Thanks To My Toddler’s Love Of ‘Cars 3,’ I Now Hate Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley country music
Paul Hiffmeyer/Disney via Getty Images

Baby Shark…

Let It Go…

We Don’t Talk About Bruno…

If you have kids, at least one of these songs evokes memories of child-like joy, family bonding, and that familiar desire to ram your head through your sliding glass window.

It’s the soundtrack to your nightmares. The once catchy tune is now responsible for your high blood pressure, elevated cortisol levels, and bourbon nightcap(s).

I have a song like that in my life too, thanks to my new, least-favorite artist, Brad Paisley.

In my book, Paisley made a huge mistake when he wrote an instrumental song for Pixar’s 2017 movie “Cars 3” called “Thunder Hollow Breakdown.”

In the movie, a backwoods, redneck-inspired demolition derby takes place against the audio backdrop of what is essentially a Paisley guitar solo. It’s incredible.

The scene in the movie is lovely, and Paisley even plays it in his arena concerts. And now I hate him.

My kid ruined it for me by turning “Thunder Hollow Breakdown” into our family’s “Baby Shark.” Every time we buckled ourselves into the car, he asked for “Thunder Hollow”. Before bed, it was time for one more playing of “Thunder Hollow.” When we’d play with toys on the ground, he insisted on re-creating the demolition derby scene-by-scene with Hot Wheels.

And of course, he needed the soundtrack for maximum accuracy. More. Thunder. Hollow.

Even when my kid wasn’t around, the Spotify algorithm betrayed me. “Thunder Hollow” was in my Favorites. “More Like Thunder Hollow Breakdown” they suggested. “Made For You: Daily Mix 1, featuring Thunder Hollow Breakdown.”

So helpful, and driving me toward a Thunder Hollow Nervous Breakdown.

It’s too bad because Paisley is so good, it’s a shame I have to hate him. He’s got “She’s Everything” and “Whiskey Lullaby” and “I’m Gonna Miss Her.” But he has “Thunder Hollow” too, and I can’t forgive him for that. I’m gonna miss you, Brad; you’ve been blocked.

Still, would I rather hear “Baby Shark?” Perhaps the “Thunder Hollow” curse was a country-ass blessing. My son saved me from “Let It Go” and “Baby Shark” and other toddler addictions in favor of guitar savant, Grand Ole Opry member, and clever lyricist Brad Paisley.

Perhaps, despite my worst efforts, I’m raising that kid right. Kids pick their obsessions and comforts with unflinching and annoying dedication. And my kid could do much worse than ask me to play a Paisley song for the 547th time.

Paisley’s still blocked for now while I rehabilitate my Spotify algorithm. But he’s due for reinstatement this Friday.

Because that’s when I promised to show my kid Encanto.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock