Thanks to my family and friends I have had exposure to several different musical genres. I have learned to appreciate different genres, but also different decades. Who doesn’t love a little instrumental music from the big band era, followed by Elton John and finished off with Five Finger Death Punch? I share an office with two other women who have different musical tastes, so often times we will play music roulette and play random stations for the day in the office. 99% of the time I don’t mind the music and know it quite well, but on the rare occasion it’s just not my cup of tea. If that’s the case I through my earbuds in an pull up my go-to iHeartRadio station Country 102.5. Out of all the music I enjoy country the most. I know what you’re thinking…ugh country, right? It’s a pretty common reaction that I get from a lot of people. I am not sure what it is about country music that makes people cringe but I love it. Growing up it was totally taboo to be a country music fan, especially as a kid. If you weren’t listening to the Spice Girls and Backstreet boys you were just a loser. Of course my parents raised me to not care what other people thought so I continued rocking out to my Shania Twain and Alan Jackson. Once I hit the college years country music seemed to have grown in popularity to the point that everyone was able to openly admit to being a fan without being mocked. Still, I could have cared less and was just annoyed by all of the people who were running around gushing about how much they loved Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean. Listen people, I liked them before it was deemed socially acceptable, ok? I am not sure what reason everyone else has for liking the genre all of a sudden but let me tell you my reasons.
- You can understand all of the words. This may seem like a stupid reason, but I really enjoy being able to understand all of the lyrics in a song. Screaming and slurring into a mic just doesn’t excite me like it obviously does for other people. Not to pick on the metal genre but the songs I tend to enjoy most of that type are those that I can hear the lyrics to. Five Finger Death, aside from winning me over with their support for our military, have a lot of songs that are easier to understand and can give me a good idea of the story they are trying to tell. I know there are different types of sub-genres within metal and I am not an expert by any means, but the screamo kind of metal is just not for me. Honestly, I really don’t think I can name one country song that you can’t understand the lyrics. I like that.
- You can relate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to a country song and been like “hell yea…that’s my life.” They are real songs about love, booze, Friday nights with your best friends, our men and women in uniform, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, loss, and the list goes on and on. There is a song by Locash Cowboys called “I Love This Life” and the songs start out like this:
“I love my boots broke in, I love my Camo hat
Don’t mind a little paint on my jeans, yeah I roll like that
I love driving my truck across the railroad tracks
if you hit it too quick, it’ll hit ya right back”
Now this might not mean much to other people but this always makes me think of Josh. He wears boots every day, his camo Cabelas hat and loves his truck. He is my living breathing country song. Now, like I said, not everyone can relate to this, but I am sure that Nicki Minaj’s fans can relate to her music though, especially “Stupid Hoe” and “Anaconda.” I don’t know. All I know I love country music because they are the songs of my life.
- The songs are clean. Anyone who knows me knows I have a mouth to make a sailor blush. I’ll admit it. But what I love about country music is that they can make it through a song without needing to drop the “n” word or mother f*ck anything. The worst I’ve ever heard in a song was “bitch” which was used by two country legends, Mr. Johnny Cash and the Charlie Daniels Band. The topics are pretty “G” or “PG” rated. There is no killing cops, f*cking your mom, licking any genitalia, stupid hoes or grabbing hot booty. The most mischief that ever goes on is running from the cops because you were stargazing on private property with a beautiful woman. Every now and then you get a sassy woman who was cheated on so she is going to stock up on her gun powder and lead. Other than that they sing about God living a good life.
- Something about a banjo. I love the instruments used in country songs. Banjos, slide guitars, steel guitars, harmonicas, mandolins, washboards and fiddles are some of my favorite instruments you don’t hear in other genres very often. In some cases you might hear them but they are prerecorded and played by a DJ.
- The artists are great people. The country music artists are some of the most amazing celebrities out there. They are involved in their communities, love their fans and never forget where they came from. It is incredibly rare to see a country music artists’ face plastered all over the news because they were arrested for drugs or drunk driving. Other artists are getting DWIs, overdosing on drugs, fighting in clubs and feuding with other artists. They typically keep the drama to a minimum and lead good lives.
The point of this post is not to put down any other musical genres, but to explain why I love country music so much. People have different reasons why they love, or hate it, but it has always been my go-to genre. If you love rap or rock or metal or R&B, do your thing. Love what you love and don’t let anyone put you down for what you enjoy. To me, the songs are real, the artists are real, the meanings are real. Country music will always be my first option on good days, bad days and ugly days.