This week’s topic: Why your music is better.
I’m clearly going to be in the minority, seeing as how I’m going to be telling you why I like country music.
Go ahead. Get it out of your system. I’ll wait while you all laugh and snort and roll your eyes at me.
Is there any genre of music as mocked or hated as country music? I mean, people make fun of rap, but it still has a huge following, and practically every club you go to plays at least some of it. Say you listen to metal music, and people just shrug. Say you’re into opera, and people that don’t kind of glaze over are impressed at your class. Like rock? People will smile and grin and throw out their favorite rock song.
But have the temerity to say you like country music? You’re lucky if all you get is an eye roll. I guess people must really believe that joke about playing a country song backwards.
There’s a bunch of songs out there now that you wouldn’t even know were written and performed by country singers. A friend the other day heard a song in my car that she’s heard on her very own pop station a bunch of times. She asked if I changed stations, and I said, “Nope, you were listening to COUNTRY! Are you horrified or what?”
The thing with country music, for me anyway, is that it’s simple. I don’t have to interpret it. It’s about real life things, like having babies and raising your kids and loving someone and losing someone and getting drunk on a Friday night, and getting off work, going to work, the beautiful things in life, the awful things in life. There’s a song about a little girl that is killed through child abuse. There’s a song about a man who is so in love with his wife that he says “she’s like coming home”. There’s a song about Billy and his beer goggles because he was left by his girlfriend, there’s a song about searching for the right man and being unwilling to settle, there’s a song about an old couple that are in the hospital together after spending their entire lives together, there’s a song about just about every situation and feeling and aspect of life.
Yes, there’s twang. Yes, there’s steel guitar. Yes, some of the songs are sad. Yes, there’s some I don’t like. There’s even “new” country versus “old school” country. A lot of rockabillies like the “old school” country. I’m more partial to some of the newer stuff. Yes, there are country songs that I have cried over every time I hear them. Does that make them awful? No. It makes them touching. They make me feel something. What does listening to a guy basically talking rhythmically about smoking blunts and fucking girls make you feel? Ummm….hungry? I dunno. What do people feel when they listen to dudes screaming lyrics that you can’t even understand? Headachey?
In my opinion, country music is better because it’s real. It’s real songs sung by real people about real life. It’s about a way of life where people are used to working with their hands, and using the strength of their bodies to make a living, about corn fields and fresh air and lifestyles that don’t always revolve around partying and drugs and sex. Not all country music singers write every song they sing, true. That doesn’t make the songs any less poignant. Does Britney Spears write all her songs? I wouldn’t be surprised, and yeah, THOSE are definitely works of art.
Plus, they make good singing-in-your-car songs. How much better can you get?