Nine and a half years ago I was graduating college and gearing up for my first post-college job as well as my first music industry job where I’d find myself traveling the country for seven months nonstop doing mobile marketing for CMT. Two random strangers became my daily travel companions, best friends, and colleagues. One of them was from Texas. I’ll never forget my first phone call with him as I stood outside on my parents’ back patio telling him, “I feel like I should have been born in Texas.”
There’s something about the idea of that hard working, hard loving, rough and tumble, country, Texas life that is so appealing to me, and always has been. This is exactly how Bradley Banning’s new single, “Don’t Mess With Texas” makes me feel all over again. Somehow, his writing (along with co-writers’ David Banning and Kyle Level) allows me to feel like I know what it’s like to be a Texan, even though I grew up in a farm town in rural Ohio. This song takes you right there, like it’s walking you through memories and realities of life growing up in Texas and showing you what it means to be a Texan not in simplistic terms, but in a genuine, uniquely Texas, “life is lived like this here” kind of way.
A lot of songs have been written about Texas from the position of having pride in your homeland and with good intention, but none of them come across the way “Don’t Mess With Texas” does. Bradley Banning, David Banning, and Kyle Level write from a place of compassion, love, and heart as they outline all the do’s and don’ts of Texas life. Often these types of Texas-pride songs end up seeming pompous or ego-driven, which feels off-putting for the listener (particularly if not from Texas), but this song does just the opposite. It makes you proud and happy, like you’re part of something much bigger than yourself. It makes you proud to have the freedom we currently do in the United States to soak up the little joys of life like dancing with your girl at Greune Hall, and it reminds us not to forget to take advantage of those little moments, because in the end the little moments are actually the moments that make our lives matter.
After all, this isn’t just Texas history in the making, it’s American history in the making. Now, go paint the world and the history books with what makes you unique right where you are!
I sure hope this song finds it’s way as a new anthem for Texas, and in your home.
Don’t Mess With Texas… You Love Her.