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The A+ List: Lyle Lovett’s “That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas)”

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Texas wants you any way

That’s Right (You’re Not from Texas) – Lyle Lovett – Between marrying Pretty Woman Julia Roberts and singing love songs to penguins, Lyle had his moment of transcendence where his pompadour and his Cuban heels set him as a cultural landmark ready and any moment to represent every single thing country music should be. I was very up on Lyle around that time, but then I saw him at Lincoln Center and he was really boring and his follow up album was a bore and I lost interest.

But we always had Lyle Lovett dumping his girl on the side walk and driving away because she had the effrontery to ask what was so great about the Lone Star State. “That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas)” is a full blown, full band rip roaring triumph of jingoism. Better than Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” because Randy is all sneer and you have to look deep to see Lyle’s wink (it’s in the “the next time someone laughs at you” line).

The song itself is a delicious country anthem building through waves of doubt concealed as declaration, till by the end teas has invited everybody to join it, it becomes the Texas of your State of mind. Texas wants you anyway is a war cry, and the citizenry, like the US (at least in theory) opening its arm to the huddled masses but only if you wear your hat at a certain angle.

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