Today we dive back into the wonderful world of country music. As a fine leisure service of this column, I listen to country music so you don’t have to.
One can learn much pondering country music. Our old friend Franz Kafka was kind of a philosopher/song writer in his own right. If he had been born in 1960 and played a guitar, he could have produced many country hits.
Much country music deals with disappointment, drinking and depression which is Kafka Land. For example, Franz once wrote: “Some deny the misery by pointing at the sun, he denies the sun by pointing at the misery.” That could have been a top ten hit on the Billboard Country Chart if Franz had sung it backed up by Jason Aldean’s band.
Unfortunately, Franz is not available to write country songs. Like Donald Rumsfeld almost said: “We go to country music with the songs we have, not the songs we want.”
Accordingly, let us begin by dividing country music into segments. Most country songs involve the misery of lost loves so we will start there.
Lost Love: There is a lot of cheating going on out yonder. A fed-up lady person sings: “All the Ajax in the world ain’t gonna clean your dirty laundry.” A gentleman who lost in love sings: “I had a couple of beers with one of my friends/ Told him just how our story ends/ Did all I could to make it work/ But you drug my heart through the Alabama dirt.”
Hope springs eternal as a jilted guy sings to a jilted lady: “You left your tears on the jukebox/ And they got mixed with mine/ Let’s fall to pieces together/ In each other’s arms.”
Tammy Wynette once sang about what lost love leads to when “Our D-I-V-O-R-C-E became final today.”
A divorced gentleman laments that in his divorce: “She got the gold mine/ I got the shaft/ They split everything down the middle/ And gave her the bigger half.”
A divorced lady who has moved on sings: “Baby, you’re just water under the bridges I burned.” Another chimes in: “If we can’t get along/ We ought to be apart/ I wonder where you got that cold, cold heart.”
A fellow with a gal with a wandering eye laments: “Sometimes she runs and I got to chase her/ Damn her black heart and her pretty red neck.”
No problem in Country Music Land can’t be made worse by pouring alcohol on it. A lost soul sings: “She’s feeling single/ I’m drinking doubles.” A disgusted lady sings: “Happily ever, Never/ You’re never gonna grow up.”
Legal Trouble: The path of true love can run afoul of the law. A new couple parks in a restricted area which comes to the attention of the police. Keith Urban tells the story: “We drove right past the no trespassing sign/ We sat on the tailgate and watched planes take off/ That’s when the cops came pulling up/… But there was something ‘bout the way the blue lights were shining/ Bringing out the freedom in your eyes/ I fell in love in the back of a cop car.” Love can come to anyone, anywhere, even in the back of a cop car.
Another singer moans about his bad choices in life: “Jesus and Momma always loved me/ Even when the Devil took control.” As Geraldine once said: “The Devil made me do it.”
Happy Love: Not all country songs involve heartache. Love occasionally triumphs. A gentleman deeply in love sings: “She’s got pretty legs that go up to Heaven every time.”
For a couple who are remaining home for the evening, the man sings: “Ain’t nothing as sweet/ Ain’t nothing as strong/ As you and me/ And whiskey all night long.” She responds coyly to him singing: “It’s only 10:30/ And you’re already talking dirty.”
Another less frisky couple are out for a classy night on the town; the man sings: “We be fancy like Applebee’s on a date night/ Got that Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo shake/ Get some whipped cream on top too/ Two straws, one check, girl, I got you/ That how we do fancy like.”
Another fellow is much in love with his lady who is: “A dynamite kisser/ Country as a turnip green/ She’s got her Daddy’s money/ Her Mama’s good looks/ And look who is looking at me.” A happily married man sings: “She is the Queen of my double wide trailer/ With the polyester curtains and the redwood deck.”
Acceptance of Loss: Ultimately some inhabitants of Country Music Land reach the 5th Stage of Grief — Acceptance.
One fellow sings: “Yesterday’s jealous man is today’s lonely fool.” Another guy sings: “She’s crazy for leaving/ I told her so/ But you can’t stop a woman when she’s out of control.”
So, what have we learned today? To quote the Rolling Stones: “You can’t always get what you want/ But if you try sometime/ You get what you need.”