Goin’ country


As the writer of a personal blog, I tend to reveal a lot of information about myself. I’ve written about my mother’s Amish roots; my feelings sending my daughter off to college, my obsession about being on time, and even a close-call with depression.

Some would say that I’ve revealed too much information about myself. However, I have a confession that has been boiling to the service for quite some time.  Regular confession is said to be a healthy spiritual exercise and cleansing for your soul, right?

If that’s the case . . .  my confession today is that I like country music.

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Yes, let me say it again: I like country music.

It’s become commonplace on social media and among friends at parties and get-togethers to make fun of country music. There are more memes making fun of country music than I can count. They rank right up there with memes featuring “the most interesting man in the world,” “Grumpy Cat,” and “Willy Wonka.” Yes, as many people complain, country music often touches on cold beer, trucks, scorned women, and cold beer, trucks and scorned women, but it also touches on life.

I hated country as a kid. I had to sit through too many long drives with my mom and dad listening to one twangy song or another. Singers like Ronnie Milsap, Porter Wagoner, Patsy Cline, and Buck Owens all merged together into one droning voice.

I came to hate it.

But slowly over time, I gave the music a chance and came to love the stories country music tells. It’s full of highs and lows and it’s not afraid to show emotion. It’s not afraid to get the listener involved with the story.

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I found too that I like the stories behind the songs. For example, Vince Gill started writing “Go rest high on that mountain” when singer Keith Whitley died in 1989 and finished it when his own brother died a few years later from a heart attack. He was so choked up when the song won Song of the Year, he could barely accept the award.

Oh, there’s plenty of country music I’d be more than willing to throw off the Empire State Building, everything from the twangy stuff to bro-country that has more to do with the pop sound and getting its fans out on the dance floor than making any kind of meaningful connection.

But there’s still plenty more that touches me.

–Johnny Cash: “I walk the line”

–George Jones: “He stopped loving her today”

–Jamey Johnson: “In Color”

–Miranda Lambert: “The house that built me”

–Vince Gill: “Go rest high on that mountain”

–Montgomery Gentry: “Something to be proud of”

–Lee Ann Womack: “I hope you dance”

–Kenny Chesney: “Back where I come from”

–Red Sovine: “Teddy Bear”

And yes, I still love classic rock, 80s rock which I grew up on, blues and even some jazz and classical. I even like the occasional pop, hip-hop, and rap song.

I’m definitely a mutt when it comes to music, but country music will always have a special place on my radio and iTunes playlist.

Ahh, I feel better already getting that off my chest.

 

 

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