daddy - Browns
5. Bob - Willis Brothers
6. 1432 Franklin Pike Circle Hero - Bobby Russell
7. (Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn - Bobby Bare
8. Right Or Left At Oak Street - Roy Clark
9. Make It Rain - Billy Mize
10. Ginger Is Gentle And Waiting For Me - Jim Ed Brown
11. Mama, I Won't Be Wearing A Ring - Peggy Little
12. Don't Hang No Halos On Me - Connie Eaton
13. Darling, You Can Always Come Back Home - Jody Miller
14. Big Black Bird - Jack Blanchard with Misty Morgan