Blake Shelton’s ‘God’s Country’ Lyrics Are a Perfect Mix of Art and Practicality
Blake Shelton's "God's Country" shows how the best songwriting decisions can be made for the most practical purposes. Songwriters Hardy (Michael Hardy) and Devin Dawson recently talked about two of the Grammy-nominated song's most memorable lyrics and revealed that both were born out of a need for a good rhyme.
Hardy didn't totally remember who came up with what between him, Dawson and Jordan Schmidt. "Did he take credit for the devil line?" he asks, smiling and referring to Dawson. The "Rednecker" singer's grin indicates that there's a good-natured rivalry between the two.
In the end, it probably doesn't matter — "God's Country" has been a once-in-a-lifetime hit for them both.
Officially, Dawson did not take credit for "the devil went down to Georgia, but he didn't stick around," arguably the most clever lyric in "God's Country" because of the message and tribute to a great Charlie Daniels Band hit.
"The devil line was a tag-team line because Devin did say it first," Hardy clarifies. "He said ‘The devil went down to Georgia but he didn’t stay long,’ but we were looking for a 'sound' rhyme so I said ‘The devil went down to Georgia but he didn’t stick around."
It helped close the second half of the chorus:
"Saved by the sound of the been found / Dixie whistled in the wind, that'll get you Heaven bound / The devil went down to Georgia, but he didn't stick around / This is God's country."
“As songwriters, you can tell somebody this is how I feel, but if you give them an image or noun it says how you feel and it gives them something to put in their head,” Dawson adds, talking separately to Taste of Country Nights during a pre-CMA Awards interview. With that philosophy, the first half of the chorus was born:
"I saw the light in the sunrise / Sittin' back in the 40 on the muddy riverside / Gettin' baptized in holy water and shine / With the dogs runnin'."
“Honestly, the biggest part of it was that ‘dog’s running’ and ‘God’s country’ was the perfect rhyme, and when do you ever get to put that in a song?” Dawson wonders. OK, phonetically they're not a perfect rhyme, but this is country music where accents make up the difference. Let's just say that no one minded as Shelton was singing it on his way to a No. 1 hit and CMA win for Single of the Year.
See How "God's Country" Took Blake Shelton Back To His Roots:
Blake Shelton's 'God's Country' Lyrics:
Right outside of this one-church town / There's a gold dirt road to a whole lot of nothing / Got a deed to the land, but it ain't my ground / This is God's country / We pray for rain and thank Him when it's fallin' / 'Cause it brings a grain and a little bit of money / We put it back in a plate / I guess that's why they call it God's country
I saw the light in a sunrise / Sittin' back in a 40 on the muddy riverside / Gettin' baptized in Holy Water and 'shine with the dogs runnin' / Saved by the sound of the being found / Dixie whistle in the wind, that'll get you Heaven bound / The Devil went down to Georgia but he didn't stick around / This is God's country
We turn the dirt and work until the week's done / We take a break and break bread on Sunday / Then do it all again 'cause we're proud to be / From God's country
I don't care what my headstone reads / Or what kind of pinewood box I end up in / When it's my time, lay me six feet deep in God's country
Repeat Chorus x2
See Blake Shelton Through the Years