“You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” gives us a good idea where it’s headed when David Frizzell seems to take the “full moon over Tulsa” for granted, while Shelley West sings plaintively about the “city lights” that “outshine the moon” in L.A. (Truth be told, my favorite part comes when Dave recounts “working 10 hours on a John Deere tractor”—where I have spent a little time myself, and well before there was any thought given to foolish superfluities such as power steering and air conditioning, I might add.) In this slight twist on a familiar setup, this time it is a woman who longs for the home and the lover she left behind to pursue fame and fortune in the big city, and we are left with some reason to think the metropolis may not ultimately prevail in this particular emotional tug of war. Certainly, anyone old enough to recall Cowboy Jack Clements and Johnny Cash’s version of the “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” should not dismiss this possibility out of hand.
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