There are no shortage of country music jams about hunting, or that mention hunting.
Many of them are somewhat basic and cliché though to be honest. While those tunes can be fun and entertaining, leave it to none other than Tyler Childersto write something about hunting with far more substance and gusto than all those other songs.
Many of Childers’ songs provide a glimpse into his appreciation and revelry for the great outdoors. Born and raised deep in the heart of the Appalachian hills, his metamodern mountain man persona isn’t just an act, it’s a way of life.
There is also the song Universal Sound, which alludes to the mentally rejuvenating and soul centering power of spending time alone with your thoughts amidst the solitude of the wilderness (if you haven’t been to the West Virginia Cranberry Glades that he speaks of, then go plan your next hiking trip to Monongahela National Forest right now.)
Plus, who could forget the incredible songSnipe Hunt, which pays homage to a historically long running practical joke that many a young boy have similarly fallen victim to at one of their first hunting camps with the older fellas over the years.
“… And I sat on the hill like Jeremiah Johnson And I froze my dumb ass off all night…”
In many of those songs, Childers’ seems to use easily relatable and understandable hunting and fishing references as a way to convey the deeper messages about life or love or other experiences that those musical numbers are more broadly about.
He does have an unreleased song that is directly about hunting though, and it just might be the very best hunting song ever written. He’s performed it live somewhat regularly, so here’s to hoping it’s on the next album.
Take My Hounds To Heaven paints a picture of what Childers’ already seems to think is heaven on earth, and that’s running ‘coon hounds through the hills with his friends in the middle of the night.
The song also shows the somewhat spiritual connection that people develop with their dogs, especially those lucky enough to share the bonding experience of hunting alongside their four legged best friend. It also highlights the special camaraderie people to tend to develop with their human hunting buddies too.
“… Now you tell me that there are streets of gold and angels in the air Now all that’s fine and dandy and I’m sure it’s nice up there There’s just one thing that I need to know ‘fore I settle down Can I take my hounds to heaven Can I hunt on God’s ground
Now you say if I quit drinking and try to toe the line I can make it up to glory at the end of my life Now whiskey is hard to throw away But something I might try to do If I could spend forever running round treeing coons
But if I can’t take my hound’s to heaven If I can’t hunt on God’s land Then I’d rather load my dog box up and go to hell with all my friends… “
It’s fitting that the best video of Childers performing Take My Hounds To Heaven also includes footage of him covering his favorite Charlie Daniels song. If hunting is permitted in heaven, then you can be sure that’s what ole’ Charlie is doing right now.
So cheers to Tyler Childers, may he continue to be Eatin’ Big Time the next time he goes out hunting, fishing, or fur trapping.