A Case for Country Music

I probably just steered away 3 of my 4 readers with that title, so to those of you who are left, thanks for sticking around.

First and foremost, Blogger has completely changed its interface.  Completely. I have no idea where anything is right now so bear with me. Is this because of Google+?

Now onto the matter at hand.  I listen to some pretty terrible music. I'm the first to admit it.  My iTunes library revolves around the Glee soundtrack (yes as in songs that they sing on the show), top 40, and yes country music.

I've heard everything under the sun when it comes to people hating country music, namely things they'd rather do instead of listening to country music and several redneck/Nascar analogies.  And for the record, I do occasionally watch Nascar.

So today, ladies and gentlemen of LTD, I present to you my case for why country music deserves a chance.

I write for a living so words are a pretty big deal to me.  When someone puts together a string of words that so perfectly depicts feelings, emotions, or the world around us - well it just doesn't get much better than that. Words can lift you up, tear you down, get you ready to party, or mellow you out after a long day at the office. Words are extremely powerful and, in my opinion, country music, for the most part, uses words very, very well.

There are of course instances where the words to a country song are horrible.  "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy"? Um no. No I do not. That is terrible. Sweaty, possibly shirtless cowboy sitting on top of the tractor? Yes. Actual John Deere green-colored machine? Nope.  I get the idea behind it - I'm sure the girl doesn't literally think his tractor is sexy but come on.

But when country music gets its words right, oh it's gold.  Observe the following two examples from one of country's greatest Tim McGraw who I was lucky enough to see live a few weeks ago with some of my best friends.

The first from his song "Just to See You Smile":

When you said time was all you really needed
I walked away and let you have your space
Cuz leavin' didn't hurt me near as badly
As the tears I saw rollin' down your face
And yesterday I knew just what you wanted
When you came walkin' up to me with him
So I told you that I was happy for you
And given the chance I'd lie again

Come on! That is brilliant. "And given the chance I'd lie again"? That is a fantastic lyric. Absolutely nails the way the guy feels about this girl just perfectly. It's simple, it makes its point. Genius.

And now, one of my all-time favorite country lines from my all-time favorite country song, also from Tim McGraw.  I give you "Something Like That":

It was five years later on a south-bound plan
I was headed down to New Orleans
To meet some friends of mine for the Mardi Gras
When I heard a voice from the past
Coming from a few rows back
When I looked I couldn't believe just what I saw

She said I bet you don't remember me
And I said only every other memory

Come on again! Here comes this girl that he had a summer romance with years ago on the same plane he's on. She asks if he remembers her.  He could say so many things in this instance. "Of course I do!" "I can't believe it's you!" "Oh my gosh. How have you been?" Boring. Hands down one of the greatest lines of a song. Brilliant again.

Yes sometimes the lyrics are corny and sappy and you can interchange most of the lyrics about a woman to say that it's about the guy's dog ("You're my best friend"? Come on. It's a little obvious isn't it?) But I'd rather listen to corny and sappy than hear bitches and hoes (hos?) 48 times in a song... when I can actually catch the words.

So not only are the words awesome, but country music evokes a lot of memories of some really great times in the lives of its fans.  James made a video of a camping trip we went on with some friends back in the day in SD and set it to Rodney Atkins' "These are My People" and to this day, whenever I hear that song, I think of that trip and trying to light a fire with no wood and me being super paranoid that the rangers were going to get angry because you weren't really allowed to light camp fires.  My friend Tyler wrote a really awesome piece about his high school football days - inspired by the music video for "Boys of Fall" by Kenny Chesney.

Country music talks about life and the simplicity of it: family, friends, great loves found and great loves lost, going to the bar, growing up, looking back on the good ole days.  It's good ole fashioned fun wrapped up in three and a half minutes for you.

Are there some really awful country songs out there?  Yes.  But in general, it's kinda fun.  It puts a smile on my face and is pretty easy to sing along to. So give it a chance is all I'm saying. Then again, what do I know? I do watch Glee after all.

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