Five Songs The Texas Legislature Will Never Make Official
Any day we end with a picture of the Texas flag is a good day in our book.
A while back, Rocks Off wrote about how, thanks to a combination of personal taste and certain technological twists of fate, our listening options at the office are somewhat limited. Quite limited, really: Basically The Arrow or The Eagle - or silence, once we cannot stand to hear "Rocky Mountain Way" or "Give a Little Bit" even one more time.
Once in a while, however, it pays off when Rocks Off hears something that not only interests or intrigues us, but even compels us to chime in our own two cents. And so it was a week or two ago, when Eagle morning team Dean & Rog started making noises about how Texas should have its own official state rock song the way Ohio does with the McCoys' "Hang On Sloopy."
Although Rocks Off wouldn't go so far as to even call "Sloopy" a rock song - Rick Derringer or not, it's always sounded like dippy '60s pop to us - we find nothing wrong with the idea at all. In fact, during a fit of Go Texan pride a couple of years ago, we wrote that it's probably time for Texas to update its official state song from "Texas, Our Texas," written in 1912 and very much a product of its time.
Even then, though, we didn't nominate any rock songs; the closest we came was Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Texas Flood" - which, as loud as his 1983 remake is, is still just a plain ol' blues. And truth be told, we are perfectly fine with the song Dean & Rog's listeners elected on Friday: ZZ Top's "La Grange," which we figure is about as sure a thing as any Texas rock song could be, save maybe the Sir Douglas Quintet's "She's About a Mover" or something by Buddy Holly (we'd guess "That'll Be the Day," but there's probably a few).
Still, "La Grange" is about a whorehouse, which is bound to be a stumbling block somewhere along the way. And once the wheels started spinning, Rocks Off started thinking of a few other songs we like even better than those, but for one reason or another, probably won't make the cut.
5. Toadies, "Possum Kingdom":
Murder. Mayhem. Prayer. Possible dismemberment. Tres Texas, non? Oui... entirely too much, as a matter of fact.
4. ZZ Top, "Pearl Necklace":
Worth nominating simply for the sheer possibility, however minuscule it may be, of hearing the definition of "pearl necklace" read aloud on the floor of the legislature. You do know what it means, right?
3. Roky Erickson & the Aliens, "Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)":
Rocks Off is no Texas Tribune, but we have followed the gubernatorial race enough to know it looks like we're about to get four more years of Rick Perry. (Great.) And even with the relatively small amount of power the governor does exercise over the legislature, there's no way someone who apparently thinks President Obama - and by proxy, Perry's actual Democratic opponent - is the second coming of V.I. Lenin himself is going to let a song with the line "I've been working in the Kremlin with a two-headed dog" anywhere near the state capitol. Now, if Bill White were to pull off the upset...
2. Steve Earle, "Guitar Town":
Probably a little too country for Dean & Rog's purposes - which is a shame, because this one might have actually stood a chance, were it not for one tiny detail. It's set in Texas, between Austin and San Antone, written and sung by a native Texan who in the past has imported dirt from the Lone Star State so his children could be born "on Texas soil." Unfortunately, we don't think even the legislature is stupid enough to approve a song about Nashville as Texas' official anything. We hope not.
1. Pantera, "Walk":
You can stop laughing now. Please? We just thought we'd throw it out there. But hell, if any one single song ever written says "Don't Mess With Texas," it's this one.
So there you have it. If "La Grange" or one of those above isn't your cup of chili, what song(s) would you nominate?
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.