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I'd Be Better Off (In a Pine Box)

"I'd Be Better Off (In a Pine Box)" is a debut song written by Johnny MacRae and Steve Clark, and recorded by American country music artist Doug Stone. It was released in February 1990 as the first single from his self titled debut album. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and #5 on The Canadian RPM Tracks chart. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.

"I'd Be Better Off (In a Pine Box)"
Doug Stone - I'd Be Better Off.jpg
Single by Doug Stone
from the album Doug Stone
B-side"It's a Good Thing I Don't Love You Anymore"[1]
ReleasedFebruary 1, 1990[2]
FormatCD Single, Cassingle, 7" single
LabelEpic 73895
Songwriter(s)Johnny MacRae, Steve Clark
Producer(s)Doug Johnson
Doug Stone singles chronology
"I'd Be Better Off (In a Pine Box)"
"Fourteen Minutes Old"


In this song, the narrator describes the anguish he feels knowing that the woman who left him has found love with another man and will never come back to him. His pain is so great he is considering suicide or murder to end it. Killing himself (and being shipped home in a pauper's casket) or killing them (and spending his life in prison) seem preferable to having "her and him together" on his mind.

Music videoEdit

The music video was directed by directing duo Deaton-Flanigen. The video features Stone singing the song in a motel room, with him hitchhiking for a ride. At the end of the video, it shows his former lover getting married to another man. As Stone walks away, the woman takes a glance at him as the limo that she and her new husband is in leaves the church.

Critical receptionEdit

Brian Mansfield of Allmusic praised the song by calling it "a towering expression of self-pity that most singers could spend a career trying to top".[3]

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1990) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[4] 5
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 4

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1990) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[6] 65
US Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 34


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 405. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  2. ^ AOL Music Profile for "I'd Be Better Off (In a Pine Box)"
  3. ^ Mansfield, Brian. "Doug Stone". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
  4. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 7924." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. June 9, 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  5. ^ "Doug Stone Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  6. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1990". RPM. December 22, 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  7. ^ "Best of 1990: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013.