Written by Morgan Lohmeier on November 3, 2015.
Would your true love follow you through anything life throws your way? I’m sure many of us that have been in a deep relationship have wondered such at least a few times. Josh Turner’s Platinum rated hit from his album, Your Man, in 2006, “Would You Go with Me” asks such questions in a beautifully written song by Shawn Camp and John Scott Sherrill. With an upbeat banjo and guitar instrumental leading into the first verse of the song, listeners are immediately drawn in.
Taking a look at the kind of man Josh Turner is makes this song, and the rhetoric of it, all the more attractive to the audience. Turner spoke out on the person he is and his background beautifully in an “I Am Second” interview. The movement is aimed at inspiring people to live for God and for each other. Josh Turner’s interview on the site allows him to speak about how he knew God had a calling for him to be a country singer. Turner speaks about his close relationship with God throughout the interview and how his faith is incorporated into his music, without making it Gospel music. Turner is married with four sons, and his entire family travels with him on tour. His wife is even in his band as a keyboard player and back-up vocalist. Being a family man and a devoted Christian certainly draws in a similar characterized audience to Turner’s music. In a recent interview from “The Boot,” Turner spoke about what his goal was in the music he produces, saying, “I’ve always tried to make my music positive, but life is not always positive, so I’ve always just tried to write and record songs about real life. There’s some things I refuse to sing about, but overall, when I make a record, I want people to walk away from that record feeling better about life and about themselves than they did before they heard the record.” With all this in mind, Turner’s song, “Would You Go with Me,” can certainly be looked at rhetorically as a song that questions everlasting love and faith.
The first verse of this lovely tune relays Josh Turner’s stunningly smooth, deep, handsome voice asking the question, “Would you go with me, if we rolled down streets of fire?” Streets of fire? No thanks! But that’s not literally what Turner is getting at here. He continues on to ask, “Would you hold onto me tighter, as the summer sun got higher? If we rolled from town to town, and never shut it down…” Ah, now it’s beginning to come together. This first verse is about this unknown person following Turner through the lit up streets through the nights (streets of fire) and into the days (as the summer sun got higher). They won’t stop moving as they venture from town to town together, never “shutting down.” I’d certainly go with Josh Turner.
Without hesitation, the song continues into the second verse as Turner once again asks, “would you go with me?” This time he asks this, so far unidentified, person if she’d go with him if they were lost in fields of clover and hold him close “until the trip was over.” Turner then asks if it would be okay if he didn’t know the way, with a long, deep and smooth drawn out pronunciation of the word “way.” Well, if you ask like that, with that mesmerizing voice of yours, Josh, I’m sure any girl would be fine with holding you close even if you didn’t know the way.
With a quick strum of the banjo, the song leads in to the chorus. “If I gave you my hand, would you take it and make me the happiest man in the world? If I told you my heart couldn’t beat one more minute without you, girl…” Oh, now we see he’s talking about some lucky girl, but not me unfortunately. “Would you accompany me to the edge of the sea? Let me know if you’re really a dream. I love you so, so would you go with me?” Okay, when will the day come that a man with an alluring voice and a guitar in his grip sing these words to me? Why is Josh Turner even having to ask these questions? Of course his love will go with him, who wouldn’t?
Following the tear-jerking chorus is another, happy and upbeat banjo/guitar instrumental, followed by the voice we were beginning to miss within a few seconds of not hearing it as Turner leads into the third, and final verse of the song. Just like every prior verse, this one begins the same as Turner asks that repetitive question to the woman he’s wooing: “Would you go with me…?” This time, however, Turner asks if she’ll go with him if they rode the clouds together and didn’t look down, ever. He then asks if she’d still go with him if he set her free. Well duh, of course she would, Josh.
The song continues on into the chorus once again as Turner asks if she’ll take his hand and make him the happiest man in the world. Unlike the first time we heard the chorus, where Turner wants to know if this girl is really a dream, this time he asks her to help him “tie up the ends of a dream,” signifying that this big dream is coming together and coming true. Turner then, once again unlike the first time we heard the chorus, says he has to know, “would you go with me?” Summing up the chorus in the same fashion as the original chorus, Turner reminds this woman that he loves her so, “so would you go with me?” As Turner sings those last few words, his voice deepens to his well-known murmur that he’s famous for. The song then concludes with a beautifully-strummed banjo and guitar outro.
So what is the rhetoric to this song? With a certified Platinum, US Country Songs Billboard number 1 rank in 2006, and a Grammy nomination for Male Country Vocal Performance of the Year in 2007 for this song, Turner must’ve been reaching for the stars with this hit. What drew such a huge fan base for this song? The music video alone has over 12 million views. The meaning of the song grows even deeper after watching the video for it. In short, the song is about everlasting love. Turner is asking a woman for much more than just a hand to hold. He’s calling on her to follow him through every part of life.
