Ten Country Songs That Make Me Cringe: No Charge (#10)
By Four Walls
February 22, 2017 10:14am CST
Ah-ha! Thought you were done with my lists of awful songs, huh? I gotcha! (Cue the Joe Tex music....and, if you think it's odd to have a Joe Tex reference in a country list, did you know that Joe Tex's songs were produced, and many co-written, by country musician, songwriter, and executive Buddy Killen? You're welcome.) Moving on, there are some pretty disgusting country music songs out there. (Yeah, yeah, a lot of you probably think all of them are pretty disgusting.) Here are the ten worst in my books, starting with this one. #10: No Charge - Melba Montgomery About a month ago I made someone (I think it was Scott) cry by revealing to him that the great Bernie Taupin, who gave us the lyrics for all those wonderful Elton John classics, co-wrote Starship's hunk-o-junk "We Built This City." I know the feeling. To me, Harlan Howard is on the Mount Rushmore of country music songwriters (along with Cindy Walker, Hank Cochran, and Fred Rose). Oh, the incredible classics he's written over the years!!! There was no question that he was going into the Country Music Hall of Fame; the only question was when (1997, the same year Cindy Walker was inducted). So I cried when I discovered he wrote this. Plot: mom weasels out of paying her son's allowance (he gives her the bill for cutting the grass, taking out the garbage, etc.) by giving him a line of crap about all the things she did for him for "no charge," beginning with giving birth to him. Oh, puh-leeze. I told my mom, when this was a hit, that if she ever tried that on me I'd reply, "That's great, but you still owe me my allowance." And, like so many of these sentimental, smarmy hunks of junk do, it was #1 (and was covered all over the place, including a very famous version by Shirley Caesar) and put Melba Montgomery, who'd previously just been known as a duet partner (she did some great songs with George Jones and Charlie Louvin), on the path to solo success. That's a shame. I'd rather that she be known for singing with the Possum than for this syrupy stuff. No Charge Written by Harlan Howard Recorded by Melba Montgomery From No Charge, 1974 There's "no charge" for an infinitely better song, featuring Melba and George Jones together:
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• Bournemouth, England
The UK version was by JJ Barrie - and it got to number one!!! It was soon deservedly parodied in a hit by UK comedian Billy Connolly as 'No Chance'. Ghastly - and would a kid really write a phrase like 'paid in full?' However, 5 years later, it was surpassed by Red Sovine's 'Teddy Bear'.