Wednesday, April 27, 2016

10 Reasons Why Country Music is Life


     Yesterday I was in Tractor Supply. Guys, I love the Tractor Supply. (It's cooler for some reason to put a the in front of it -- I don't know why, just is.) It's literally my favorite store. There are 5 reasons for this:

#1) all (or almost all) of the people who go there drive trucks, so the parking lot is full of Ford and Chevys. The people themselves are usually pretty cool too. They wear Carharts and Wranglers.
#2) the smell that hits you as soon as you walk in the doors -- cedar chips, new rubber, and whatever else it is that makes that signature Tractor Supply smell.
#3) the clothes they sell there are actually real-people-sized.
#4) they have a shelf in the back with old TV westerns like Bonanza and Gunsmoke.
#5) they play COUNTRY MUSIC.

     Which I love.

    When you tell people you love country music, there are a variety of reactions you get. They either #1) love it too! Oh my goodness! New best friend! Do you like Brad Paisley? or #2) okaaaaay.....that's nice. I never got into it much myself or #3) are you serious? You actually like all that hillbilly stuff? or #4) that stuff is trash. You are a sinner. Goodbye, our relationship is over.

     Now, there is a common misconception among most people that country music is all about trucks, girls, tractors, and beer. This is not true. 

     Well....okay, maybe it's sort of true. 

     Yes, there are a lot of songs about trucks. About 99.9 % of all country songs are love songs of some sort. There's a handful about tractors. Alright, and most of them have reference to ice-cold beer. BUT. That is not all country music is about.

     Country music is one of my favorite things in the world. Musical theatre and Irish ballads are all good, and I love them dearly, but my first and dearest love is country music. It's sort of my life. ;-P There's something about it that resonates with my heart and soul; it's real, it's life. And I am here to tell you that despite what you may have heard, country music is NOT just about trucks and girls and beer. It's so much more. It's about life.

     Ten Reasons Why Country Music is Awesome

 :

    #1) They're songs about me and who I am. In my case, at least, country music is close to home. These are songs about things I know and care about -- family, farming, God. (Yes, God. There are a lot of country songs about God. A lot of country singers are, in fact, Christians. Ha! The scales are falling away from your eyes!) I like listening to Kenny Chesney sing about his tractor, because I happen to think tractors are awesome. I like songs about dirt and international harvester combines and bonfires and rodeos because that's my life. 

  #2) Country singers are real folks. They're genuine. They're like rockstars, only it's like it's your next-door neighbor dressed up as a rockstar. You know that person, and they're really nice. Not to imply that all pop singers have no humility, and I'm not saying this is without exception, but country singers seem to focus on the important things in life, especially family. People like Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, and Kenny Chesney are the salt of the earth. I'm being serious. ;-)

 #3) Country singers are actually good musicians, they don't just tweak all their recordings to sound good. So many pop singers I listen to and I think, "They don't even sound good. This is not music." If you've ever been to the Grand Ol' Opry (or, like me, watch Youtube videos while you're doing algebra at the dining room table) you know these folks are talented. How about Carrie Underwood? She could sing the stars down from the sky. I've heard Sara Evans live and I could hardly believe how amazing she is. And if you've never heard Randy Houser sing, well -- just go listen to this. That's how country feels.

 #4) Country music is about pride. It's a distinctly American music, and it's all ours. Country singers are proud to be American, and they love to sing about it. They love to sing about humble beginnings and hard work. They're Made in America. They belong to the drinking class.

  #5) Country music isn't afraid to laugh at itself. Let's face it, some country songs are just stupid. I should be able to get an amen to that one. But the stupid ones know they're stupid and they're okay with it; they play it up and make it funny. Like this one -- I heard that song just about every day in the barn last summer and would groan every single time because it's just so stupid, but when my cousin showed me the music video I had to laugh because it's hilarious. They're just having harmless fun.

     ...However, there should be some kind of limit to how stupid you want to go. The stupidest country song ever written is called "I Got a Brand New Girlfriend" and I can't even stand to listen to it, it's so absurd. There's a very fine line between what's funny and what's downright embarrassing, and I guess Steve Holy didn't see it.

