Kick Off Your Weekend With The Ultimate Small Town Jam: Shenandoah’s “The Church On Cumberland Road”

Many country songs inherently have something to do with living in a small town.

The list of clichés are endless, whether it’s ridin’ around in your lifted 4×4, takin’ a backroad with your girl in the passenger seat, and circling around a bonfire with the boys… the “bro-country” era of country music was built on it.

Yes, this can be nauseating, but we have to remember, there are some damn good songs about raising hell on a Saturday night in a small town… especially from the ’90s.

And one of the best depictions of a small town Saturday night (sorry Hal Ketchum)…

“The Church On Cumberland Road”

Whenever you think of the legendary ’90s country group Shenandoah, “Two Dozen Roses” and “Next To You, Next To Me” immediately come to mind.

However, if you’re looking for a song that perfectly describes a small town Saturday night out in BFE, it’s hard to beat “The Church On Cumberland Road.”

Written by Bob DiPiero, John Scott Sherrill and Dennis Robbins, the song was actually released in 1989.  In the song, lead singer Marty Raybon describes a night where he had made plans to meet up with “the cutest little girl that he ever had known” at the church on Cumberland Road, but shit hits the fan…

Him and the boys decided to have a few drinks before he decided to head to the church, and next thing you know, a few drinks turned into a ton. Now they’re in a pickle as he’s running late, and they have to figure out how the hell they’re supposed to get there. Then we’re hit with one of the most humorous and relatable lines of all time:

Billy’s passed out in the back, But I think he’s alive
Bobby’s got his head hangin’ over the side
Here we are doin’ only ninety-five
What’s the matter with you man? I thought you said you could drive!

We’ve all been there. You’re about to leave after a long night of partying, and next thing you know one of your guys or girls is cashed out in the backseat, and the other is hanging their head out the window puking their guts out.

Perhaps the greatest mystery of the song though… we never find out if they make it to the church on Cumberland Road (in the video you do, as she’s standing there with her wedding dress on).

But with a perfect combination of humor, relatability, and a chorus that’s catchy as hell, Shenandoah really hit it out of the park with this one.

And let’s be honest, it’s pretty much the plot of the movie The Hangover… with a redneck twist.

A beer bottle on a dock

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A beer bottle on a dock