My former bandmate Ruth has always wanted to host a “Songs with Bad Grammar” workshop at a music festival. When we started to brainstorm for repertoire, we realized that most country songs— with their standard use of double negatives—would qualify for the workshop. Notwithstanding, we had fun identifying good candidates. Here are some:
I heard the crash on the highway, but I didn’t hear nobody pray.
From Roy Acuff’s “Wreck on the Highway.” This is the song that spawned the idea. Click here for a listen.
Love me tender, love me sweet, never let me go.
Made famous by Elvis Presley. The adverbs should be tenderly and sweetly.
Who do you love?
From rock-and-roller Bo Diddley. It should be whom, because the question refers to the object of the sentence (You love whom?).
In the desert, you can remember your name, ‘cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.
From America’s first successful single, “A Horse with No Name”