Excerpt from I, A Collection of Short Stories and Musings.
Ask any person that lives in California what country music is, and they’ll tell you that it is the supposed heart and soul of Southern rednecks. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if you ask anyone who is not from the South what country music is, they’ll give you the same answer. Originating from Tennessee, country music is just a whole lot of banjos playing with singers with Southern accents, right? Man, that twangy accent… Besides that, all the songs are about drinking and being drunk, if I’m not mistaken. Oh, and don’t forget about their music videos: people in cowboy hats sitting in the back of a pickup truck in the countryside or a bar. Yep, this is country music.
News flash: this isn’t country music anymore. While yes, country music does have songs about being drunk, it’s much more than that. Country music has become more upbeat and modern; it’s mixing with the future, while still keeping elements from the past. There is a new country music movement happening. Now, there are ballads about love and songs about chilling with your buddies and the past. A lot of songs are pro-American and actually celebrate what this country stands for. Of course, there are still songs about drinking and spring break in Cancun, but country has changed and it no longer fits into the Southern accent with banjos stereotype.
What I love about country music is that it’s relatable and the artists put so much emotion into their music. The lyrics are actually understandable, and there’s a story to each song. Some songs are about love. One talks about wanting to find love and crushing on girls, and another talks about dropping a girl off at home and wanting to kiss her. Another love song is about finding the perfect girl, and of course there’s the breakup song, where the girl leaves for another man. It’s a sad goodbye, but the singer hopes that the girl will never forget him. (And yes, I’m aware that I have used male pronouns. Well, most of these love songs are sung by males.)
There are also upbeat songs about having fun and enjoying life. There is one song about being at the bar in a club, and another is about eating fried chicken. There is one about hanging out at the riverbank and another is about the highway.
Speaking of highways, having a playlist of a bunch of country songs on the radio makes some great road trip music. Honestly, they make you want to put on your sunglasses and drive off into the sunset. Country music has such a relaxing vibe to it. The songs are also super catchy, and they will pop into your head at the most random times. This doesn’t bother me, though – these songs help me keep moving through life.
And before you start calling me a redneck for listening to country music while I’m living in California, hear me out. I promise you that country music is a million times better than the pop trash that people listen to on the radio in California. Let’s be real, half the music is about sex and relationships, and it does portray people of both genders in negative ways. I don’t like this, and this is why I stick to country music.
I started listening to country radio to try and listen to more Taylor Swift music a few years back. (I know she’s pop now, but country music radio still plays her old country music.) Anyway, what I found instead on country music radio was a community of good music that hit me in the heart. Every note being sung in each of the songs was so beautiful and pure. There was no autotune or anything. At that moment, I knew that I was in love with country music.
So for all y’all (yes, I know I said y’all) bashers on country music, just stop stereotyping and give it a chance. Ten minutes on your Pandora radio is all you need. And if you don’t like it, then you can respectfully disagree with my opinion. However, you shouldn’t judge something you don’t know anything about until you’ve actually experienced it. Truth.
And I’ll put my small little country-stricken heart into that.