 #6) Country music is EMOTIONAL. IT IS. For every situation you encounter in life, there's probably a country song that sums it up pretty perfectly. You might think country songs are all about break-ups -- wrong. Country songs are about broken families, growing up, leaving home, losing loved ones, saying goodbye, and learning to love. The pain is real, guys.

     Emma's List of Top Five Most Emotional Country Songs

     Tonight I Wanna Cry by Keith Urban (ACTUALLY DON'T EVEN LISTEN TO THIS ONE)
     Stay by Sugarland (DON'T LISTEN TO THIS ONE EITHER IT'S TOO SAAAD)


 #7) Country singers have the coolest twangy accents. Because they're all from places like South Carolina and Alabama and Tennessee. (This is one of the reasons why I can't be a country singer, sadly. You can't be a country singer when you're born in New York. Just doesn't work.) I understand if twang isn't really your thing -- truly I do. (Well...I'm trying.) But in my own biased opinion it's much more fun to hear Miranda Lambert say "agin" instead of any normal person saying "again".

 #8) Country singers wear cowboy hats. 

Brad Paisley:

     No explanation necessary.

  #9) It really is romantic, you've got to admit. For all the stupid cliche love songs there are out there...man, a lot of them really are good. ;-) Country music is very gender-specific, in case you didn't know. (No really? Do tell.) The men wear cowboy hats and jeans and drive trucks and drink testosterone for breakfast. The girls have long hair and bare feet and wear denim skirts. (Speaking of which, I just bought one yesterday at The Tractor Supply.) The bad thing about this is that it can sometimes make you feel like you need a cowboy to ride the dirt roads with. The good thing about it is that it gives you hope that you'll find a cowboy to ride the dirt roads with. :-) I'll admit it -- I'm a girl, and I like romance. (Well, sometimes I hate romance. Heh.) I'm an incurable dreamer, and I like cowboys. So of course I like to listen to songs about cowboys and angels.


 #10) Country music is really fun. You're in your truck driving home in the dusk, you turn on the radio and Jake Owen's singing his heart out about young love. It's fun. It makes you grin and want to roll the windows down and stick your head out and let your hair fly all over the place. It makes you glad to be alive. At least, that's what I think.

 Country Music

Country music is about life, and life is about country music. Amen?

(P.S. I realize I only said good things in this post. There are a lot of country songs that I don't like, and some of it is kind of trashy, but so it is with everything -- there's good and there's bad. I like to dwell on the good.) :-)

32 comments:

  1. I was going to say a lot about the things I agree with in this post, but as I kept reading I came to the realization that my reaction was just "YES" to every word you wrote. From Tractor Supply to country music. Amen, Emma Dear!

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    1. REYNA! I've missed you around here! I smiled so much when I saw a comment from you. :-) I'm glad we agree!

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  2. Mom doesn't let me listen to Country music, but I have heard some and yes, while there are a lot of dumb and stupid ones, there are a lot of good ones too!! I really, really like The House That Built Me. Some of my favorite of the ones I have heard, were Thompson Square's Glass and If I Didn't Have You.

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    1. There is definitely some stuff you shouldn't listen to, yes. But there's a lot of good in country music in general, I think. :-) Ohhhh, I LOVE that song! Hits you right in the feels. Hmmm, I don't think I've heard of Thompson Square! I'll have to listen to those!

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    2. Exactly!!

      They have another song called Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not? that is really adorable. And they are a husband/wife duo.

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  3. I like old country music- The Everly Brothers, John Denver, etc. Do you know any classic country songs by them? Well, the Everlys aren't entirely country, but for the most part they are. :)

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    1. Bethany, I should have mentioned that I also love old country music! I just realized I only talked about the newer people, but I'm very fond of singers like Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. I don't know the Everly Brothers, but they sound familiar...usually groups with the word "brothers" in their name are pretty good. ;-)

