Neat mixtape of country music covers in foreign languages

othercth.jpg Eric Steuer, best known for his work with Creative Commons and for his music project Meanest Man Contest, made a guest mixtape for the awesome LA-based country music blog "When You Awake." The playlist is a blend of country and western classics covered in other languages. It is verifiably awesome.

Guest Mixtape: Other Countries [When You Awake]

Above, a YouTube smush-up of one of the tunes Eric selected: Inger Lise Rypdal belting out "Fru Johnsen" (1968), a Norwegian cover of "Harper Valley PTA." (Wikipedia, IMDB, DVD) YouTube uploader Anewargentina paired the song with film footage from the movie of the same name (which spawned a TV sitcom). How do you say yee-haw in Norwegian?


  1. Great site! I get so frustrated with those who say “I like anything but country.” If your tastes are soooo broad, shouldn’t the fact that you even hold that attitude raise red flags that maybe you need to investigate the genre a little bit more? A lot of stuff that such people are dismissing is some of the best folk music coming out in this country; it’s just being performed by artists who (often) like steel guitar and (often) have accents. Don’t be hatin’ just because you have regional prejudices and because the big Nashville labels have produced very little other than absolute crap for the last 20 years.

    Just in the Texas pantheon, we have Robert Earl Keen (my favorite songwriter, bar none), Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson, and so many more.

    1. Hey! There’s nothing wrong with steel guitar. It’s just that a lot of producers will toss one into a crappy song in an attempt to dress it up a little.

      The Harper Valley PTA vid was definitely something different, but the singer did a fine job with it. It’s always fun to hear a familiar style of music re-imagined within another culture’s framework.

      1. Oh, understood. My gripe is, honestly, tangential to this post. I am not an audiophile or music guy by any stretch, but I don’t think I’m without discernment, and I’ve just met or encountered so many people who fancy themselves fans of every other type of music who think that no song easily traced to country influences can possibly be any good.

        “I haven’t been drawn to the genre enough to explore what it offers” or “I have been investing my time in other genres with which I more easily identify” = OKAY

        “All music except country is good” = DOUCHEBAG

        1. Oh, we’re on the same page as far as the douchebags go. I was just light-heartedly picking on your reference to steel guitars.

  2. Usually we’ll say “jii-ha!”, which when pronounced sounds just like your yee-haw. Remember, half of Minnesota came from over here. Or something.

    Oh, and awesome tunes.

  3. It is a rad site! Their sister site, “Sake of the Song” is a fantastic merch site selling handmade art and items from musicians and bands.

  4. I LOVE this. For some reason, I have a thing for odd covers.

    I used to say I hated country as well, but then I realized that I did actually like a lot of country songs, particularly old country songs and alt-country and bluegrass stuff. Then I realized that I just hated bad country songs just like I hate bad pop songs.

    There’s a lot of good music out there and I love it when people point out things like this.

    I’m listening to “Dark as a Dungeon” now. The pops and crackles from the record are like a time machine. I’d forgotten this song, but my grandmother used to sing it when I was young. Beautiful cover.

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