Today, for the first time in a long time, I caught David Frizzel’s song, “I’m Going to Hire a Wino (to Decorate Our Home)” which is, quite frankly, the country song most in need of a good remake. In fact, though I can sing along with the whole song, it’d been so long since I’d heard it that I’d forgotten how bad Frizzel’s version is.
Mostly, it’s not his fault, I don’t think. It sounds over-produced and a little too slick in that way that lets you know he’s singing it with his shirt a little too tight and unbuttoned just a little too far. It’s a product of the time. The lyrics, though, beg for a simple arrangement and a raucous delivery.
It’s the kind of song that everyone in the bar should be singing, but Frizzel’s version is straight out of the front parlor. Plus, it’s the kind of song that Tanya Tucker does so well, with the witty verses you can’t help but listen to and the chorus you can’t help but sing along with, but it lacks all of her gruff bravado.
And it really needs someone like Tucker, a woman who can capture the kind of frustration that results in someone suggesting that she’s going to let her husband’s friends slap her ass until they’re broke.
Maybe Gretchen Wilson could do it. They’re certainly positioning her as the next Tanya Tucker, but there’s something about Wilson’s perceived relationship to men that differs so greatly from Tucker’s, I just don’t know if it would work. Wilson would sing it like she was sitting on the couch, beer in hand herself, only halfway serious. Tucker’d be moving the couch to make way for the pool table.
I suppose I could do it, since I’m obviously fond of my own version. But my version only works in the shower, and my shower’s not big enough to have folks come over to hear it and not mobile enough for me to take it to Tootsie’s.