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'John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16' Sends Us On Lyrical Trip Down Memory Lane

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Modern country Songs | 'John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16' Sends Us On Lyrical Trip Down Memory Lane | Country Music Videos
Photo credit: KeithUrbanVEVO Photo Credit
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On June 9, 2015, Keith Urban released the lead single off his upcoming eighth American studio album, called "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3: 16." Urban fell in love with the song the second he heard it, as did country fans around the world.

During an appearance on Country Countdown USA, Urban spoke about his first experience with the song, which was co-written by Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman, and Josh Osborne. As Urban told the countdown's host, Lon Helton, he became interested in the song from simply reading the title.

"I saw the title of the song first and was curious to what that song would be," he said.

Urban went on to explain how the song and the message resonated with him, which made him feel compelled to record it: 

"Some songs grab me at first listen. Other songs creep up on me. I love those songs too, but this was immediate. I played it maybe three times, and then went and grabbed my guitar and came out and I sort of sang along with it, and I thought, 'I think this really, really suits me. I love this song, and I think it suits me.'"

The song serves as a lyrical trip down memory lane, referencing popular figures and images such as John Wayne and Wheel of Fortune, in addition to the song's three "Johns" mentioned in the title.

Co-writer McAnally told Billboard magazine a bit more about the three "Johns" in the title, and the meaning behind mentioning each one in the song:

"John Cougar references all the sort of sexual tension of teenage angst all of us were growing up in. John Deere represents the way that our parents worked and what we saw living in the country, and of course [there's] the element of religion. And [there's] irony in John Cougar starting the line, and John 3:16 ending the line because that was the push and pull of that teenage thing."

"John Cougar, John Deere, John 3: 16" received favorable reviews upon its release and peaked at the second spot on the Billboard country charts.

The music video for the song was directed by Shane Drake, who also worked with Urban on the music video for his song with Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift, "Highway Don't Care." In the video, Urban is shown standing against blank backgrounds singing and playing his guitar, with clips of various images and scenes playing throughout the video as well. Although some of the clips seem random, Songfacts cites Urban as saying he likes the creative freedom expressed in the video.

"I like everybody to be able to paint their own picture of things, so there's sort of more random imagery,"Urban said. "I guess, of certain things that relate to the song, without it being so specific.

You can watch the song's official music video below.

Overall, "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" is a creative work of art that pieces together dozens of elements to make the song relatable to anyone who listens. 

LYRICS BELOW

I'm a 45 spinning on an old Victrola
I'm a two strike swinger, I'm a Pepsi Cola
I'm a blue jean quarterback saying "I love you" to the prom queen
In a Chevy
I'm John Wayne, Superman, California
I'm a Kris Kristofferson Sunday morning
I'm a mom and daddy singing along to Don McLean
At the levee

And I'm a child of a backseat freedom, baptized by rock and roll
Marilyn Monroe in the Garden of Eden, never grow up, never grow old
Just another rebel in the great wide open on the boulevard of broken dreams
And I learned everything I needed to know from John Cougar, John Deere, John 3: 16

Hey, hey
Everything I needed
That's right

I'm Mark Twain on the Mississippi
I'm Hemingway with a shot of whiskey
I'm a TV dinner on a tray trying to figure out the Wheel of Fortune
I'm a Texaco star, I'm a Gibson guitar
I'm still a teenage kid trying to go too far
I'm a jukebox waiting in a neon bar for a quarter

And I'm a child of a backseat freedom, baptized by rock and roll
Marilyn Monroe in the Garden of Eden, never grow up, never grow old
Just another rebel in the great wide open on the boulevard of broken dreams
And I learned everything I needed to know from John Cougar, John Deere, John 3: 16

I spent a lot of years running from believing, looking for another way to save my soul
The longer I live, the more I see it: there's only one way home

And I'm a child of a backseat freedom, baptized by rock and roll
Marilyn Monroe in the Garden of Eden, never grow up, never grow old
Just another rebel in the great wide open on the boulevard of broken dreams
And I learned everything I needed to know from John Cougar, John Deere, John 3: 16
And I'm a child of a backseat freedom, baptized by rock and roll
Marilyn Monroe in the Garden of Eden, never grow up, never grow old
Just another rebel in the great wide open on the boulevard of broken dreams
And I learned everything I needed to know from John Cougar, John Deere, John 3: 16

(John Cougar, John Deere, John 3: 16)
Everything I needed
(John Cougar, John Deere, John 3: 16)
Everything I needed
(John Cougar, John Deere, John 3: 16)
That's right

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