There’s a new girl’s club in Nashville writing with a refreshing, honest and provocative no-holds-barred agenda about trailer park life: gold-diggers, pill-popping, illegitimate children, murder and all. Their talent is turning depressing subjects into road-tripping, sing-along anthems with an upbeat country twang.
The leader of these renegade women is singer-songwriter Brandy Clark. Her hit single “Stripes” tells the other side of that old country adage of a man drowning the sorrows caused by a woman that left him. In Clark’s version, that man is just lucky to be sitting in that bar … and not graveyard-dead after what he did.
“I think life is a black comedy with a lot of sad truth out there. The only way to really swallow it is to make it a little bit funny,” Clark told the Current. Her aptly named debut 12 Stories is a witty, quirky tribute to her upbringing and the Nashville music milieu. As a writer, she has graced the albums of Reba McEntire, Keith Urban, Darius Rucker, Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry and Kasey Musgrave’s Grammy-winning album Same Trailer, Different Park with her signature satirical wordsmithing.
“If I write a song about divorce and someone responds to it who has been divorced or if I write a song about cigarette smoking and a smoker responds to it, then I know I hit the nail on the head,” Clark said. “That’s how I like to write.”
We asked Clark to give a glossary of some of the trailer park fiction of 12 Stories.
“Pray To Jesus”
I grew up in a trailer and my parents playing the lottery and living week to week but never feeling poor cause that’s how everyone lived.
Every crazy woman I know, there is some man making her crazy. It’s vice-a-versa too.
It’s a daydream song. I think a lot of people in prison are there because of temporary insanity.
“Take A Little Pill”
I hear everyone start complaining that their husbands drink too much and I think, is there any difference between that and your glass of wine and your Xanax?
That’s about someone who has enabled someone for a long time and then they decide, “you know what, I’m gonna live my life and move on, all while you are hungover.”
A lot of marriages and a lot of shared custody situations really stem from one drunken night.
“The Day She Got Divorced”
When my mom heard it, she said, “Before the day you get divorced, you kinda think about it as a huge day but it really is just like any other day! Life goes on.”
“Just Like Him”
It’s about having a parent as dysfunctional as that father in the song … and how that chaos feels like love to you.
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