Kenny Rogers knows how to tell a wonderful story in his songs. It’s something you’ll always want to listen to because of the well-told plot of the story/song. “Coward of the County” is definitely something you must add to your list of Kenny Rogers’ songs.
This song tells the story of a man named Tommy, whose father died in prison when he was young. Before the death of his father, Tommy was left with some words that he’ll carry on in his life.
Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done
Walk away from trouble if you can
Now, it won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek
I hope you're old enough to understand
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man
Tommy did what his father told him. That is why people in his town called him the coward of the county. However, when the woman he loved came home crying because of the Gatlin Boys, Tommy couldn’t contain it anymore. He lost control of himself and ended up beating the three boys.
Like Rogers’ “The Gambler,” his song “Coward of the County” made it to the top of the country chart. In addition, it secured a spot on the Hot 100 chart at number three. In the Canadian charts, Rogers’ single went straight to number one too.
His top-performing song was part of his multi-platinum album Kenny. The album reached number one the US Billboard country chart and the Canadian chart. In addition, it secured a spot on the Billboard 200 at number five.
After the release of the song, the Gatlin Brothers encountered some problems. The characters in the song were also named as Gatlin Boys, and there were three of them too. It made people think that the songwriters were referring to Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers. However, the songwriters said such was not the case. It’s just that the name perfectly fits the words in the song.