Hayes Carll, “Another Like You”
For the past decade, Hayes Carll has spent the bulk of his time on the road, peddling his boozy, brainy country songs to audiences across the country. And like every road warrior, he’s got a few peculiar habits when it comes to passing the time between gigs.
“I listen to a lot of right-wing talk radio,” he admits. “It’s a weird routine, since I grew up on the other side of the political spectrum and continue to stick pretty close to that. The radio stuff can be infuriating, but it’s also interesting to hear the other side of the story, you know?”
Politics play a recurring role in KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories), Carll’s latest release. They come to a head on “Another Like You,” a sharp-tongued, show-stealing tune about finding love — for one night, at least — across the political divide.
“If you let them, politics can rule out half of your potential dating pool, unless you’ve got the right mix of booze and physical attraction,” Carll says. “That’s kind of the message behind “Another Like You.” People ask me if it’s a love song, and I tell them it’s more of a lust song.”
“Another Like You” revolves around two characters: a drunk Democrat, played by Carll, and an equally drunk, loudmouthed Republican, played by country vocalist Cary Ann Hearst. The two meet in a bar and share a few drinks, trading insults all the while. As the taunts get more and more heated, so does the physical chemistry.
“Shouldn’t you be purging?” Carll asks his companion at one point, only to have her fire back with, “Well, you’re probably still a virgin!”
By the final verse, the two are making out in the elevator, too attracted to one another to care about their idealogical differences. “I gotta hand it to ya, there’s a chance I’m gonna screw ya!” Hearst announces, and the two eventually make their way back to Carll’s temporary digs in Room 402, presumably to do just that.
It’s easy to see the resemblance between Carll and the character he plays. Both share the same sort of dry humor and barstool philosophy. Still, inspiration for his right-wing hookup came from a more unlikely source.
“Opposites attract,” he begins, “and sometimes the things that infuriate you the most about a person can also light your fire. I was watching Ann Coulter one day and started thinking about putting her into a song, just wondering what I’d do if I was trying to pick her up. She’s oddly engaging. I can’t stand her, but then I find myself thinking, “You know, under what circumstances would this actually happen?” So I imagined a hotel bar. She’s coming out of a political conference in which she was insulting everything I believe in, and I’m there after a show, getting hammered. How would things play out?”
With Coulter in mind, Carll quickly came up with the song’s first line: “You were smoking on a cigarette, talking ‘bout the deficit.” He added a few more details and finished the first verse, then decided to flip perspectives by writing from the woman’s point of view. Using a second narrator gave him the chance to poke fun of himself, to laugh at his own caricature as a wheezy barfly with a drink in one hand and a guitar in the other. “You were falling like the Alamo, drinking fast and talking slow,” goes Hearst’s opening jab. Later, she makes a wisecrack about his cheap clothing and admits that there’s nothing wrong with the Democratic party, assuming you’re a member of the Taliban.
Some of the song’s best one-liners arrived at the very last minute. When it came time to record “Another Like You,” Carll found himself sitting in a Nashville studio, racing to finish his lyrics before the tape started rolling. When Heart showed up to record her vocals, Carll realized he’d never even asked about her own political beliefs. Maybe she actually believed the stuff she was about to sing. Maybe he was offending her.
“We just took the microphones, stood right across from each other, and did a bunch of takes,” he remembers. “I didn’t know Cary Ann very well at the time, so I didn’t know if this character was close to her own political leanings or the opposite. Not knowing those things created a fun vibe, where we could both really play the parts. When I sang the part about “How much did you pay for that tan?”, she looked down at my shoes and ad-libbed, “More than you paid for those boots.” It was fun, just perfectly in character. Or maybe it wasn’t even in character.”
“Another Like You”
You were smoking on a cigarette
Talking about the deficit
Putting all them wild boys down
A-like a drunken Mona Lisa or the Leanin’ Tower of Pisa
You were hanging off the edge of town
I overheard Afghanistan is safer than a minivan
Left me wonderin’ what I should do
Ah, you’re like a four leaf clover
I just had to come on over
I’ve never seen a woman like you
You was falling like the Alamo
Drinking fast and talking slow
Looking like it’s time to go home
Were you hitting on the stripper cause you can’t afford to tip her
Or just afraid of being alone
You was openly frustrated
You said Dylan’s over rated
For singing Tangled Up In Blue
I don’t know what I was thinking I could feel my heart a-sinking
I have never seen a fellow like you
And out the way we do it’s true
We fall for the first one
How come it always ends up the worst one?
Well you’re probably a Democrat,
What the hell is wrong with that?
Nothing if you’re Taliban
I see, well, I bet you slept with half the south
Don’t you ever shut your mouth?
How much did you pay for that tan?
More than you paid for them boots
Oh, shouldn’t you be purging?
You’re probably still a virgin
I can’t believe you’re not on The View
Have to have another round, it’s looking like we’re trouble bound
I have never seen another like you
Ain’t that the way we do it’s true you take the breath from me
It seems like you are bound to be the death of me
Oh, well, a couple hours later, we were in the elevator
A-making out like Bonnie and Clyde
We were dizzy from the love we found
Throwin’ up and goin’ down
Lord it’s been a hell of a ride
I’m having trouble breathing
Well I probably should be leaving
You know I’m up in room 402
Well I gotta hand it to you
There’s a chance I’m gonna screw you
I have never seen another like you
I don’t know if it’s forever
But I’m glad that we’re together
I have never seen another like you.
Written by Hayes Carll