Truck Yeah! Study finds country singers just can't stop truckin'
The study analysed over 16,000 country songs over 40 years and found Nashville is still going truck crazy
When it comes to cars, it turns out that some stereotypes hold true. Your Alfa Romeo is probably going spend a chunk of its life in the shop, no one will let you pull out if you drive a BMW, and if you're a country musician then you'll be obsessed with trucks.
At least that's what a new study which analysed the lyrics of more than 16,000 country music songs has found. Yee-haw indeed.
The 'Truck Yeah' study, from the UK based Money.co.uk, seemingly took a big gulp of bourbon and took a deep dive into the depths of country music, studying over 200 artists and 933 hours of country tracks, to get to the bottom of Nashville's love affair with trucks and find out definitively if the boot does indeed fit the stereotype.
The research found that amazingly, 6.25% of all country songs written since 2000 contained references to trucks, compared to just 1% of all the years before the turn of the century, with 1 in 10 songs released in 2019 (our last 'normal' year) featuring a truck.
Overall, there are apparently 660 country songs dedicated to trucking, which would take you around 2,600 minutes or 43 hours of non-stop listening, to hear them all - so crank down the windows of your Bronco and turn those speakers up!
Nashville can't stop, wont stop truckin
Despite the stereotype, it seems Nashville's fascination (often hailed as 'bro country') is a surprisingly recent phenomenon, with truck popularity exploding from the 2000's on. The 2010's were the biggest decade for trucks in country music on record to date, leaving it yet to be seen if it'll be 'trucking as usual' post-pandemic.
People actually did this?
Apparently so, and in this author's opinion it's exactly what science was invented for.
Wait, does that mean there's one artist who's the accidental 'king of trucks'?
Yes! In addition to looking at how much trucks were featured in songs, the researchers also looked at who were singing about them the most.
According to the study, Arkansas’ Justin Moore came out as country music’s biggest truck fan, with nearly a third (29.6%) of all his songs containing references to trucks.
While Justin is ‘King of the Road’, he’s got plenty of room for passengers. More than 35 artists featuring truck references in over 10% of their songs, including Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan & Blake Sheldon.
The biggest Motha' Truckers in country music
Miranda Lambert was the only female artist to crack the top 20 for overall truck references in songs, taking the number 16 spot across all artists, with an incredible 17% of her songs featuring references to trucks.
What about the most 'trucking' song?
Sometimes, just one truck reference isn't enough. I know for a fact when I'm tailgating before a Kansas City Chiefs game, I want to squeeze in the most truck references possible per minute to go with my BBQ, it's all about efficiency.
Thankfully, if you're like me, you're in luck as the study also uncovered the biggest truck anthems, by number of truck references in the song.
Wait, country music's biggest trucker is a Canadian?
So, if you want to get the most bang for your truck, Corb Lund’s 2005 hit The Truck Got Stuck is the way to go, taking the top spot with an impressive 29 truck references throughout the song. In fact, the word ‘truck’ makes up 6.6% of the entire song’s lyrics.The Truck Got Stuck
I'm not sure what I expected when I saw that someone had looked at 16,000 country songs and their relationship with the humble truck, but I learnt a lot a country music's fascination and maybe a little about myself in the process.
There's more in there too, from which brands feature the most (Chevy & Ford take the top spots), right down to the most popular truck songs (Carrie Underwood, Before He Cheats with more than 200 million Spotify streams - but it's a about a truck getting destroyed so I'm not sure if it counts), with most of the data available to download and play with on the study page.
As for me though, I think this is where my journey ends, and I need a well earned break from country music. Nothing but Backstreet Boys when I'm in my Chevy Silverado for the foreseeable future.