A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 29, 2012
“What do you get when you play a country song backwards?”

A joke about country music (cited in print since at least 1991) illustrates the sadness of much of the lyrics. “What do you get when you play a country song backwards? You get your job back, your wife back, your dog back and you become sober.”

The Rascal Flatts song “Backwards” (2006) put the joke into actual country music lyrics. “What do you get when you play a new age song backwards?” is a similar joke.


Google News Archive
17 June 1991, The Times-News (Hendersonville, NC), pg. 4, col. 1:
What happend when you play a country song backwards?
. It stops raining.
. Your spouse comes home.
. Your mom gets out of prison.
. Your dog returns home.
. Mary Sue stops cheating.
-- Pat Lackey, Virginian Pilot

26 July 1991, Roanoke (VA) Times, “Hurtin’ Vern Gosdin at NRV Fair,” pg. NRV4:
Have you heard what happens when you play a country music record backward? The good old boy gets his wife, his job and his dog back!

Google News Archive
21 September 1991, Victoria (TX) Advocate, “Marilyn Beck’s Hollywood” by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith, pg. 5D, col. 1:
HOLLYWOOD—Dolly Parton and James Woods—and those working with them on Hollywood Pictures’ “Straight Talk” in Chicago—are laughing about reports that the couple is romantically involved.
(...)
If nothing else, it does sound like Woods has picked up some of Parton’s down-home style of humor. He’s telling the joke around the set, “Play a country western record backwards and what happens—you get your wife back, your dog back and you sober up.”

Google News Archive
17 November 1991, Bonham (TX) Daily Favorite, “Musical much like a good circus” by Jim Monroe, pg. 6, col. 5:
Three clowns entertained the crowd of about 800 before the curtain went up.

“What do you get when you play a country song backwards?” asked one, yelling acrosss the auditorium to his buddy.

“I don’t know,” the other clown yelled back.

“You get out of jail and you get your wife back and you get your whiskey back.”

Google Books
Up Late with Joe Franklin:
Stories of the greats, the near greats, the ingrates, the has-beens, and the never weres

By Joe Franklin with R. J. Marx
New York, NY: Scribner
1995
Pg. 69:
It reminds me of a joke. Somebody says, “Whattya get when you play a country song backwards?” Answer: “You get your wife, you get your house, you get your money, you get everything back.” Very sad songs.

9 March 1997, Altoona (PA) Mirror, “He’s a li’l bit country” by J. Brian Broome, pg. B1, col. 1:
Country music is even at the center of one of my favorite jokes.

Know what you get when you play a country song backwards? You get your wife back, your dog back, your job back ...

Yee-haw.

NPR
Puns In Country Music Songs Done Right
by Geoff Nunberg
September 3, 2010
This commentary was originally broadcast on Sept. 9, 1999.
(...)
It’s a fitting device for these ballads, particularly when they’re tackling their favorite themes — the fragility of happiness, the loss that’s always immanent in love and family. There’s a joke that sums up the genre very nicely: “What do you get if you play a country song backwards?” — “You get your wife back, you get your dog back, you get your truck back ...” And the sense of loss and estrangement is implicit in the language of the lyrics, too, as the ordinary expressions we use to talk about our lives break down to reveal darker meanings.

OCLC WorldCat record
Me and my gang
Author: Rascal Flatts (Musical group)
Publisher: Nashville, TN : Lyric Street Records, 2006.
Edition/Format:  Music CD : CD audio : Country music : English
Summary: Hot off the heels of their smash hit album Feels Like Today, Rascal Flatts returns with Me and My Gang. The CD includes the single What Hurts the Most.
Contents:
Stand (3:28) --
What hurts the most (3:34) --
Backwards (3:49)—

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Sunday, April 29, 2012 • Permalink


Good question at all. when I play a country song backwards I got a better strength in that time. Thanks for this allocation. smile

Posted by English Song  on  05/19  at  07:50 AM

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