Growing up in Texas, it was pretty much inevitable. In California, I seem to be viewed as a crazy person because of it. But I don't care. I freely admit it -- I like country music.
I'm not necessarily talking about old-school, twangy country and western cowboy music. I appreciate a lot of that style, but I'm more referring to the modern, CMT popular country music. And there are a lot of things I love about it.
It's simple. Each song is about a simple concept... love, anger, friendship, heartbreak, death, life, whatever it may be... it's simple. These songs don't use much poetic language or big words. They rely on conversational phrasing and the ability to use very specific examples to make the emotions almost tangible. They also have significant relevance for people like me, who appreciate the beauty in the common things, the little things in life.
It's real. These songs are about real life... the real things that real people have to deal with on a regular basis... they speak to the common issues that we face, and many of them offer optimism in the face of difficulty. They offer a view of love, life and family that very few, if any, other genres of music even touch.
It's fun. I've made playlists of 'fun country' songs that could play for hours and keep me dancing and singing along the whole time. So much of country music is just fun to listen to. It's about having a good time and living life with a smile on your face.
It's the playlist to life. At least for me, I can pretty much name a country song (or a whole playlist of them) to match any mood I'm in, at any time. The genre is so much more diverse than the stereotypical "tear in my beer" or "my wife left me for the guy with the bigger pickup truck" idea that so many people have of country music.
Give it a shot. It may not be what you're used to, but it may speak to your heart in a way that no other music can.
Here is a much-abbreviated (though it may not look like it) list of some of the country songs that have been on the playlist of my life (now and in the past.) Each of these songs fits with a story from my life... a time, a place, an emotion... What songs are on your life playlist?
We shall be free by Garth Brooks
Something more by Sugarland
Something worth leaving behind by Lee Ann Womack
It's a great day to be alive by Travis Tritt
I love this bar by Toby Keith
I wish I were the rain by SheDaisy
You've got a way by Shania Twain
Born to fly by Sara Evans
Perfect by Sara Evans
I'll be by Reba McIntire
I'm movin' on by Rascal Flatts
My wish by Rascal Flatts
I love you by Martina McBride
This one's for the girls by Martina McBride
I'm already there by Lonestar
What about now by Lonestar
I hope you dance by Lee Ann Womack
You made me find myself by LeAnne Rimes
One way ticket by LeAnne Rimes
The woman with you by Kenny Chesney
Summertime by Kenny Chesney
Somebody like you by Keith Urban
Raining on Sunday by Keith Urban
Home to you by John Michael Montgomery
Like we never loved at all by Faith Hill & Tim McGraw
Let me let go by Faith Hill
I should be sleeping by Emerson Drive
Wide open spaces by Dixie Chicks
I would have loved you anyway by Trisha Yearwood
She's everything by Brad Paisley
Share your playlists with me! I'd love to know the music that touches you at your core.