I’ve been thinking too much lately lately, for sure

(Warning: Some of the links may contain vile, vulgar and objectionable language that is not safe for the office nor in the company of your parole officer.)

One must search diligently for quotes covering the subject of over-thinking. I did some researching and found nothing usable. Of course, I chose not to spend a great deal of time on the subject thus clearly not over-thinking the topic of a suitable quote.

The topic comes up from me singing the David Allan Coe country ballad in my head called “Lately I”ve Been Thinking Too Much Lately. A song in which English teachers everywhere would have wished he had added that he had also been a little too redundant lately, redundant lately.

Most of my friends and certainly a couple of my relatives — I ain’t saying which ones — know the name David Allen Coe. The name is familiar because he somehow lumped himself in with the “Texas Outlaw” music movement of the 70s, the likes of which included everyone from Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, Steve Earle, Guy Clarke and the list goes on and on. Saying Coe, who was once known as the “Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy,” lumped himself in the bunch might be a little pretentious especially when talking about the Texas outlaws. His music certainly lends itself to the movement, one where many country artists were mostly fed up with the formulaic violins of Nashville country and western of the time. Many of Coe’s songs are more than imaginiative and have an edge sharper than a straight razor competition.

Still, some of those songs also made a point that the listener “better know right here and right now” that David Allan Coe is the original outlaw. “Yeah, Johnny Cash helped get me out of prison/Long before Rodriguez stole that goat,” he sings tongue-in-cheek “Longhaired Redneck.” But he makes you wonder if he is pushing things just a little too far in the same song when he adds: “They tell me I look like Merle Haggard. But I sound a lot like David Allen Coe.” This being some kind of reference to the fact that Coe does sound like his supposed once-incarcerated soul-mate Haggard.

The song stuck in my head, the one with the redundant title, tells one of those stories of a situation in which some of us may have found ourselves in at one point of our lives or the other. It is where we are snug as a bug in bed with our significant other, even though it feels much like one of us is missing and it sure the heck isn’t me.

That the story line tells something I will admit to having felt at one or perhaps more points in my life, it isn’t the song’s meaning which keeps dogging my all too willing mind. No, it’s that I’ve been thinking too much lately, redundant or not.

Coe has put out some very amazing songs in his career. One of my favorite although not written by Coe, “The Ride,” tells of the narrator’s imaginary encounter with Hank Williams Sr. while hitch-hiking.

Other songs by this so-called mysterious man — one who claimed with no real backup other than the fact he had actually served prison time that he was once on death row — will never see radio play and have been labeled as racist and misogynistic. His, more or less “standard” and a tune I have long enjoyed, “If That Ain’t Country (I’ll Kiss Your Ass),” is mild compared to some in these latter categories.

Perhaps I wouldn’t be sitting here ruminating over a tune with a redundant title had I have actually been in a fight that could have happened with this very singer during the one time I saw him at “Billy Bob’s Texas” in Fort Worth. As has thankfully been the case in these few of my lifetime experiences, I was the voice of sanity while a friend with more liquor inside him at the time than good judgment began yelling insults as the performers were beginning a break. I can’t remember every issue which surfaced in my friend’s mind but one of them was Coe’s scooter trash creds, which was in hindsight might or might not have been a legitimate line of query. Nonetheless, there is a time and place for all things and having a drunk friend arguing with someone who has — right or wrong — allegedly thrown a punch or two at a performance seemed neither timely nor “placely?”

So I have been thinking way too much lately, which phrased as I do doesn’t sound like a country song worth diddly,  about a song in which the next line Coe sings is: “Lately I’ve been staying kind of stoned.” Well, that will do it, by gosh. I mean, if you’ve been staying kind of stoned — not that I know anything about the subject — then you might have been lately thinking too much lately.

I rest my case.