At its most basic, country music is the celebration of the simple things in life and the exploration of the lives of everyday people. With that in mind, yesterday, we at Awaiting the Flood got to wondering, why are there no great country songs about Groundhog Day?
The distinctive annual ritual of February 2nd is actually a perfect subject for country music. First, Groundhog Day is a uniquely American tradition. While the holiday is rooted in European immigrants’ folklore about the ability of specific animals to predict the weather—only in America would this express itself as an event which is simultaneously a small town celebration and a national spectacle. Second, the groundhog makes an ideal protagonist for country music. He is a small-town boy (America’s best-known groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, hails from a small town in rural Pennsylvania with a population of about 6,000) as well as a simple critter that lives his life closely connected to nature. Third, the people who benefit most from the groundhog’s weather predictions are the salt-of-the-earth everyday heroes who are country music’s bread and butter: farmers, ranchers, truck drivers and so forth.
So, again, we ask: where are the great county music Groundhog Day songs? Since the stars and songwriters of country music are inexplicably ignoring Groundhog Day, here at Awaiting the Flood, we’ve decided to do their work for them. Below, we’ve provided a brief tongue-in-cheek summary of 14 different country songs about Groundhog Day — as they might unfold from some the genre’s top artists, both past and present.
Groundhog Day Country Songs as Performed By…
Garth Brooks: Groundhog almost, but not quite, explicitly expresses support for same-sex marriage.
Charlie Daniels: Satan challenges young groundhog/meteorological prodigy to a weather predicting contest. Satan’s weather forecasting has awesome electric guitars, but young groundhog still schools him.
Jeff Foxworthy: Groundhog becomes subject of a comedy routine (“You might be a redneck if … you only work one day a year, but expect people to get really excited about it”).
Robert Earle Keen: Groundhog fails to correctly predict weather, loses job, gets drunk and gets run over by pickup truck.
David Allen Coe: Groundhog fails to correctly predict weather, loses job, gets drunk and gets run over by a damned old train.
Merle Haggard: Groundhog struggles to keep his family together in face of financial hardship and the decline of the winter-predicting industry.
Toby Keith: Patriotic groundhog heroically defends America from six more weeks of winter.
Miranda Lambert: Groundhog dumps her no-good boyfriend, stays home on February 2nd, gets revenge on everyone.
Kacey Musgraves: Young groundhog decides she doesn’t want to predict the weather, follows her dreams, moves to the West Coast and becomes a poet and freelance web designer.
Willie Nelson: Groundhog fails to show up to look for his shadow because, well, you know.
Taylor Swift: Song about groundhog with lots of catchy musical hooks also has strong crossover appeal for hedgehogs and voles.
Hank Williams: Groundhog drinks a lot, gets heart broken, correctly predicts weather, drinks a lot.
Waylon Jennings: Groundhog laments that groundhogs today don’t predict the weather like they did back in the day of the groundhog from the Hank Williams song.
Every ‘Bro-Country’ Song Ever: Groundhog celebrates correctly predicting weather by downing a few brews with his buddies. Then drives around in his truck with a smokin’-hot lady groundhog wearing painted-on jeans.