Joe Diffie was born on December 18th, 1958, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His music career started at age 14, performing with his Aunt’s band. It was a family band with his father playing guitar and banjo and his mother singeing. According to Short Biography (), his parents said he could sing harmony at three years old. Initially, he studied to be a doctor, but after getting married, he started working in an oil field in Texas, when he began working as a musician. Diffie started a bluegrass band called Special Edition as well as a gospel band called Higher Purpose. The groups did limited tours in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Throughout the tour, he started sending demo records to producers in Nashville. Randy Travis almost recorded one of his songs. His first job in Nashville was with Gibson Guitars while working as a session singer. In 1990 he signed with Epic Records in Nashville. Although he recorded one album before Honkey Tonk Attitude, this album was considered his first hit record. He sang a wide range of songs throughout his career, including many iconic 1990s country songs that were a little over the top but so much fun to sing. Sadly, in 2019 he died from COVID-19 complications. These are ten of the best Joe Diffie songs.
10. So Help Me Girl
Although many of his classified as novelty songs, So Help Me Girl shows a softer side of the artist. It’s a traditional country ballad about a relationship gone wrong and someone who can’t let go of the one they loved. The refrain of the song is an apology for the deep feelings that he can’t help. As the song progresses, you realize it’s about a short but intense relationship.
9. Good Brown Gravy
This song wasn’t one of his major hits. Yet, it’s one of the best in his catalog. There is a little bit of self-deprecation, although he talks about one that he can do better than anyone else, cooking gravy. It’s a fun song as long as you catch the true meaning. Joe Diffie has a way with wordplay and solid country fun with jamming guitar and a twang that perfectly lends itself to his style.
8. I’d Like To Have A Problem Like That
The beginning of the has an almost sinister vibe. It lends itself to lyrics about someone who aspires to be wealthy rather than middle management. It’s a smoother song, but the meaning is still vintage Diffie. Diffie’s theme is about the middle class and how many feel if they were as rich as many of the upper class, they would be happy. However, Diffie sings it tongue in cheek, coming across as a tribute to blue-collar workers. Most likely, it’s a song he wrote during his days working in the oil fields.
7. I’m In Love With A Capital U
This song is about a guy who spent his school days focusing on everything besides learning. It’s a misspelled tribute to a popular girl he was never able to have. He creates analogies from things you might study in high school and turns them into a campy love song.
6. I Can Walk The Line If It Ain’t That Straight
Two songs that complement each other are alcohol and country songs. Add a guy with a woman who thinks she can change him and add Joe Diffie; you have perfect 90s country magic. The line in the song is about a guy who is trying but really can’t do everything he is being asked, even though he’s trying. Many of the lyrics are for guys who try and are good men but never measure up to the expectations of their significant others.
5. Ships That Don’t Come In
This song is another from an artist who spent much of his career writing catchy songs with silly lyrics. The song is about a man who meets someone with more experience and an evening sitting at a bar and helps him see how blessed his life has been. Throughout the lyrics, he details dreamers, soldiers, and people who suffer debilitating mental illnesses. Despite being a heavy song, it has a beautiful takeaway, be thankful for the life you have and stop worrying about decisions that didn’t work the way you thought they might.
4. John Deere Green
The best way to classify this song is as a blue-collar love song. The pair in this song are each other’s, first love. Trying to proclaim his love for Charlene, he paints I love you on the town’s water tower. The plan works, and they end up getting married. The city left the proclamation on the building because the story was so sweet. It’s also suggested that he keeps painting it years later. The takeaway in this song is that crazy acts of love produce the best results.
3. Pickup Man
Pickup trucks are another staple of country songs, and in incapable hands, this staple sounds overdone. Yet Diffie turns it into a cute love song about a guy who uses it as a pickup line. Diffie’s style remains blue-collar throughout his career, and this song was a chart-topper early in his career. Moreover, he makes an awkward guy sound cool in these lyrics.
2. Third Rock From the Sun
The song starts with a spacey vibe that separates it from many songs from the decade. The lyrics are about the weird coincidences in life and how they create a chain of events. There are many different situations in the song that produce a chain of events that cause chaos. It’s a three-minute story with a lot of action, something you’d expect to see on a sitcom.
1. Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox (If I Die)
The best song by Joe Diffie is also his most outrageous. Death is depressing, and many people fear it. However, Diffie turns death into a party. The easiest way to describe this song is a redneck wake. The character in the song is writing his last rites, asking his friends to give him a memorable outro to life.