22
Nov
2012
Nashville: Season N/A, Episode N/A
By-Week Fan Fun
Annie
I can't understand why networks don't air new episodes over holidays. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but I still need my TV fix. To fill this void, I've created a top ten wishlist of songs I want Nashville characters to cover. Callie Khouri: if you are reading this, feel free to take any of my suggestions; I don't need any credit.

THE PLAYERS:

Even if you are not a regular Nashville viewer, you can play along with this game. Here's a brief summary of our singers:

-Rayna: The longstanding queen of country music and power ballads; similar to Faith Hill or Shania Twain

-Deacon: A talented, underemployed songwriter and guitar player. Because of his relatively minor celebrity, his most likely real-life equivalent is the attractive middle aged guy you hear playing on open mic night and wonder how he is not a household name.

-Juliette: The current country superstar. She has lots of sass, raw talent and ambition, but falls into the trap of quick-hit singles to satiate her tween girl audience. If Taylor Swift had a bad-girl alter ego, it would be Juliette.

-Scarlett: An accidental singer who realized her talent when a friend put her poems to music. She has a soft, haunting voice. Perhaps a country Florence Welch.

-Gunnar: A young singer versed in traditional country crooning. Recently, he's been coming out of his shell and finding his inner bad boy. Maybe a young Clay Walker/ Tim McGraw hybrid.


MECHANICS:

This is a very unofficial and unprofessional list of some of my top picks for Nashville. I'm not an expert; most of musical "expertise" is what I've gathered through osmosis through my friends and family with more musical ears. With that in mind, here were my criteria to form a top ten:

-My favorite country songs (its OK to be selfish when it is your own fan wishlist!)

-Out of left field cover pairings (Think Anya Marina's rendition of "Whatever You Like", Ke$ha's cover of "Don't Think Twice, Its Alright", and Willie Nelson's "The Scientist").

-Similar sounds with a new twist (Like Florence Welch's version of "Jackson").

-Songs I think would've actually influenced characters or speak to their current place in life.


THE TOP TEN LIST (in no particular order. Because on Thanksgiving, everyone is a winner):

1."Sangria Wine" by Jerry Jeff Walker- Rayna and Deacon



This is such a fun, feel good, drunk song. I imagine Rayna and Deacon (sorry Deacon, but in this hypothetical you fall off in the wagon"”or maybe its sung in a flashback) have been enjoying too many cocktails while writing and devolving into silly antics. Breaking out into this song would be the point of no return.

Choice Lyrics: "Woah oh oh Whoa oh oh I love Sangria wine"



2."Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash- Avery



This is such a classic song and fits Avery's chip-on-my-shoulder persona nicely. His country/folk/alt hybrid touch would provide for a nice rendition. Most appealing was an Avery-style (an up tempo version of) the sing/talk combination utilized by Johnny Cash in the song.

Choice Lyrics: "Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean, My fist got hard and my wits got keen, I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame"


3."Don't Break My Heart Again" by Pat Green- Gunnar and Scarlett



Spending many of my formative years in Texas, I was a big fan of Texas Country and Pat Green in particular. I think this is a really beautiful song and could be totally transformed by Gunnar and Scarlett's signature sound, a soft, sultry duet style á la "If I Didn't Know Better".

Choice Lyrics: "Don't break my heart again. We're one in the same. / Baptized by tears. Washed in the blame. / You can let your heart go. But I will hunt you down. / Your love is all I want to win. Don't break my heart again"


4."Wild Horses" by The Rolling Stones- Juliette



It goes without saying that this is one of the greatest songs by one of the greatest bands of the 20th century. Even country artists were influenced by the Rolling Stones. I think this song could describe how Juliette's difficult upbringing has shaped her relationship with herself and her life outlook. Juliette is also yearning for a single that will force Nashville bigwigs to take her seriously. I think setting this song with a simple, slow, introduction then transition into a power ballad would set her apart.

Choice Lyrics: "I watched you suffer a dull aching pain/ Now you decided to show me the same"


5."Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits (but inspired by the Monte Montgomery version) - Deacon



Even though this is originally by Dire Straits, I love the Monte Montgomery version and firmly believe it is better than the original. Monte's version is one of my favorite songs, both in terms of his singing and his guitar work. Deacon is one of the most skilled guitarists on Nashville; his deep and clear voice would also contrast Monte Montgomery's husky style. It would provide an earnest new country rendition to an 80s pop classic. Also, Deacon and Rayna are absolutely star-crossed lovers and this song laments their failed relationship well.