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  4. This was so much fun to read! I had never heard of Tractor Supply before, but it sounds similar to Fleet Farm. (Do you have those in New York? Because apparently we don't have Tractor Supply's over here!)
    Country music makes me feel like such a city kid (even though I'm in a fairly small town). It also makes me really want to live in the country/the South and have all the fun they seem to have in their songs. :)
    I especially like your #4. I really like that all-American feel to country music. I get so sick of people wanting to blend America in with all the other countries of the world and making us seem not special or unique. That's when country music comes in and proves the nay-sayers wrong!
    Haha, I specifically clicked on the songs you said NOT to click on (yes, I'm that type of person :P), and they were so saaad! In a good way though.
    I'm not sure how I feel about twang. There's a certain amount of twang that makes the music better, but there's a definite line in the amount of twang that gets crossed every now and then, and I cringe a little.
    I love how fun and romantic country music is! And I agree; the gender differences are really pronounced in country music, which I consider another little jab at society's "we're all the same" idea. And I think #10 is the main reason I like country music; it's just so fun! I agree with every word of that one! :)
    By the way, that was an amazing picture of Josh Turner you pinned! (No I'm not stalking you I promise, I just happened to see it on your sidebar!) And also a random-ish question: do you like Scotty McCreery? I think he's amazing, but I wanted to know what you think! :)

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    1. Thanks, Abby! I'm glad. I had fun writing it. (And I probably spent a little too much time linking to all the songs on Youtube....but the past is in the past. ;-P)

      You don't have Tractor Supply?! What a shame! I've heard of Fleet Farm, but we don't have any around here. It sounds right down my canyon. ;-P

      Exactly! There are so many people down on America, it's refreshing to hear country singers who still love the good ol' USA. I like how country music isn't ashamed to go against the grain. (That should be Reason #11.) And as you said, I like how they emphasize the different roles men and women play, because I think that's important and so many people are about making everyone the same. We're NOT the same, nor should we be, and I think country music remembers that and celebrates it.

      The most twang-iest singer I can think of is Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland, and I still like to listen to her, so I guess as a rule I like twang.

      Oh, you saw that, did you? ;-) I thought it was pretty nice. You know, I've heard Scotty McCreery's name many times (in fact he had a concert near here a few summers ago that I remember) but I don't know that I've ever listened to any of his songs! I've heard him likened to Josh Turner, though, so I really should.

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  5. Haha, yeah. You love country music. (Truth universally acknowledged and all that.) I loved this post, despite... youknow. You're so funny, Emma - the way you PUT things.

    Now, there is a common misconception among most people that country music is all about trucks, girls, tractors, and beer. This is not true. Well....okay, maybe it's sort of true. <<< Haha. (That wasn't the only thing that made me grin: almost everything did.)

    Also, I loved that you used so many little lists in this post.

    I'll have to check out some of the (MANY) songs you linked to in this post. (Like every word linked to a song, so I don't quite know where to start. Maybe with the emotional ones, haha.)

    I OBVIOUSLY don't love country music as much as you do, but I can appreciate it and I LOVE Josh Turner... which is a lot for a British girl to say. You must be thankful. (I agree completely with #2. Country singers are REAL. Pop artists maybe too, but the wrong kind of real.) (And #4 is probably the main reason why I don't love country music. *shrugs* Plus that twang is not my faaave. )

    Anyways, great post.

    ~ Naomi

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    1. I was sort of waiting to hear what you said, heehee. I KNOW you don't love it, but that's okay cuz I don't expect you to, and I'm so glad you at least APPRECIATE it. :-) I know, that's a lot for a British girl to say -- don't think I'm not grateful!

      Haha. That's what one of my friends said to me when I said I liked country music. I said, "That's not true!" then thought again, and said "Well....yeah, I guess it is." ;-P

      You don't have to listen to all the songs. I just had fun listening to them and picking them out. (DON'T listen to Keith Urban's Tonight I Wanna Cry, though. It is TOO SAD. But you should listen to The House That Built Me because it's beautiful.)

      Thank you, dear thing!

      (OH MY GOODNESS! I'm sitting in the basement with he radio on and Cole Swindell's You Should Be Here just came on!!!)

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  6. The Zak Brown Band is THE BEST because they are from my hometown. And also because they're the best. :) I LOVE his voice: https://youtu.be/gZMCkufE0X0

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    1. Jillian, that's so cool! I don't know a lot about the Zack Brown Band, but I've heard of a few of their songs on the radio. They have a unique style.

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  7. Emma, I'm really glad you have a musical genre that fits who you are so well--that's basically the whole point of music, to find the stuff that speaks to YOU. It's awesome.

