It’s no secret ideas, music and songs get recycled.
We’ve all been listening to “The Cup Song” for about 100 years now. We just call it by different names. We were inspired by the pop song “Bang Bang,” in which Jessie J., Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj rip off Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” Here’s a list of 10 recent country music hits you never knew were rip- offs.
10. Toby Keith, “American Ride”
The Original: The Guess Who, “No Sugar Tonight”
The choruses of these two songs are nearly identical and you can practically hear the back-up singers humming “No Sugar Tonight” behind Keith in his song. The satirical “American Ride” is the only song on Keith’s album, of the same name, he didn’t write or co-write. In fact, it is so far from his normal, blindly-patriotic oeuvre. We wonder if Keith really understood what he was recording.
9. Darius Rucker, “Alright”
The Original: Jimmy Buffett, “Lucky Stars”
Rucker hasn’t exactly been original in his country music career. He rode a lifeless cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” to the top of the charts in 2012. In 2010, he called his second country album Charleston, SC 1966, taking inspiration from Radney Foster’s Del Rio, TX 1959. He released this rip off of Jimmy Buffett’s “Lucky Stars” prior to that. Both songs talk about what they don’t have, but the singers conclude that they don’t need more than what they already do. Consider the choruses:
“Lucky Stars”: I got a roof over my head/someone to love me and a four-poster bed/and I can play this here guitar/I’m gonna thank my lucky stars
“Alright”: Cause I got a roof over my head/the woman I love laying in my bed/and it’s alright, alright
8. Dierks Bentley, “Home”
The Original: Jason Isbell, “In a Razor Town”
In early 2012, Jason Isbell took to social media and straight up called out Dierks Bentley for ripping off his song. Isbell also called Bentley a “douchebag.” Class aside, it’s hard to disagree the two songs sound very similar.
SEE ALSO: 10 Biggest Feuds in Country Music
7. Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried”
In Between: The Lost Trailers, “Chicken Fried”
The Original: Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried”
Here is the zaniest story on this list. Zac Brown managed to rip off his own song by recording…his own song. Brown wrote “Chicken Fried” in the early 2000s then sold it to Nashville to be recorded by The Lost Trailers.
The Lost Trailers released “Chicken Fried” as their debut single. As it began to climb the charts, Brown either changed his mind or argued he had never given permission to release the song as a single in the first place. Either way, Brown ended up recording the song, which became a huge success for his band.
6. Ryan Bingham, “Take it Easy, Mama”
The Original: Jet, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”
It takes a full 10 seconds of “Take it Easy, Mama” to realize the song is not, in fact, Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.” Critically-acclaimed Bingham won the American Music Awards’ Artist of the Year in 2010, but this song isn’t teeming with originality.
Then again, Jet themselves owe a lot of credit for their sound to their forbears. The roots of this song can probably be traced back to AC/DC.
5. Garth Brooks & George Jones, “Beer Run”
The Original: Todd Snider “Beer Run”
Someone initially wrote this catchy lyric: B double E double are you in? We don’t know whether it was Todd Snider or Garth Brooks’ songwriter Kent Blazy. A certain portion of a song can be lifted; however, before it is considered plagiarism. When Blazy claimed he wrote “Beer Run” too, Snider could do nothing about it. Rumor has it Snider was not very pleased. His reaction? The following song.
4. Todd Snider, “If Tomorrow Never Comes”
The Original: Garth Brooks, “If Tomorrow Never Comes”
Kent Blazy wrote Garth’s first number one single, “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” Snider, never being one to take a hit sitting down, lifted the first few bars of Blazy’s song to introduce his song by the same name. Snider’s song quickly takes off in a different direction, but the ensuing feud is one of country music’s most interesting stories.
3. Miranda Lambert, “Kerosene”
The Original: Steve Earle, “I Feel Alright”
Lambert claims the similarities were unintentional, and she even went as far as retroactively giving Earle a writing credit for “Kerosene.”
2. Kid Rock, “All Summer Long”
The Original: Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama”
The Other Original: Warren Zevon, “Werewolves of London”
Kid Rock managed to rip off not just one, but two songs to make his first top 10 country single. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out he pretty much just mashed up these two songs and laid some inane lyrics over the top. We’re sure Warren Zevon is rolling over in his grave.
1. Taylor Swift “You Belong With Me”
The Original: Saving Jane, “Girl Next Door”
Everyone from Lana Del Ray and Lorde to Rihanna and Pink have accused Taylor Swift of ripping off their music. It’s pretty clear Swift’s “You Belong With Me” was heavily influenced by Saving Jane’s “Girl Next Door.” Consider the choruses:
“You Belong With Me“: She is the prom queen, I’m in the marching band/She is a cheerleader, I’m sitting in the stands
“Girl Next Door”: She wears high heels, I wear sneakers/She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers