Music Friday: Country Boy Is in Love With a Girl Who Wears a Diamond Ring

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you throwback tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, 27-time Grammy winner Alison Krauss delivers her second-person rendition of “I’m Just a Country Boy,” a song originally released by Harry Belafonte in 1954. In Krauss’s 2007 version — “You’re Just a Country Boy” — she tells the story of a penniless young man who is in love with the prettiest girl in town. The object of his affection wears fine jewelry and he fears that she’ll turn down his marriage proposal because he can’t afford a “store-bought ring.”

In addition to the diamonds and jewelry referenced in the song, precious metals are also used to illustrate the young man’s appreciation of nature.

Krauss sings, “Ain’t gonna marry in the fall / Ain’t gonna marry in the spring / For you’re in love with a pretty little girl / Who wears a diamond ring. / And you’re just a country boy / Money have you none / But you’ve got silver in the stars / And gold in the mornin’ sun / Gold in the mornin’ sun.”

Later in the song, she sings about his financial struggles, “Never could afford / A store-bought ring / With a sparkling diamond stone / All you can afford / Is a loving heart / The only one you own.”

Written by Fred Hellerman and Marshall Barer, the original, first-person version of “I’m Just a Country Boy” has been covered by George McCurn, Ronnie Laine, Jimmie Rodgers, Jim Croce, Jimmy Witherspoon, Roger Whittaker, David Ball, John Holt, The Brothers Four, Bobby Vinton and Bobby Vee. The most famous cover was sung by Don Williams, whose 1977 version went all the way to #1 on the Billboard Country chart.

Trivia: Barer was famous for composing the “Mighty Mouse” theme song.

Krauss included “You’re Just a Country Boy” as the first track on her compilation album called A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection. That album earned a #3 position on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart and #10 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.

Born in Decatur, IL, in 1971, Alison Maria Krauss studied classical violin at age 5 and was a teenage fiddling phenomenon. She signed with Rounder Records as a 14-year-old and released her first solo album two years later.

During her stellar career, Krauss has released 14 albums while helping to renew the public’s interest in bluegrass music. Krauss is the top female Grammy winner of all time with 27 wins. Only Georg Solti (31) and Quincy Jones (28) have more.

Please check out the video of Krauss performing “You’re Just a Country Boy.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“You’re Just a Country Boy”
Written by Marshall Barer and Fred Kellerman. Performed by Alison Krauss.

Ain’t gonna marry in the fall
Ain’t gonna marry in the spring
For you’re in love with a pretty little girl
Who wears a diamond ring.

And you’re just a country boy
Money have you none
But you’ve got silver in the stars
And gold in the mornin’ sun
Gold in the mornin’ sun.

Never gonna kiss
The ruby red lips
Of the prettiest girl in town
Never gonna ask her if she’d
Marry you
She’ll only turn you down.

You’re just a country boy
Money have you none
But you’ve got silver in the stars
And gold in the mornin’ sun
Gold in the mornin’ sun.

Never could afford
A store-bought ring
With a sparkling diamond stone
All you can afford
Is a loving heart
The only one you own.

‘Cause you’re just a country boy
Money have you none
But you’ve got silver in the stars
And gold in the mornin’ sun
Gold in the mornin’ sun…

Credit: Photo by Filberthockey at en.wikipedia / Public domain.

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