In certain genres, certain themes will likely never go out of style.
Take heavy metal, for instance. You’ll never hear any of its faithful suggest, “OK. That’s enough. No more songs about death, doom and destruction. We’ve reached our quota. Now go get some lunch and come back with a new idea—maybe something about butterflies.” Likewise, no one who produces pop music will ever be quoted as saying, “Actually, we don’t need any more breakup songs. People are totally sick of those. Move along.”
As for country music, well, I suspect even if we’re all flying our cars instead of driving them 100 years hence, futuristic crooners will still be drawlin’ ’bout the good ‘ol days of toolin’ ’round graveled back roads in beloved, beat-up Chevys or Fords.
For rising country star Jason Aldean—or perhaps I should say shooting star—the good ol’ days appear to be right now. Aldean’s fifth album, Night Train, moved a massive 409,000 units its first week, one of the biggest debuts of the year. Meanwhile, the album’s first single, “Take a Little Ride” topped the country chart and nearly cracked the Top 10 of Billboard’s mainstream Hot 100 chart.
So is the ride Jason has in mind here really just in his truck? Or is there more to it than that?
After a long day of labor on the farm, the only thing Aldean says he wants to do is slide across the vinyl of his Chevy … and slide his girl a bit closer for the ride. “Been goin’ round and round all day,” he begins. “Bailin’ some hay and stacking it all up/Can’t wait for the sun to go down/Roll into town/Shine the old truck up/Swing by the Quick Stop/Grab a couple rocky tops/Then ease on out your way/To your place around 8 o’clock.”
After that, there’s not much to do but ride out into the country: “Well, I’m just ready to ride this Chevy/Ride this Chevy down a little back road/Slide your pretty little self on over/Get a little closer, turn up the radio.” Their destination? Someplace with no one around, it would seem, someplace where the only things they can hear are crickets chirpin’. “I hope you’re wearing those frayed out cut-offs,” Aldean tells his girl. “Makes me want to get lost down in the moonlight/Drop the tailgate down on a turn row/Watch the corn grow, baby that’s a good night/Anyone from the heartland is gonna understand.”
Speaking of understanding, anyone with an inkling of interpretive acumen also knows at this point that the song’s title might include more than one meaning. When Aldean suggestively suggests, “Sweet tan, little thing with nothin’ to do/I wanna take a little ride with you,” it’s reasonable to assume that he may not just be talking about driving somewhere, but that he’s also referring to what might happen after the aforementioned tailgate drops.
The double entendre gets reinforced by the song’s video, which features several different couples rollicking through the mud in various 4X4s. The girls wear bikinis for a dip a lake … and then there’s some kissin’, cuddlin’ and climbin’ into backseats.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.