Music Monday: Small Town Hypocrisy

It’s funny how these blog posts sometimes come together.

As part of my blog yesterday about my confirmation song from over 50 years ago (I Just Can’t Wait Till May 3rd), I wanted to compare my songwriting abilities to some of the great songwriters (of course I would), and one of the names that I came across was Tom T. Hall.

Tom was the songwriter behind one of the most memorable songs from my younger days – Harper Valley PTA, which became a number one hit for Jeannie C. Riley. As described by Rolling Stone magazine, the song is about the mini-skirted heroine of “Harper Valley P.T.A. “who struts into the local junior high and exposes small-town hypocrisy by asking why Mrs. Taylor uses so much ice when her husband’s out of town”, and closes with the classic line “the day my momma socked it to the Harper Valley PTA”.

Here’s the song with its lyrics:

I guess while I was reading the little blurb about Harper Valley PTA, the word “hypocrisy” must have stuck with me.

So today as I was searching for a new song or artist to feature for Music Monday, I decided to check out the finalists for the New Female Artist of the Year from the recent American Country Music Awards. It wasn’t until I listened to the fifth and final one on the list (the artists were listed in alphabetical order), that I found a singer that resonated with me – Caylee Hammack.

And the first song I listened to of hers was titled “Small Town Hypocrite”.

It’s a beautiful song, and the video below shows off her songwriting, singing, and guitar playing abilities. She’s got that classic southern voice

Here’s what Caylee has said about “Small Town Hypocrite“, “…a lot of us have been in a situation where we’ve taken stock of our lives and thought, ‘What in the hell am I doing? This wasn’t what I signed up for and it definitely isn’t what I dreamed about.'”

How many of us have had similar thoughts? But how many of us are able to put those thoughts into a song?

So there you have it; two songs about small town hypocrisy, separated by over 50 years.

34 thoughts on “Music Monday: Small Town Hypocrisy

  1. She seems like a pretty good singer. I like the song.

    I liked Tom T. Hall, also. His tunes tended to be rather simple, such as, “Sneaky Snake,” “I Like Beer,” and “I Love.” So maybe your simple little tune you invented about May 3rd could have been a big hit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jim, I am not a small town gal, but I did live in one for two years when I was 10 and 11 years old. I was happy to get away and back to the city even though the change was tough at 12 years old.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve lived in the suburbs, which is neither a big city or a small town. I think I would prefer to live in a city where I could walk to everything…


  3. So much hypocrisy in the world. I like it when artists aren’t afraid to point it out. I never was a fan of the old twangy country. I remember Harper Valley PTA, but this is the first time I actually paid attention to the lyrics. My wife and son are the country music experts in the family, but I like much of today’s country music. This was the first time I’ve heard Small Town Hypocrite, but that is the kind of song I would play over again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always liked Harper Valley PTA; hopefully your school’s PTA did not have so much drama! It was also my first time to hear Small Town Hypocrite, but I quite liked it…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for again bringing me a song I would have not heard otherwise. Beautifully written and performed. Her southern drawl is hard not to be captivated by. Wonderful post, Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. songs are stories with music, and we hear all parts of life and experience in them. thanks for sharing this one with us, and I remember harper valley pta very well, kind of radical for its time. we used to belt it out for fun –

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  6. I never liked Harper Valley PTA but appreciate its meaning more nowadays than when I was a kid. Caylee Hammack was robbed in not getting that award, her album is well worth a listen. It interested me that The Chicks didn’t get a single nomination: the ACMA are an unforgiving bunch, aren’t they!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I listened to all the other nominees, and she was the only one that impressed me… Why am I not surprised you already knew about her!

      That makes no sense that the Chicks did not get a single nomination…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To be honest, I don’t know as much about the others. I’ve listened to them briefly – Apple Music is good for that – but she was the only one I’ve added to my library.

        I think The Chicks are still unwelcome in certain places after the furore in 2001. Looks like the ACMA is one of those. People with small minds – I put it down to hypocrisy…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Although I really liked Harper Valley PTA and movies liken Smokey and the Bandit, I’m not a big country music fan. I respect the talent and the lyrics resonate. A lot of country music makes me sad and depressed. Many of the artists sound like they are on the verge of tears. I like upbeat country music the best.

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