Sing Me a Story

Sep 29, 2017

I’m gonna mosey on down to the honky tonk in my muddy truck to get me a fine, fresh, hometown, homegrown girl and an ice-cold beer.

Do I sound like a country song yet? Because that’s all new country sings about these days. Ice-cold beers, girls in Daisy Dukes and muddy trucks. Don’t forget the boots and the ice-cold beer. Oh, did I already say that? Yeah, I know.

The gang fight over country music fans and the Top 40 nation is an evident one. It’s not rare to see people commenting online: “Country music isn’t real music.” Or they say country music is unintelligent, annoying and lacks purpose.

Those people? That was me. Country music is just stupid, I used to think. It didn’t make sense to me. Korn, Disturbed, Green Day, Linkin Park, Rise Against, Breaking Benjamin — those made sense to me.

Sing about depression, about feeling alone in the world, about losing hope and then fight to get it back.

Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Kanye West — those made sense to me, too.

Sing about partying with friends, sexual encounters, about … about … wow. Now I realize those songs don’t make sense to me.

How can something so simple as a change of the radio station change your entire attitude toward a type of music or a type of people?

What country music does is it makes you think. Yeah, about girls in short shorts, Budweiser and trucks lifted so high you can stack a couple toddlers up and not hit the undercarriage, you may be thinking.

No, I’m telling you country music has a purpose. What any good journalist does is exactly what country music does.

I know, that was a long shot. What country music does is it tells stories. You can argue it tells the same old story every time, but nonetheless, a story is being told by a different artist and that means there is a different perspective.

I could talk about my high-brow Abercrombie & Fitch wardrobe, the new-car smell of my barely-driven Lexus in the blacktop driveway or my bright, white Chuck Taylors. I could show you my MacBook Air adorned in a plethora of stickers that read: “Starbucks Coffee” or “PINK” or “Coexist.” What if I invited you over to my place to just chill and drink some wine coolers?

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that because I don’t do any of that. Instead of picking out the repetition of the human lifestyle, view each life as part of a style and listen for the stories each life tells about heart breaks, finding the love of your life or partying at that honky tonk. I’m no expert, but I can recognize common themes in all styles of music — in all styles of life.

Grab a cold one and sit down on the porch with me while we watch the sunset over the corn fields. Listen to the crickets as they begin to sing. Feel the cool night air as it gently caresses your sunburned skin from a long day’s work.

Country music is just a story, like any other. How funny is it that just one song can make or break the way you think about something?

View country music for the non-country fan here.