“She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)” is a song written by Tim DuBois and recorded by American country music singer Jerry Reed.
It was released in June 1982 as the third and final single from the album, The Man with the Golden Thumb.
A satire on divorce, the song was Reed’s third and final No. 1 country hit in the late summer of 1982, and one of his signature tunes.
he song is a tongue-in-cheek reflection on the recent divorce of a blue-collar worker who, back in 1963, asked his girlfriend to marry him simply because he couldn’t stand his own cooking.
In hindsight, the man now realizes that he wouldn’t have married her if he had known it was going to screw up the rest of his life.
Though the first few years were good, the “lust” died down after they had their children.
With this in mind, the man is not too surprised when he comes home one day to find the locks have all been changed and his suitcase is sitting on the porch with an attached note saying, “Goodbye, turkey! My attorney will be in touch.”
When his day in court comes, the man is willing to give his soon-to-be-ex “her fair share,” but it turns out to be far more than expected; the judge essentially throws the book at the man, garnishing everything of value he owns, awarding the woman the house, both cars, the TV and full custody of the kids, and then ordering the man to pay alimony, child support and court fees, which “adds up to more than this cowboy makes”.
While his ex is now “living like a queen”, the man is forced to live on bologna and work two jobs just to cover the expenses, all the while asking himself, “Why didn’t you just learn how to cook??”
The song ends with a spoken-word epilogue, in which the man declares to the judge that he no longer needs his billfold; because of all the rulings against him, his net income is now so low that he qualifies for food stamps.
The judge immediately finds him in contempt of court at this revelation. (This is a callback to Reed’s 1971 hit song “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot”, which ended similarly when Reed threatened the judge.)