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50 Greatest City, State, And Town Songs – #13: “Austin” by Blake Shelton

April 20, 2008

Blake Shelton

50 Greatest City, State, And Town Songs: #13

“Austin” by Blake Shelton

Album: “Blake Shelton”

Chart Peak: #1

City, State, or Town: Austin, Texas

In his first crack at country radio Blake Shelton hit it out of the ball park with his first #1. The lyrics provide a play on words as it refers to both a girl and the city named Austin. The story follows this girl’s attempt to reconnect with the man she left behind for Austin only to find out that his love for her has lasted all this time. In one of the most memorable love stories of neotraditional country music Blake avoided the glorifying of the city of Austin and instead takes advantage of its name to perform what would be his signature song.

The song “Austin” begins with the man realizing that his girl, Austin, has left to supposedly clear her mind and figure some things out. He figures she went to Austin, Texas, a city she loves so much, and decides not to give up hope on her possible return. Meanwhile, almost a year later, Austin finally makes an attempt to call her ex back and possibly explain herself or see how he has fared sense her departure. She only gets his machine and discovers, to her pleasure and surprise, that after all that time he still loves her and is living his life normally with confidence and hope that she will return. He makes it a point to add that he still loves her after the message in anticipation of her call. What is so amazing to Austin is that despite having left her ex to do some soul searching in Austin, Texas, he still wants her more than ever.

The second verse continues after Austin has heard her ex’s machine. She shows a sense of disbelief that after this long he is still holding on. She begins to realize just how much he loved her and still does. She waits three days and tries again only to get his machine once again with him explaining how he is going on with his everyday life but still wants Austin to know he loves her. Touched by the fact that he is still holding on tight to her heart she leaves her number and only that to wait his call. The final verse brings everything together as he calls Austin in Austin, Texas and is given a message from her that she still loves him to. It is then revealed that this was not a similar message to what Austin had been getting, but it was Austin herself telling him directly that she still wants him to.

The most significant aspect of this song is the fact that the love between Austin and her ex was not prevented by her leaving for Texas. The name of the city itself proves as a sneeky double meaning for both the title and the name in the song to create an effective and enjoyable love story. The general meaning behind the story is that if love is strong enough it won’t matter how many miles are between you because it’s only a metter of time before you find your way back. Austin did some soul searching in the city she is named after and she attempted to contact her ex first. The fact that she left and she was the one who went back to him and the whole time her ex held on to that possibility is a sentiment to how powerful this emotion can be. This is a perfect example of how a city song isn’t always about the city itself. The use of Austin in Blake Shelton’s debut hit was mearly a way of working the major concept and an attactive play on words into a great love story.

Location in the state of Texas


3 Comments leave one →
  1. David Kent permalink
    March 23, 2009 6:37 pm

    As writer of this song “Austin” , I thank your for your including it on your top 50 list…and to make number 13 is indeed an honor. Thanks again. HOWEVER…there seems to be a misunderstanding regarding the use of the name Austin. It is not (or at least it was not intended to be) the name of the girl…only the city. He knew that she was in Austin, so when the guy leaves the message…”if this is Austin, I still love you” it is meant to sound like “if this is Chigago calling”…if this is a call from that city…as in the song “London Calling”…or as in “Houston, we’ve got a problem”. If it strikes you as awkward…all I can say is that it is based on an entirely true story. A real guy’s girl did leave him, go to Austin, TX and he did leave, at the end of his outgoing message…”If this is Austin calling, I still love you”. My co-writer (who was not the girlfriend) heard the message one day when she happened to call him about something…and told me about it…and we decided to write the song. Anyhow, that’s the story. and thank you…And btw thanks also for the nice review of my latest song…Tracy Lawrence’s new single “Up To Him”

  2. Leeann Ward permalink
    March 24, 2009 12:42 pm

    David, That’s how I interpreted the song, which is one of the things that makes it extra sweet. They were speaking somewhat of an inside language to each other there on the answering machine.

  3. Johne632 permalink
    August 5, 2014 9:57 pm

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