Thursday, June 23, 2011

Diversion 2.0 Thirty Day Song Challenge -- Day 14: A Cheating Song

Garth Brooks – “The Thunder Rolls”

Country music sure has some epic cheating songs, doesn’t it? Perhaps it’s because country music excels at storytelling, but some of the best tunes about infidelity are delivered through steel guitars and fiddles. Of these, my most favorite (and most epic) cheating song is easily “The Thunder Rolls” by 90’s country superstar Garth Brooks.

The song tells of a woman waiting in a thunder storm for her husband to get home, hoping that the weather is the only reason he’s so late. Her hopes are, of course, misplaced. “A strange new perfume” tips her off, and her worries give way to fiery rage. This brings about the hidden third verse of the song, which I happen to have through Brooks’ Double Live album:

She runs back down the hallway and through the bedroom door
She reaches for the pistol kept in the dresser drawer
Tells the lady in the mirror 'he won't do this again'
'Cause tonight will be the last time, she'll wonder where he's been

S@$# is going down.

What makes the song stand out to me is how powerful it feels. The song is in a sweet-ass D-minor key, and gives “The Thunder Rolls” an ominous, edgy feeling, like a thunderstorm might form itself in your car at any minute. The two opening verses settles the listener into a state of unease, and then the chorus drops in like a thunderclap, electric guitar and rock drums ablaze. The atmosphere is further enhanced by the small, distant sounds of thunder, adding to the song’s sense of foreboding.

“The Thunder Rolls” is one of Brooks’ best songs, and easily the most epic cheating song in my musical repertoire. If you decide to get it from iTunes (and you really ought to), go for the live version—it’s much more energetic, plus you get that third verse I mentioned earlier.

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