MUSICAL MUSINGS: Country songs grab me with their catchy tunes, story-telling lyrics

After spending half of my winter break in San Antonio, Texas, I finally realized it was time to come to terms with my country roots.

For as long as I can remember, my mom has loved true country music. Every time we turn on the radio, she goes immediately to KNCI (a modern country station). And when she found the complete collection of Jim Reeves songs at a Cracker Barrel (a store/restaurant chain) in Texas, she wouldn’t stop talking about (or playing) it for weeks.

I have never shared her affinity for the banjo or lyrics praising whiskey and tractors.

This isn’t to say I don’t like the occasional dabble in those Southern tunes, though.

I love Taylor Swift (although her newer songs are definitely more pop than country), and, like everyone else, I can’t resist Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee.”

There’s a certain twang to country music that you just can’t get anywhere else. Yeah, a lot of the lyrics sound as though they were written after a keg party, but some are worth a listen.

My favorites are the story-telling songs, a classic in country music. “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood is a good example of this:

“Dry lightning cracks across the skies/Those storm clouds gather in her eyes/Her daddy was a mean old mister/Mama was an angel in the ground/The weather man called for a twister/She prayed blow it down.”

She goes on to tell the story of a girl who wishes for her father’s death as “sweet revenge” for his abusive presence in her family.

On the other hand, of course, there are the lyrics of Kenny Chesney’s “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” which make me shake my head in shame:

“She thinks my tractor’s sexy/It really turns her on/She’s always starin’ at me/While I’m chuggin’ along.”

Granted, pop music has more than its fair share of such meaningless words being forced into a lyric. Take Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop, for instance:

“Nah, walk up to the club like, “What up? I got a big c**k!”/I’m so pumped about some sh*t from the thrift shop/Ice on the fringe, it’s so damn frosty/That people like, “Damn! That’s a cold ass honkey.”

Now, I actually do like all of these songs that I’ve mentioned (yes, even “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”); so I guess a catchy tune can make up for crappy lyrics.

But maybe that’s the reason I like classical music so much—there are no lyrics to disappoint me.


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