It seems like more people than ever are sporting tattoos; here are a few of my favorite country songs about ‘em (it must be said that an honorable mention goes to the opening lines of Lucinda Williams’ “Right in Time”). Are any of you sporting country music-themed ink? Show us your tats!
This is one eerie tune, as the dude with the dragon tattoo hears said dragon whisper his name and “burn on [his] arm like the truth.” It’s like that X-Files episode where Jodie Foster is the voice of that pinup tattoo, only better.
Check out a killer version from Hayes Carll.
Paul Thorn is the greatest artist you’re not listening to. Check out this song (from last year’s Pimps and Preachers) about a woman who gets inked, has a one-night stand with the guy who inspired the tattoo, and is soon left alone with her new “love scar.”
West Virginian Billy Edd Wheeler wrote this song that has been covered by acts like The Kingston Trio, Hazel Dickens, and Mattea on her masterful record Coal. The “strange tattoo” on the miner’s head wasn’t a deliberate inking; rather, it’s a blue mark left by some falling coal that almost killed him.
Juli Thanki is the editor of Engine 145 and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Bluegrass Unlimited, and M Music & Musicians Magazine. In 2011 she received the International Bluegrass Music Association Print Media Person of the Year award.