As the audience listens to this song, and comes to realize that, the song holds the questions we all ask when trusting our heart to someone we love. The exigence of this song can simply be described as the need to know if one’s true love will follow through whatever life throws. Coming from a man like Josh Turner, who has a history of being a devoted family man and Christian, it’s easy for fans to take the words of this song to heart with full trust that Turner is meaning every word of it. The audience’s trust in Turner as a good man is the song’s ethos. As we listen to the words of the song, following along as Turner asks his love to follow him through streets of fire, fields of clovers, and over the clouds, we are given the imagery of two people never letting go of each other no matter what their surroundings hold. The emotions, or pathos, we feel as Turner asks his love to take his hand, therefore making him the happiest man in the world, gives us longing for a love that fills our hearts as much as this love described. Turner summing up the song with asking his love to help him tie up the ends of this dream he has of them going through all these scenarios together and reminding her that he loves her so, gives the listeners faith that this isn’t going to be a short-lived romance when this love of his finally takes his hand. With Turner’s history and smooth voice, the audience is drawn to believe every word sung. The logos here reiterates that after listening to Turner’s magical voice and the lyrics of this love song, we can have faith that true love is everlasting.
Faith. There’s another topic for discussion in relation to this song. While it appears as though Turner is giving the audience reasons to have faith in true love, the questions asked throughout the song can also be reflecting of questions God asks his “children,” as Christians are called. With meaningful, almost biblical wording usage, such as, “streets of fire” and accompanying to “the edge of the sea,” we can sense a seriousness to how Turner feels about his girl following him through life in every aspect. But these questions are all the so similar to questions we are asked throughout the Bible. God is constantly wanting us to take his hand and in doing so, we make him the happiest. He is truly happy with every Christian that takes his hand and follows him through every part of life. No, I don’t mean literally grabbing God’s hand and walking around your daily life with him next to you in-person. Christians figuratively take God’s hand and follow him through life and aspire to be good people and have a strong faith and relationship with God. Turner is a man of faith and family, and looking at this song in the view of speaking about a true love or the aspects of faith, “Would You Go with Me” is a great reflection of the questions we, the audience, asks those we love and the questions our faith poses for us as well.
|0:00-0:25||Instrumental Intro||Guitar and banjo||The lighthearted and upbeat brings life to the song immediately.|
|0:26-0:51||Verse 1||“Would you go with me, if we rolled down streets of fire…”||Turner here is asking if this, at this point unknown, woman would follow him through the crazy parts of life and never let go.|
|0:52-1:15||Verse 2||“Would you go with me, if we were lost in fields of clover…”||Turner wonders if she would stick with him even if he lost his way and they had to wander back to finding their way together, symbolizing a love that lasts through hard ships and encourages one another.|
|1:16-1:48||Chorus||“If I gave you my hand, would you take it and make me…”||Turner asks his love to take his hand and make him the happiest man in the world, making his dreams come true.|
|1:49-2:10||Instrumental||guitar and banjo||This upbeat pause from the chorus to the next verse gives the serious tone and questions asked in the lyrics a little bit more of a light-hearted feel.|
|2:11-2:34||Verse 3||“Would you go with me, if we rode the clouds together…”||By asking if his love will stick with him even if he set her free, Turner is emphasizing the enduring, everlasting aspect to true love.|
|2:35-3:10||Chorus||“If I gave you my hand, would you take it and make me…”||Turner asks if his love will take his hand and tie up the ends of this dream, making him the happiest man.|
|3:11-3:42||Instrumental||Guitar and banjo||Similar to the instrumental in the intro of the song, bringing the song near its close.|
|3:43-3:52||Outro||A final strum of the guitar, followed by some quick strumming of the banjo||The instrumental continues, but begins to fade out until the song comes to an end.|
“Josh.” Josh Turner. 2015 Josh Turner, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015. <http://joshturner.com/josh>.
“Josh Turner – I Am Second.” I Am Second RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015. <http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/josh-turner/>.
“Josh Turner Chart History.” Billboard. 2015 Billboard, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015. <http://www.billboard.com/artist/305248/Josh+Turner/chart?f=357>.
Thompson, Gayle. “Josh Turner Says New Album Won’t Feature ‘Gratuitous’ Music.” The Boot. Taste of Country Network, 25 Sept. 2015. Web. 03 Nov. 2015. <http://theboot.com/josh-turner-new-album-2015/>.