There’s lots of country songs that talk loving the small town where you’re from and while there’s certainly some people that resonates with, there’s a whole other group who want to get out, or at least feel frustrated by where they were born and raised.
When you grow up around the same small group of people you’re entire life, you can start to feel a little trapped, not only in that place, but in who people think you are.
Cross Canadian Ragweed said it best:
“You’re always seventeen in your hometown.”
Read Southall understands that feeling and wrote the perfect song to sum it up.
Released as a single in 2016, “Clean Slate” hits on so many of the real feelings people have about where they’re from. Even if you don’t hate it, anyone from one of these small town will understand what he means.
Let’s go through some of the lyrics.
“Every corner in this town that I pass by Reminds me of the things I didn’t do right”
Making mistakes is a part of life, but when there’s only so many places to go in your town, it’s hard not to drive past the parking lot where you got in a fight, the restaurant you got dumped at, your ex-girlfriend’s street, really any number of things.
Every place that reminds you of a mistake isn’t that far away and you’ll probably have to pass it often.
“In this new place I bet they don’t know her name It still takes my breath to hear of her new flame”
Speaking of ex’s, there’s only so many people in town, so when you break up and they find someone new, not only are you absolutely going to hear about it and see them, it’ll probably be someone you know…
“In this new zip code I won’t make the grapevine cut How my hair’s too long or that I drink too much”
Maybe the worst part of small towns is the gossip. “Did you hear she did this, or he said that? So and so lost their job, I think Johnny gained weight, maybe Mary is cheating.”
There’s always those people who make it their job to know everyone’s business and spread it to anyone who will listen, and those people are the absolute worst.
“I want out of this small town Start a brand new clean slate Instead of tryin’ to find an empty spot on mine To scratch on another mistake”
Everyone makes mistakes in life, but when the focus of people in town is just remembering every detail of everyone’s past, there’s no room to grow. You’re always held down by who you once were, not who you’ve become and certainly not who you are trying to be.
You end up lugging this past around with you, and everything you do just adds to it, there’s no eraser.
If you’re feeling these things, give this song a listen and I promise it’ll connect.
Read is from Altus, Oklahoma, so he pulled this straight from how he grew up and he did a damn good job.