    I have to say, I don't like country music AS well as you do . . . although there's some of it that I like quite a lot. I love many of Hunter Hayes' songs and I'm rather fond of Carrie Underwood . . . but at the same time, I can only listen to a certain amount of country before it starts to get on my nerves. Because, you see, I LIVE in the Deep South. (Now you will envy me, I suppose . . . oh dear. ;-) ) And because country music has such strong Southern roots, it reminds me both of all the things I love about the South AND all the things I hate about it. And . . . it can get a little much sometimes. :-)

    So yeah, not my top favorite genre. But I do have country songs that I think are really, really cool--Brad Paisley's "He Didn't Have to Be" and Carrie Underwood's "Something in the Water." Also "9 to 5" and "Blame It On Your Heart" (especially the last one :-) )

    I don't think I can really say there's a certain genre of music that's my favorite. I just pick up songs from EVERYWHERE that I like and put them all together in a sort of mish-mash. It's fun.

    But, you know, some pop singers really are genuinely cool people too. Case in point: Celine Dion. Also case in point: Marlisa Punzalan. If you don't know who she is, go watch this video immediately: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJlelnEEO8w

    But yeah, I'm really glad you did a post about music, because it's one of my FAVORITE things to talk about ever :-)

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  8. This post made me so happy! I do like country, although I don't listen to it a whole lot. :) I enjoy Carrie Underwood a lot, but I don't know a lot of specific artists other than that. I just like the general sound. :)

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    1. Olivia, I'm glad! I love the general sound too -- it gets into my soul and makes me so happy. It's the music of my heart. ;-)

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  9. So. Right now I'm listening to Hunter Hayes. :D (I thought it appropriate for this post, for one thing.)

    I like lists (and you have lots of those!) and I 'preciate country music, so I am quite sure this will be my jam. Maybe not quite so much as yours, but still, enough to make me happy. :D

    Ooohh... this is going deep. I thought I loved country music, but as for it being my FAVOURITE. Eeesh... that's hard. I mean, MUSICAL THEATRE. That is a serious competitor... and also, it depends on how you define country - because a lot of country these days is honestly more like pop than country. Buuut... you have a very good Point. A lot of country music is about life. And life is something I'm hugely passionate about. Musical theatre is so dear to my heart but it's not hugely, um, about life. And that's where country comes in. (Pop sometimes, but rarely.) You see, I'm listening to Hunter Hayes right now, and I consider him to be country/pop. (That's just my opinion, though! :)) HowEVER, that doesn't mean I don't like it!!

    Woooww, you linked to a LOT of videos. :P Well, if I ever want to listen to new songs, I'll just click on this post and click on any word and I'll find one, I guess. Hehe. :P

    Okay. So I listened to one of the 'silly songs' ("Break Up With Him") and yeah it was annoying. :P So now I feel like listening to the emotional songs. Ooohh, yesss...
    Oh, I remember listening to this one ("You Should Be Here") before, when you linked to it. It IS so darling. He's got a twangy accent, this guy. ;) (Also it's got beer in it. ;P)
    So I've only listened to Carrie's Underwood's song ("Don't Forget to Remember Me"), thus I thought I would watch the video you provided. :D (In other words, any excuse...) Okay. It was worth it.
    "The House That Built Me" is... ohhhh. It's like when I showed you the song "Dream"! It's so sweet and darling and full of memories and feeling and heartache and hope and so much more goodness! I LOVE it.
    I'm going to listen to the Keith Urban song. *wicked laugh* AAHHH HE PLAYS PIANO!!! I love him even more!!!! Actually, this kind of sounds familiar.. . (my eldest sister just walked in singing it word for word. That confirms it.) This... *sniff*... is... *sniff*... beautiful. *sniff* *blows nose* Why can't I make music as beautiful as that? People are SO talented. Musicians and authors and artists are all amazing storytellers. <3
    "Stay"... THIS. THIS IS EVEN WORSE. This is emotion in the finest.
    Well... thanks for that EMMA. Thanks for the emotion. Made my day. ;)

    ~Miss Meg

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  10. Hey, I was reading the comments on your last post, and I saw a link Rosie had of Hunter Hayes singing with a fan (thanks Rosie! You've now made more than one person go on a Hunter-Hayes-singing-with-fan spree!) and I found this treasure. It was my personal favourite. :D (Not because they sang more or she sang better, but just because he was so flippin' awesome.) Couldn't help sharing it with you, Emma, even though you've probably already seen it! https://youtu.be/78qp1Yl3FvY Okay, now I have a new favourite singer. :D (Oh, and hey, it's another favourite COUNTRY singer! Sweet!)
    ~Miss Meg
    P.S. I was reading up about HH (as ya do, right?) and it had on his Google profile thing, that he can play MORE THAN 30 DIFFERENT INSTRUMENTS?!!!! O_O I'm officially hooked.

