Friday, 19 October 2012

What Is Country Music

I recently saw a post discussing the definition of country music. Now I’ll admit to being a fan, and as such, I am well aware that the question of what is and is not country music is one fraught with danger and controversy. We can talk about the sound, and the instruments, and so on, but for me country music boils down to a feeling. 

My favourite country songs all induce the same feeling, even though they may sound nothing alike, and may be at opposite ends of the spectrum of country music, and even decades apart. It’s a slow, happy, contented feeling. I suppose it’s a ‘home’ feeling, kind of like what you might get after arriving home after a lot of travelling – business travelling, not the fun recreational kind. It’s a feeling that makes everything better, even if I’ve had a crappy day. It’s a smile on my face, when I didn’t have the strength to muster one. 

One of the things I love so much about country music is how I relate to it. So many of the songs I listen to remind me of people or places, events or feelings, in my own life. Trace Adkins' ‘Songs About Me’ and Brad Paisley’s ‘This Is Country Music’ really sum this up for me. I respect everyone’s right to listen to music of their choice, but I don’t understand, I mean genuinely don’t understand, how you can not like country music. I expect that says more about me than anyone else, and is likely a sign of how ‘naturally’ country music fits to me. Some of you out there are probably nodding in agreement.

One of the things I love the most about music is how it captures, in a few pithy lines, and a few sounds, a real feeling, a real concept. I’m a writer, so this is my stock in trade, but it takes me 105,000 words to convey a feeling (OK, lots of feelings, wrapped up in a big story, but anyway). The succinctness, the way a song cuts straight to the heart of a matter, is what really intrigues me. We can say so much with music. 

That being the case, here’s a few songs that capture something of some of my important relationships, in no particular order:

Dad – Dolly Parton ‘The Man’ and Tim McGraw’s ‘My Little Girl’.

Mum – Joe Nichols' 'We All Go Home' -  home is where your mother is, right?

My husband, Matt – Keith Urban’s 'Making Memories of Us' and 'Thank You'.

My daughter – Kenny Chesney's 'There Goes My Life' – not that she was in anyway unplanned, but I can’t listen to this song right now without bawling my eyes out.

Nikki – Shanley Del 'Old Friends'. This one has reminded me of you for as long as I’ve been listening to it, and that’s a long time now, though not as long as we’ve known each other.

Erin – Gary Allen's ‘Along the Way’ and Keith Urban’s ‘Tonight I Wanna Cry’ – not that this is the whole of our friendship, but it resonates for me in relation to our most recent chapter.

Kylie – Lonestar's 'Cowboy Girl',  and because we both speak Tim McGraw 'My Old Friend'.

Nicole – Garth Brooks' 'Standing Outside the Fire' – actually this one applies to me as well.

I’d love to have songs for all my new online friends as well, but I haven’t figured most of you out enough to match a song to you.

But for all my writer friends, the ones who’ve made it, and the one’s still slogging the hard slog, here’s a few for you:

Kenny Chesney’s 'Hemingway’s Whiskey'.

Kenny Chesney’s 'I Didn’t Get Here Alone'.

Trace Adkins' 'High'.

If there’s anyone out there looking for a way to tell the ex who keeps coming back to go and stay gone, I recommend Brad Paisley’s ‘I'll Take You Back'.

For myself, I’ll take Brad Paisley’s 'Too Country'.

I don’t understand either, Brad.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven't already. If you're finding yourself here often, you might as well join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign up for the newsletter.

Don't forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us.


Tom Stronach said...

Go on, point em out to me, 'who doesn't like country'.

Although I rather suspect my country tastes are a wee bit older than yours, but new stuff is in there too. Lonestar ' I'm already there' (misting up now don't be sharing this with anyone Missy Ballintyne) and as I respond to this there are three C & W artistes queued to play Glen Campbell 'Wichita Line Man', Sandy Posey 'Born a Woman' and Marty Robbins with 'El Paso'

I can almost get it with someone saying they don't like a particular genre of music having thoroughly disliked punk but let's face it that particular 'noise' was nothing short of a cacophonous white noise thrown together by the spawn of the devil, wasn't it?

But all other forms of music for me, I just have to have it on all day. If it isn't people coming into my office, or even head office phoning and asking me to turn the music off before they start... I mean who the hell do they think they are for goodness sake - it's my office and my music ........

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I hear ya, Tom! I always have music on in my car, and I sing along too LOL. If I could, I'd have it on in the office - in fact, hen it's quiet, I do. It's on when I do housework, and it's on when I exercise.

I love Lonestar's 'I'm Already there'. Another excellent song! I have a lot of older stuff - Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis. It was my parents who introduced me to country music, and I've grown up with it.

Noosphere said...

Here's an old school "she done him wrong song" for you, Ciara.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

That is seriously old school. Puts me in mind of my country Christmas songs, which are also old school.

Terri Osburn said...

My life has a soundtrack and much of it is country music. Having divorced the lead singer of a country band (no one famous) as well as spending 8 years as a country music DJ on the radio, there is a country song for nearly every moment of the last 20 years of my life. I don't mind people saying "That music isn't for me" but when the throw the insults, like "That stuff's all twang and losing your dog", I get really irritated.

Amberr Meadows said...

Country music is a reminder of my childhood. I know all the old hits, and I am lost with the new stuff.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Real Time Analytics