6: American Saturday Night

6: American Saturday Night

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Country Music

American Saturday Night

Story by Ashley Gorley

Song written by Ashley Gorley, Brad Paisley, and Kelley Lovelace

Recorded by Brad Paisley

Brad came up with the idea for this song, and he nailed the chorus: “French kiss, Italian ice/Spanish moss in the moonlight / just another American Saturday Night.” Once we got there, it set the stage for the rest of the song. From there, he and Kelley Lovelace and I took off with it. Kelley and I had been working on it for a couple of days, and then we got together with Brad just to see if all of our cultural references were fitting right. We finished it at Brad’s house about 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. He’s a late-night writer. I’ve left his house at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning several times.

After we finished the song, that became the name for the album and then the tour, so the concept really caught on from there, and it also became a #1 single, too.

We were really proud of the fact that it went to a deeper level, beyond just the typical “redneck, Saturday night bonfire” kind of song. It was really more about the idea of a typical New York street fair where all these different cultures come together. We all came up with the different ideas, whether it was the toga party, or the Brazilian leather, or the Canadian bacon, or the German car — it was just about celebrating all the different influences that make America, America. You can get a little taste of the world in about three hours in some neighborhoods like that.

Brad loves coming up with those new ideas, or maybe a new take on an old idea. That was a record where he wanted to depart a little bit from just using gimmicks or silliness, and it’s pretty apparent from the singles they’ve come out with. When you’re writing a lyric, it’s tough to be clever, but not necessarily funny, to make it a fun song, but to be thoughtful at the same time. He played the song at the Capitol on the Fourth of July, too, so that made it pretty special.

When they started talking about doing the video, Brad called me up and said he wanted me to be in it. He said he wanted Kelley and I to make cameo appearances in it, but I was in London, so I called him and said, “Ah, man, I can’t. I’m out of the country.” So nothing else was said about it, and the next thing I knew I saw a copy of the video and he has my head superimposed on some guy at the toga party wearing this blue, Elvis-looking leisure suit. He got my head off the Internet somewhere and cut if off and put it on this guy’s body. My kids have it on their iPods and they get a big kick out of it. I don’t know whether he was getting back at me for blowing off his video or what, but I thought it was hilarious when I saw it.

American Saturday Night

She’s got Brazilian leather boots on the pedal of her German car

Listening to the Beatles singing “Back in the USSR”

Yeah, she’s goin’ around the world tonight

but she ain’t leavin’ here

She’s just going to meet her boyfriend down at the street fair

It’s a French kiss, Italian ice

Spanish moss in the moonlight

Just another American Saturday night

There’s a big toga party tonight down at Delta Chi

They’ve got Canadian bacon on their pizza pie

They’ve got a cooler for cold Coronas and Amstel Lights

It’s like we’re all livin’ in a big ol’ cup

just fire up the blender, and mix it all up

It’s a French kiss, Italian ice

margaritas in the moonlight

Just another American Saturday night

You know everywhere has something they’re known for

Oh, but usually it washes up on our shores

My great, great, great, granddaddy stepped off of that ship

I bet he never ever dreamed we’d have all this.

You know everywhere has somethin’ they’re known for

Oh, but usually it washes up on our shores

Little Italy, Chinatown, sittin’ there side by side

Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!

French kiss, Italian ice,

Spanish moss in the moonlight

just another American, just another American

It’s just another American Saturday night

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