Best Title For A Country Song? Homer & Jethro Have Been There And Done That

As far as combining ridiculous comedy with hot mandolin breaks,
there really is nowhere else to shop than the Homer & Jethro mart

It’s difficult to argue with that opening to AllMusic Review of Humorous Side of Country Music With Homer & Jethro by Eugene Chadbourne. So, I was not surprised when my search for the source of the evocative phrase, “If I’d shot you sooner, I’d be out of jail by now,” an often used but seldom attributed phrase on internet forums (usually under the heading, “Best Title For A Country Song”) and graphics, turned out to be that musical duo, Homer & Jethro. (Yes, it would have been even better if the origin had been a rejected verse of Leonard Cohen’s Tower Of Song, but we are shackled by the facts.)

Homer & Jethro, in fact, produced a significant catalog of puns embedded in songs. In addition to “If I’d shot you sooner, I’d be out of jail by now,” for example, they are responsible for “I Got You on My Conscience but at Least You’re Off My Back” and “You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith Too.”

I am beholden to Mike Hall: Give Homer and Jethro a try by Mike Hall (Topeka Capital-Journal: May 19, 2015) as the reference for these discoveries. Mr Hall lists several other examples of Homer and Jethro puns as well as – well, I don’t know how to describe a category for “I’ve Been Roped and Throwed by Jesus in the Holy Ghost Corral.” In any case, Mike Hall: Give Homer and Jethro a try is a worthwhile read.

I’ll close with a recording featuring a performance of a wonderfully outrageous pun. As Mike Hall describes it,

Who else but Homer and Jethro would make a parody of the song, “Fascination” with the lyrics, “She had nine buttons on her nightgown, but she could only fascinate”?

 

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