Friday Five: Songs About Pants

Juli Thanki | August 7th, 2009

Pants are pretty awesome, despite what Lindsay Lohan seems to think. You know what else is pretty awesome? Songs about pants.

Sure, Conway Twitty and Mel McDaniel have some nifty—and ubiquitous—songs about blue jeans, and Brad Paisley’s newest release has what’ll probably be his thousandth Number One, “The Pants,” but here we salute a handful of pants songs that could use another moment in the sun.

  • brenda-lee-only-when-laugh5. “From Levis to Calvin Klein Jeans” – Brenda Lee
    This one’s a single from 1981 LP Only When I Laugh. Here, Lee takes a cowboy to task for turning fancy as he moves from boots and cattle drives to Gucci shoes, Porsches, and disco dancin’. Now I like horses just as much as the next person, but at least you don’t have to worry about mucking out a stall when you’ve got a sports car.
  • red-steagall-lone-star-beer4. “Two Pairs of Levis and a Pair of Justin Boots” – Red Steagall
    A rodeo man comes home to find his long-suffering wife—and all his possessions—gone, minus a saddle and these few elements of sartorial splendor. Steagall sure seems to be fond of this particular brand of jeans, as he’s also recorded “Tight Levis and Yellow Ribbons.”
  • wilf-carter-cowboy-songs3. “The Little Red Patch on the Seat of My Trousers” – Wilf Carter
    Cowboy singer Carter, aka Montana Slim, delivers this humorous tale about a fella, clad in a pair of pants with a red patch on the butt, relaxing in the country. Until, that is, he runs into a bull who isn’t exactly fond of red fabric waggling around in front of him.
  • sam-bush-late-as-usual2. “Leather Britches” – Sam Bush
    Leather britches sound rather uncomfortable, but based on the number of artists who’ve covered this traditional tune (John Hartford, Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers, and Hot Rize among many others), maybe we should give ‘em a try. You first.
  • merle-haggard-back-to-the-barrooms1. “Make-Up and Faded Blue Jeans” – Merle Haggard
    A struggling singer playing the Modesto Holiday Inn comes across a jeans-clad woman with the potential to distract him and “blow all [his] chances at being a big singing star.” This lady gets better looking as she edges closer to the stage, thanks to the wonders of the lights, Maybelline, and probably a drink or nine. The album this track came from, Back to the Barrooms, is one of Hag’s finest.
  1. Paul W Dennis
    August 7, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Leona Williams had a hit in the early 1970s “Country Girl With Hot Pants On”

  2. MEL
    August 7, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    what about brad paisley song the pants

  3. Juli
    August 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Paul, I saw that one on your list after I submitted this yesterday…been kicking myself ever since!

    Mel, check the intro. It’s a good song, but I wanted to give a little attention to some older stuff.

  4. Stormy
    August 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    And, of course, Tight Fittin’ Jeans.

  5. highwayman3
    August 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I recall ‘Jeans On’ by Keith Urban as well

  6. sleepy
    August 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    It sounds country by today’s country radio standards: Neil Diamond’s “Forever in Bluejeans”

  7. Andrew Lacy
    August 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    “Baby’s Got Her Bluejeans On” by Mel McDaniel

  8. Chris N.
    August 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Folks really do tend to skip the intro.

  9. Rick
    August 7, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Well you need a shirt to go with all those jeans, so I think Mary Chapin Carpenter’s incredible song “This Shirt” deserves a mention on this topic thread! What an emotionally evocative song that is…

  10. Ken Morton Jr
    August 7, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Rick, good call- it’s one of my bride’s favorite songs of all time…

  11. Jon
    August 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Nothing against Sammy, but the place to start with “Leather Britches” is the fiddle and banjo version that Earl and Paul Warren played on Flatt & Scruggs’ live at Vanderbilt album.

  12. lanibug
    August 7, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Not sure how you can leave off Stormy and Andrews from this list…..

  13. Stormy
    August 7, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Chris: Intro or no intro, it is the best song about pants.

  14. plain_jo
    August 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Keith Urban- Jeans On is a good one.

  15. Chris N.
    August 7, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    I mean some people aren’t reading the intro to the piece.

  16. Vicki
    August 8, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Andrew, the first thing I thought was surely “Baby’s Got her Bluejeans on” would be on the list.

  17. Juli
    August 8, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Come on, folks: what’s the fun in reading a list composed of songs you–and everyone else in the world–already know? “Tight Fittin’ Jeans” and “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” are nice enough songs (and if this were a “Best Pants Songs” list they’d be on it), but as I said in the intro, I wanted to give some attention to a few excellent pants songs that tend to be overlooked.

  18. BLL
    August 8, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Being Irish, I had a completely different expectation for this thread. Where I’m from ‘pants’ are always underclothes; we would call the other jeans or trousers!

  19. Jon
    August 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Yeah, Juli, but people don’t read the intros to these kinds of things.

  20. TenPoundHammer
    August 8, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    “Jeans On” was by Lord David Dundas before Keith Urban cut it.

  21. Leeann Ward
    August 11, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Juli, You’re a patient person.:)

    I must have missed this last Friday, somehow. Fun list.

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