Tyler Childers’ Unreleased “Take My Hounds To Heaven” Might Be The Best Hunting Song Ever Made

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 Childers to 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.

The dude just has a way of turning any experience into poetry, and that includes the muskie fishing and fur trapping adventures laid out in the vigorously underrated song Matthew, or the heartbreak of losing a hunting dog to an accident he sings about in Losing You, or the dream of tanning a fox hide to hang on his darlin’ bride’s shoulders that he romanticizes about in Country Squire.

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 song Snipe 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.

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