Year In Review: 12 Songs That Made 2011 A Special Year For Country Music (page 5)

Welcome back, Martina...she shows up twice in this list. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Welcome back, Martina…she shows up twice in this list. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Ronnie Dunn[/lastfm] – “Cost Of Livin’” (Arista Nashville/Sony)

Songs like “Cost Of Livin’” don’t gain traction when times are good.

This one rings a little too true for far too many people.

Like Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December” in 1973, Hank Jr’s “A Country Boy Can Survive” in 1982 and Pirates of the Mississippi’s “A Street Man Named Desire” in 1992, “Cost Of Livin’” – at the very least – stands as a permanent testament to the times from which it came.

Despite the video’s focus on a tire manufacturing plant whose closing has thrown 1,400 citizens of Small Town USA out of work, the message is universal.

And for those whose jobs are secure and bellies are full, it’s hopefully a reminder that but for the grace of God…