Choice Lyrics: "Juliet the dice were loaded from the start/ And I bet and you exploded in my heart/ And I forget I forget the movie song/ When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong Juliet"


6."Let's Make Love" by Faith Hill and Garth Brooks"”Gunnar and Scarlett



There is no secret what this song is about"” this is part of what makes it great. It has romance and passion, but also expresses a deep emotional connection (perhaps it is the romantic's version of Akon's "I Wanna "˜Love' You"). Gunnar and Scarlett's obvious connection would be electric on this cover. Scarlett's soft and haunting style combined with Gunnar's slow and super deep croon would create a new dimension to the song (I imagine it in their duet as a song by young lovers who are still nervous around each other, or a couple who has been separated by time and distance for too long). Also, Avery would be furious if he had to sit through their rendition of this song.

Choice Lyrics: "Do you know what you do to me/ Everything inside of me/ Is wanting you/ And needing you/ I'm so in love with you/ Look in my eyes' Let's get lose tonight/ In each other"


7."Strawberry Wine" by Deana Carter - Rayna



Rayna is at a point in her life where she is reflecting on her past and how seemingly incidental choices and experiences have shaped her destiny. "Strawberry Wine" is all about reminiscing about a more innocent, carefree time and how these memories do not truly fade over time.

Choice Lyrics: "I was caught somewhere between a woman and a child/ One restless summer, we found love, growing wild/ On the banks of the river, on a well beaten path/ It's funny how those memories they last"


8."Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" by Shania Twain- Juliette



Any girl who grew up in the late 90s/early aughties knew every word to this song and had created several music videos in its honor. It is that good, that transformative. Juliette was certainly one of these girls. Now that Juliette has hit the big leagues, it would only be fitting that she pay tribute to one of the greats by covering this song (if she could get over her pride). It also perfectly fits Juliette's sassy personality. I would even go far as to call it her anthem.

Choice Lyrics: "No inhibitions, make no conditions/ Get a little outta line/ I ain't gonna act politically correct/ I only wanna have a good time/ The best thing about bein' a woman/ Is the prerogative to have a little fun"

→ Side bar: The scene of this music video is IDENTICAL to the music video for "Christmas is All Around" by Billy Mack in Love, Actually. IDENTICAL. Bill Nighy, who knew you were a Shania Twain fan?

9."Call Your Girlfriend" by Robyn - Juliette/ Scarlett



This electronic number by a Swedish recording artist may seem out of left field, but I think it absolutely works. The song is about being in love with somebody who is taken and how desperately you want to make him or her yours. Twentysomethings are in a roller coaster of relationships and in a selfish pursuit of love. What's more, country songs almost always inspired by heartbreak and unrequited love. One could even argue "Call Your Girlfriend" was meant to be a country song. My initial thought was to give this song to Juliette because I think as a self-confident, sassy, and upbeat cover it would be really appealing, like rooting for Julia Roberts in My Best Friends Wedding. Then as I thought about it more, a stripped-down version, full of questioning and slightly tragic in Scarlett's signature soft voice would be a great song as well. But the jury is still out for me: would Juliette's cover be too easy? Scarlett's too creepy?

Choice Lyrics: "Don't you tell her how I give you something/ That you never even knew you missed/ Don't you even try and explain/ How it's so different when we kiss"


10."Ignition (Remix)" by R Kelly- Gunnar



HEAR ME OUT. This song is all about seduction and bravado, a 3 minute and 12 second long pick-up line. Now that Gunnar's workin' his groove thang and getting steamy with Hailey, I think he has the confidence to pull this off. Both R&B artists and country singers like to get flirtatious in their songs, make sports metaphors, and compare women to their favorite automobile"”it's a perfect fit. Also, with a slow tempo, Gunnar's deep voice and singing drawl could be totally charming.

Choice Lyrics: "No I'm not tryin' to be rude,/ But hey pretty girl I'm feelin you/ The way you do the things you do/ Remind me of my Lexus coup/ That why I'm all up in yo grill/ Tryin to get you to a hotel/ You must be a football coach/ The way you got me playin' the field"

Honorable Mentions: "Calling Baton Rouge" (Gunnar), "What's It To You"(Juliette),"Kiss Me in the Dark" (Deacon or Avery), "I Can't Sleep" " (Deacon or Gunnar), "Landslide" (Rayna)
Tags: Nashville
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