Music

RaeLynn’s New Song ‘Tailgate’ Overcomes ‘Bro-Country’ Tropes

From empowerment anthem “Queens Don’t” to “Camo,” an ode to military spouses, RaeLynn has been dealing as hot a hand as anyone in pop-friendly country music. Now she’s got a catchy new song titled “Tailgate” — a lyrical trope that Luke Bryan, song co-writer Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line and others in “bro-country” get blasted for overusing when singing about bare foot, backroads conquests.

When Raelynn sings about a Ford F-150, it’s not for yet another pop singalong gussied up with hip-hop elements. Instead, it’s part of a modern, countrified equivalent of Tommy James & The Shondell’s “I Think We’re Alone Now.” Through the voice of a woman, the usually one-sided “tailgate songs” about hooking up in a pickup truck allow for a more fleshed-out story about youthful indiscretion.

Read More: Watch RaeLynn Perform Moving, Acoustic Song for Military Spouses

There’s definite pop elements at play. The piano accompaniment, for instance, is more Sara Bareilles than Floyd Cramer. Yet Raelynn’s delivery and lyrics by Hubbard, Canaan Smith and Corey Crowder capture the rural boredom that leads to this type of relatively innocent story. If you grew up in one of the small towns that probably crossed Hubbard and his collaborators’ minds, this will remind you of times when a little fun could’ve caused a public scene.

As evidenced here, the former Voice contestant turned “Love Triangle” and “Lonely Call” singer continues adding a fresh voice to contemporary country with follow-up singles to her 2017 debut album Wildhorse.

“Tailgate” Lyrics

We were a couple kids in a pick up fooling around
We learned how to keep it so nobody found out
Mama don’t need to know everything
Some things you keep to yourself
Like dumb things you do when you’re seventeen on the DL

But if that tailgate ever tells, I’d be the small talk of the town
I’m sure I’d catch all kinds of hell for every time we laid it down
In the back of that race red F-150
We get to kissin’, we get to slippin’ off clothes, and nobody knows
And only will, if that tailgate ever tells

Tailgate don’t tell on me, don’t tell on me
If that tailgate ever tells
Tailgate don’t tell on me, don’t tell on me
If that tailgate ever tells

What happens on a dirt road stays on a dirt road out here
What we’re doing in the dark when we’re underneath the stars
Is our own business

But if that tailgate ever tells, I’d be the small talk of the town
I’m sure I’d catch all kinds of hell for every time we laid it down
In the back of that race red F-150
We get to kissin’, we get to slippin’ off clothes, and nobody knows
And only will, if that tailgate ever tells

Tailgate don’t tell on me, don’t tell on me
If that tailgate ever tells
Tailgate don’t tell on me, don’t tell on me
Tailgate don’t tell, no
Tailgate don’t tell on me, don’t tell on me
Don’t tell on me
Tailgate don’t tell on me, don’t tell on me

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RaeLynn’s New Song ‘Tailgate’ Overcomes ‘Bro-Country’ Tropes