Want to know the secret to success, to becoming more, besides gratitude? I’ve found it. Want to hear music that tells a story, makes you smile, makes you cry, or just plain makes you appreciate life? I’ve found it.
If you follow this blog, you know I will get to the point. I’ll tell you why. But first a little history.
I didn’t like Country. I had listened to a couple of twangy, slow, banjo-driven, yodeling songs sung by guys with hats too big for their heads and with lyrics that made you feel like you want to find a new life. It wasn’t very inspirational, or uplifting, or something I could sing along to. I wasn’t alone, I think Country music got a bad rap, for the very reasons I just described. I’m not here to debate the history either, this is my personal perception, wrong or right, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I’m big enough to admit, I was wrong.
Less than 10 year ago, 2004 to be exact, my wife Debbie got a homemade CD from someone, I forget who. She was just starting to listen to country music, but I wasn’t on board. I wasn’t interested for the very reasons I stated above. One day however, we had the whole family in the car, my youngest, Emily was only two-years-old, Sophie my oldest, was four. Debbie put the CD in and I listened to this song titled, Mr. Mom.
It was about a Dad left to deal with the kids, because he got laid off and the wife told him you stay home, I’ll go out and work. Dad thought it would be a breeze. We men know there’s no breeze, it’s like being in the middle of a tornado. Every day. Anyway, the song was silly, cute, catchy and my girls loved it. It also spoke to our current life, or the not-so-distant past of dealing with babies and toddlers. There is a line in there about “bubblegum in the baby’s hair”. My 2-year-old Emily couldn’t say the word yet, so she was singing gubble-bum. I know it’s silly, but even after the 20th time of hearing the same song, we were all still cracking up. I was hooked. If my girls were in and I want to be part of their lives, why fight it?
There was another song on that CD. One that wasn’t silly, but inspirational… Sugarland’s, Baby Girl. The song is all about trying to make it in the music business, I don’t know Sugarland’s whole story, but I can’t help but believe it has to be at least partly biographical for its lead singer, Jennifer Nettles. I didn’t need to hear the real story, because by the end of the song, when she finally finds success, she writes a letter to her parents:
Dear Mom and Dad I’ll send money, I’m so rich that it ain’t funny.
Well it ought to be more than enough to get you through.
Please don’t worry cause I’m alright see I’m staying here at the Ritz tonight.
Whaddya know we’ve made our dreams come true.
There are fancy cars and diamond rings but you know that they don’t mean a thing.
Well they all add up to nothing compared to you.
Please remember me in ribbons and curls, I still love you more than anything in the world.
Love, Your Baby Girl.
I was done. Like I said, I’ve got two of them. I was peeking in the rear view mirror to look at my baby girls listening and sometimes singing along and then driving my mind forward 20 years. I could totally relate to that song. Country music tells a story, it almost always tells a story. And there’s a song for everything in life you will ever experience, happy or sad. I’m not discounting other music.. pop, rock, rap, jazz. I like all kinds, but that year I became a Country fan and if music is the very fabric of our lives, (and you know I believe it is), almost every Country song I hear wraps another thread around my heart. It is truly incredible.
There is no other genre quite like it. There’s a reason rap stars and pop stars and rock stars are appearing on the show Crossroads, and doing collaborations with Country stars, everyone wants to be in on the magic. It’s here to stay. Not that it ever left, it just wasn’t front and center in my life. Country doesn’t make you a redneck, it doesn’t mean you don’t listen to other music, I still do. But you won’t know if you don’t give it a chance.
I challenge you to find the Country channel on your dial, whether it be radio, satellite, or some iTunes songs you have downloaded, and give it a shot. Give it a week, just one week. You have to be fair, one song won’t make you a fan. One week just might. They say, it takes 21 days to form a habit. So give it 21 songs and you will know whether you’re all in, or not. Trust me, it’s worth it.
In fact, I will do you a favor. Down below is a list of 15 songs that touch on every facet of life, from love, to family, to having a good time at the bar. Because Country will take you any place you want to go. The last song on the list, explains what Country Music is all about.
But the real reason is this. And I told you I would tell you why. This blog is a living, breathing thing for me and to share my heart I must share what makes it sing. A Country song can open my heart and mind to amazing insight, to deeper love and can also just make me want to throw a couple back and party my ass off. How is that for range? Love, laughter, or a cold one. The genre has got it right.
And there’s one more reason. Country is just about… life.
(The list is below. Click away, or get in the car and turn it on. Give it a week. Then let me know. The comment box on the blog is always open, so is my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
(In no particular order, you may have to get past some ads on YouTube for some of them, I’m sorry)
Lonestar, Mr. Mom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_MafqgKOBQ
Sugarland, Baby Girl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmkdrtoGJHQ
Darius Rucker, It Won’t Be Like this for Long:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at_lUnFjXg8
Zac Brown Band, She Got Whatever It Is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RJrNnRpVHg
Rascal Flatts, Sara Beth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IocHzS2sRJ8
Brad Paisley, Beat This Summer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOJ1WveJRQg
Jason Aldean, Fly Over States: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1GZzucDMlQ
Keith Urban, Only You Can Love Me This Way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YxBy3-HdhM
Blake Shelton, It’s All About Tonight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znyAB7WOvkA
Kenny Chesney, There Goes My Life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP-Sxfntdb4
Joe Nichols, Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj2700em-JQ
Carrie Underwood, Don’t Forget to Remember Me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmAi_qJoPbU
Eric Church, Springsteen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2gGXlW6wSY
Toby Keith, Not As Good As I Once Was:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldQrapQ4d0Y
Brad Paisley, (Explanation and Song) This is Country Music: