Lone Star Scorecard: How Accurate are Your Favorite Songs About Texas?

Many songs about Texas are written by residents wishing to celebrate some part of their beloved Lone Star State. Others come from non-Texans who are unable to resist the je ne sais quoi of the place that produced both Walter Cronkite and Karl Rove.

One thing that many of them have in common, however, is how much they get wrong. We at Rocks Off are committed to fighting ignorance wherever we find it, and will be examining the more egregious offenders in a new feature we're calling Lone Star Scorecard.

Alabama, "If You're Gonna Play In Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle In the Band)": You'd think a group that took a state for its own name would be wary of making sweeping geographic generalizations like the unwieldy title of this song. Regardless, there are roughly 1,000 acts playing across Texas on any given night that blatantly flout this edict. Some of them are even... country bands.

George Strait, "Amarillo by Morning": Let's see if we have this straight (heh): they took your saddle in Houston, broke your leg in Santa Fe, and you're still going to make it - on foot - to Amarillo "up from San Antone" in one day? That's over 500 miles, George. You'd have trouble hitchhiking that in less than a few days, even if you were sporting that sweet beard and ponytail from your True Country days.

Doobie Brothers, "China Grove": First of all, we're pretty sure there's no Chinatown in San Antonio. We have been to the town of China Grove, however, and I can assure you that it's not exactly a saucy mélange of exotic Asian influences, unless the Chevron there sells egg rolls now.

And samurai are Japanese, you dumb potheads.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar