Somebody was giving me hell today about liking country music. He characterizes country music as involving ignorant, redundant and one-dimensional themes. His criticism sounded to me a bit like unjustified music snobbery, but it got me thinking. Why do I love country music? Here are my thoughts.
- Songwriting doesn’t get any better than Bruce Robison. Have you listened to My Brother and Me? What about Travelin’ Soldier? Wrapped? These are all great songs.
- Country music has a sense of humor. I like that we can joke about alcohol causing a few births and the significance of the red Solo cup. Is there anyone out there who feels like they laugh too often?
- Country music also has the capacity to touch on serious subjects. Anger? Not Ready to Make Nice. Loss of the love of your life? Don’t Take The Girl. How kids, even initially unwanted kids, change your life? There Goes My Life. Being true to yourself? Follow Your Arrow.
- With country music, far more often than not, you can understand what they’re saying. Country musicians articulate clearly. It’s not just about head pounding music or a catchy beat. The story being told matters. It frustrates me to listen to other music and not be able to make out the words. If I’m not in the mood for words, I’ll listen to classical music or jazz, but if I’m listening to words, I want to understand them.
- I love thinking about love. Yes, much of country music has to do with love or heartbreak, which is ultimately about love. I think most music – country or not – has to do with love. But even if I’m wrong, is it wrong to dwell on love? To borrow from one of my favorite movies, isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?
It’s not that I don’t enjoy other music. I do. I am a satellite radio girl. Though I focus on The Highway, I also listen to the 70s, 80s, and 90s stations, the Coffee House, and the Broadway station. I have 30 different stations programmed, and I listen to all of them at different times, but more often than not, I choose country. And if you ride in my car, I will make you listen to country too if you give me hell about it. Otherwise, I’ll let you pick the station. So if you don’t want to listen to country, you’d better be nice.