Paint Me A Birmingham

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"Paint Me A Birmingham" is a hit country song written by Buck Moore and Gary Duffey.

The song was first recorded in 2003 by Tracy Lawrence for a planned album on Warner Brothers. That album was never released and the opportunity passed to Ken Mellons. He collaborated with Vince Gill on a single which was released on August 7 of that same year and later appeared on his 2004 album Sweet. The single peaked at #54 in the Billboard Hot Country list.

Based on the popularity of Mellons' version the earlier Tracy Lawrence recording was dusted off for his 2004 Dreamworks album Strong. Lawrence's version reached #4 on the Hot Country list and #42 on Billboard's Hot 100. It was his first Top 5 hit since 2000's "Lessons Learned".

In the song, the narrator meets an artist painting ocean scenes on the beach. He asks the artist to compose a scene based on his mental picture of plans that he and a former lover had made, but never realized. The chorus is:

"Paint me a Birmingham
Make it look just the way I planned
A little house on the edge of town
Porch goin' all the way around
Put her there in the front yard swing
Cotton dress, make it early spring
For awhile she'll be mine again
If you can paint me a Birmingham."

The competing singles prompted some press comparing the two, with most critics favoring Mellons' more emotion-filled performance. The song was parodied as "Bake Me a Country Ham" in Cledus T. Judd's 2005 album Bipolar and Proud.

References