Mike and I went out with some friends last weekend to Swallow at the Hollow, a tasty dinner and fun venue despite the unfortunate moniker. Three country/folky songwriters were performing that night and we stayed for the show. As a result, I’m developing a theory about lyrics, mostly pop and pop country: If the song begins with the word “I,” I’m probably not going to like it (take, for example, most American Idol singles). These lyrics seem easy. A little bit cookie-cutter.

As a corollary, Mike Nelson offered the suggestion that if the song mentions a car by name (mostly Chevy and Ford), it’s not looking good for that one, either. See almost every country song ever.

While I might anticipate backlash from songwriter friends (how many songs have I written, again?), almost all their songs are lyrically strong, with every word pored over and deliberate. I appreciate that about them.