For some people, of course, this sort of punning just confirms a sense of country music as a linguistic trailer park. Since Tennyson's time, punning has been deprecated as the basest form of humor, to the point where it is usually a kind of veiled aggressiveness. Habitual punsters live for groans the way violinists live for applause. Sophisticated people may make exceptions for the literary puns of Joyce or Nabokov or the urbane word play of 30s show tunes. But they have trouble finding a place for someone who make puns in earnest, particularly in a sentimental ballad.
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