Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Although we are brought up to believe that country music is something that only southerners listen to the real truth is that anytime you are more than 20 miles from a Starbucks and a Target (sure signs of urban civilization) and you turn on the radio, you will be inundated with music that appeals to your inner-hillbilly even if you are well north of the mason-dixon line.

I was reminded of this again as I made a family road trip a few weeks back and though I swear we never got farther south than Oberlin, Ohio the radio played a soundtrack that made it seem like we were deep in Deliverance-land. I kept a nervous eye peeled for a banjo-playing simpleton at every turn.

If you like to listen to the radio as you travel (as I do) to give yourself a break from your own playlist you have the following choices whenever you are out in Sarah Palin Land: 3 country stations, 1 oldies station, 1 to 3 right-wing Christian stations, and a very fuzzy and odd version of NPR (who is this Diana Rehm?

Eventually when you tire of "Brown Eyed Girl" and a staticky "All Things Considered" you will turn the dial to a country music station for a rest and you will get to hear poetic lines like, "Take your tongue out of my mouth I'm kissing you goodbye" and "She's actin' single so I'm drinkin' doubles."

Last summer as we drove around western Michigan my family and I had so much fun listening to these things that we made a list of themes that are featured in almost all country western songs. The best songs manage to incorporate most or all of these themes:

1. She's amazing; I'm a doofus (or variations on this theme such as "I'm lucky she's with me" or "I behaved like an ass and I hope she'll forgive me.")

2. This country is the best country anywhere in the world. So there.

3. I don't have much but I'm happy. So there.

4. I drink a lot of alcohol after work. Usually beer.

5. Poor people have way more fun than rich people. So there.

6. I'm country through and through (even if I live in a Nashville mansion) and that makes me better than you.

7. Blue jeans/women's behinds in blue jeans

8. Pick up trucks

9. Jesus

10. Lil' bitty babies

11. Soldiers (never officers)

I think that covers it.

I know a lot of people like country music and I know a few who pretend they don't but really do but I don't know anyone who pretends to like it if they don't. Do with that what you will.

I honestly don't know if I like it or not but I know it can sure break up a tedious road-trip.

Well, I'm going to go now and I will leave you with this thought from "Honky-Tonk Bedonkadonk"
--"We hate to see her go but we love to watch her leave."


  1. The better kinds of country have some damn good guitar playing in it, that is one advantage. But yes, now you mention it, I do recognize those themes from one trip from West to East Michigan when M had fallen asleep next to me.

  2. And when you're in the true South, there are always jokes about WalMart, trailer parks and the Piggly Wiggly!

  3. I'm a native Texan, and while I do enjoy some old country music (Willy Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and the like), I cannot tolerate "modern" country music. My final attempt to try to appreciate it, was when I heard a song saying something to the effect of, "I'd like to check her for ticks." The. End. In all honesty not all Texans listen to this... unless, of course, it's Rodeo season in Houston & then nearly everyone's inner cowboy/girl emerges, unfortunately.

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  5. Smart funny post! I'm in Chicago too where Diane Rehm is nowhere to be found on WBEZ, but I remember loving her show when I lived in Charlotte, NC. Sorry I can't wax witty on the state of current country music. Generally not a fan of the new stuff. I'd rather have a Swedish massage by Edward Scissorhands.

    Keesha at Mom's New Stage

  6. Keesha, Thanks! Diane Rehm is broadcast in Michigan and my parents love her but you're fight, she's on in Chicago. "Swedish masasge by Eward Scissorhands" HA! Hey who did the artwork on your blog, it's darling! And so is your blog!

  7. Another common country theme: I'm hanging out with her but missing you.

    My husband was in an alt-country band when we met. I think it was an excuse for the guys to buy vintage cowboy shirts and whine about women who'd dumped them. I'm not a fan of country music but developed an appreciation for its cousin, alt-country (even though I'm still not sure exactly what that means).

    Oh, and thanks for the link to my blog, Judy!

  8. How can you tell the difference between someone who pretends they don't like it and someone who actually doesn't. Haha!!

    Of course there's country; and then there's country. Lyle Lovett, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Leonard Skinner ;) ..... These are generally considered country. And the country-crossover stuff is basically pop. Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Dixie Chicks... If you like pop, these are pretty catchy.

    But I agree Jude, that the real entertainment value is in the lyrics of a good ol' country song! Love that last one in your blog - and another favorite? " I ain't as good as I once was; but I'm once as good as I ever was!". Har har!!