He Don’t, She Don’t and I Don’t Got None

As a rule I don’t like country music. I love bluegrass, but not country. As a rule. But I love and adore Sara Evans and Martina McBride. Anyway, while I love these ladies and their music, I do have to ask: is it a written law somewhere that to participate in the ‘country music scene’ you have to sing songs with deplorable grammar? Yes, I’m a certified Grammar Nazi™ and this annoys me. Sara and Martina both have lovely voices and sing great songs, but they are peppered with lines like “Don’t need no copy of Vogue magazine,” “He don’t give a damn,” and “A town that I ain’t heard of.” This is all too common in country music, not just with these two. It’s all over the place.

But the question is: Why? Are there classes available in Nashville to unlearn proper grammar rules for prospective song writers and singers, and if so, how many credit hours are required in ‘Hillbilly Grammar 101’ in order to get a record deal? Is there an exam given by the country record labels before they let someone record to ensure they don’t come off sounding like British nobility? Clearly they don’t want something like “Righto! I do not require a copy of Vogue Magazine,” “He does not give a damn,” or “Gadzooks! A town the likes of which I’ve never heard,” but would it kill these people to use proper grammar? There are hundreds of perfectly delightful songs that get marred by stupid grammar choices. Alas.