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True Stories

do not read this post if you are a fan of country music

I have unwillingly listened to country music for the last three days at work. The songs are getting stuck in my head. I could probably sing along with about ten songs at this point. Did I say that  THE SONGS ARE GETTING STUCK IN MY HEAD! But I’m okay, it’s okay. I will not complain, because the guy I’m sharing the workspace with has every right to choose what kind of music he wants to listen to. I will say, however, that I have noticed a few peculiar things. Aside from a little of the obligatory Johnny Cash, I have had almost zero exposure to country music. I am aware of its existence, just as I am aware of the botfly. But I would never choose to be in the same room with either of them. So, country music is a new world for me. It’s almost as if I went to hide in a wardrobe and discovered a magical realm of unpleasant experiences. But I am back from the Narnia of Country Music, and I have brought back an anthropological report of my findings.*

– I won’t speculate as to what this signifies, but something like 80% of the commercials on the local country station are for debt relief and/or loans.

– I have been told by several girls that they had high standards for men because of country music, and that country music taught them how a man ought to treat a woman. After hearing how the men of country music sing about women, and vice versa, I don’t see how this is possible.

– There isn’t much variety in country music. I felt like every song was just like the last one except with different lyrics. Same beat, same instruments  same chord progression. The lyrics were pretty limited too. Most country music is made up of selfish love songs, and/or descriptions of what it is like to “be country.” Many will feature a reference to “this town” and “my chevy.” As far as I can tell, the ideal date for a country music singer involves either getting blackout drunk, or driving endlessly in a truck together. I swear that I heard one song that managed to combine every single one of those elements.

– There is, interestingly, a lot of plurality in country music. For every man singing about how he is breaking up with a woman because she is insane, there was a woman singing about how she is going to show a man who had broken up with her just how insane she is. If a man sings about how his wife loves him even though he’s a jerk, a woman will sing about how she loves her jerk husband. When you hear a song about how a girl’s daddy is going to beat up her boyfriend, you will certainly hear about all the things the boyfriend did to deserve a beating from her daddy in another song.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive study of country music. But the study of country music has exhausted me. I refuse to force myself to think about it any longer. The remainder of my evening will consist of attempting to scrub these songs from my mind.

* If country music had its own Narnia, it would be populated with small, yipping dogs and index fingers on wings that only lived to poke people in the eye. The roads would be paved with poo. The only beverages would be cherry cough syrup or egg yolks. Anyone who visited Country Music Narnia would be cursed with a persistant wedgie and forced to wear really tight headbands.



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