Of course nothing happened and Y2K was pretty anticlimactic, but since then a ton has changed in our world. Cell phones have gone from something that rich people had mounted in their cars to a necessity of modern life. The internet isn’t just something that we can use when our mom isn’t on the phone, but something we carry around in our pocket.
And of course music has changed too. We no longer have to wait in line at FYE (or Camelot Music) to get new music from our favorite artists, because it’s all at our fingertips at all times.
It’s pretty crazy when you think about it.
Of course with all of those changes, that means a lot of things that were normal in our childhood are now completely outdated, and there will soon be an entire generation who will never understand what it was like to call a phone number to get the weather forecast or movie times, or having to answer the phone having no idea who was on the other line.
And I’ve realized there are a lot of classic country songs that have lines that kids now will probably never understand.
“Straight Tequila Night” – John Anderson
This song’s still a classic, but with TouchTunes replacing traditional jukeboxes, anyone who’s never had to flip through records and press a button to select a song on the jukebox will probably never understand what the line “K-13 is her favorite song” is even referring to.
“Callin’ Baton Rouge” – Garth Brooks
Everybody still gets hyped by the Garth Brooks cover of this Oak Ridge Boys song. But does anybody born after 2000 even understand what the singer is asking when he asks the operator to put him on through? And why does he need to pull over at a truck stop to get “a couple dollars change” to call Baton Rouge?
“Single White Female” – Chely Wright
Back before Tinder, people actually put ads in the newspaper looking for a date. The want ads have been replaced by dating apps (and Craigslist ads, if you’re into that sort of thing…), but in the ’90s, seeing an ad in the paper for a “single white female” wasn’t out of the ordinary.
“Set ‘Em Up Joe” – Vern Gosdin
A tribute to the legendary Ernest Tubb and his hit “Walkin’ the Floor,” the song finds a man wearing out the song on a jukebox…literally, wearing it out. But today’s generation will never understand having to replace a worn out record in a jukebox after “running a needle” through it so much.
“Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” – Travis Tritt
The ultimate ’90s “f*ck you” song. But with payphones long a thing of the past, nobody born after 2000 will really understand just what a sick burn “Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares” really was.
“I Can Still Make Cheyenne” – George Strait
“He left the phone dangling off the hook” was such a heartbreaking line in this George Strait classic, about a man whose wife told him not to bother coming home because he loved the rodeo more than he loved her. But now, the line would have to be something like “He blocked her number in his iPhone,” which just doesn’t quite hit the same.
“Austin” – Blake Shelton
Remember how much fun we had as kids when we got to record the message for our parents’ answering machine? Well answering machines are long a thing of the past, replaced by voicemail on our cell phones, so most kids probably won’t even understand the back-and-forth of recording a message on an answering machine that was intended for just one person. And why couldn’t she just call his cell phone? Who still has a house phone these days?
“American Made” – The Oak Ridge Boys
This song by the legendary Oak Ridge Boys is still accurate in a lot of ways, as it talks about everything you buy being made overseas. But when he says he’s got a “Sony color TV,” kids today probably don’t realize what a big deal that was back in the day: A color TV was a status symbol, a luxury for families that could afford a TV that wasn’t just in black and white.
“Who Needs Pictures” – Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley burst onto the scene with his debut single “Who Needs Pictures” back in the late ’90s, and went on to become one of the biggest artists of the decade. But that song hasn’t exactly aged well, because today’s generation will never understand a song about finding a camera with actual film and having to take it to be developed to find out what pictures are on it.