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  11. Hi, I'm new, I just found your blog a short while ago. I would like to thank you for putting links in this post. I love country music. I have a hard time finding country songs that I can listen to without worrying what might come up. I don't want to listen to songs I wouldn't mind having my little sisters or brothers hear while I'm listening. We used to listen to country music all the time. Daddy used to put on the local country music station for our Sunday drives, but there are just some things you just don't want your young children to hear, and we had to stop. Thanks for the links, and I totally agree with your post.
    I came from the southwest, where we had Big R, and it is such a cool store, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. The smells, the stuff, the leather, (leather goes in both the previous categories, but I figured it deserved one of its own), the music, the old men with white moustaches that smile and tip their cowboy hats and say things like "young lady" or "little miss." You could also admire the chicks and rabbits they sell. Sometimes they even had ducklings and goslings. It really was the nicest store. (Plus, we got free popcorn on Sundays.)

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    1. Hi Elsabet! Glad to meet another country music fan. ;-) I agree that there is a lot of it that's kind of trashy. I like most of it, but once in a while there comes a song on the radio that I think, "I really don't need to listen to that." That's too bad you don't listen to the country station anymore -- I hope you still find some songs that you can listen to!

      That sounds like such an awesome store. Places like that have so much character, don't they? Oooh, and free popcorn -- I officially want to go there.

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  12. I love country music! I guess you could say I'm that person who goes "love it too! Oh my goodness! New best friend! Do you like Brad Paisley?" Except that I have no idea whatsoever who Brad Paisley is :P

    Have you ever heard of The Willis Clan? They've done a ton of different genres, but they play a lot of country music too. And they've performed at the Grand Ole Opry multiple times! :)

    I've heard Carrie Underwood a couple times, but I didn't really know her all that well. But I listened to Don't Forget To Remember Me from your post, and then it lead me to Just a Dream which was SO sad :'( and then All-American Girl that made me feel better ;)

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    1. You are? Yay! :-) No, I have never heard of the Willis Clan -- they sound interesting. If they've been at the Grand Ole Opry they're probably people I would like.

      I've just started listening to Carrie Underwood a lot, and I LOVE her music. OH! Just a Dream is such a sad one! I think what I love most about her songs is, they're not all love songs -- she's got so many that are about really deep and emotional things. (I like All-American Girl too. ;-))

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  13. I don't listen to only country songs, but I do love them :)

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    1. Rosie, I don't *only* listen to country music either -- I listen to a lot of Broadway and classic rock and Celtic and folk and a bunch of kinds, but country is my favorite. :-)

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    2. Ah, gotcha :) Well, I would probably say that Celtic is my favorite, so.

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  14. NUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMBBBBBBBBEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I was waiting for that one. ;) I would have listed it as #1 :P

    I like going to Tractor Supply too..it's like BAM -country folk. I fit with the dirty people :P lol and..sometimes I have a cowboy spotting hahaaha!

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    1. HAHA. Glad we agree on this very important point. :-) I know! I feel like I fit in there too. Everyone I see I want to be friends with. And yes, occasionally you see a cowboy or two, and that's always fun.

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  15. Hahaha, I love the smell of Tractor Supply too! My favorite thing to do there is go and gaze at the beautiful boots and wish I had $160 to spend. :P

    "The House that Built Me" is SO sad and yet so beautiful. I bawled listening to it for the first time. Have you heard "Travelin' Soldier" by Dixie Chicks? It made me cry too. :'(

    You sure don't need an explanation about cowboy hats. ;)

    "The men wear cowboy hats and jeans and drive trucks and drink testosterone for breakfast." HAHAHA.

    I loved this post, Emma! And thank you for all the links, I'm going to enjoy listening to them and finding some new favorites. :)

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    1. Natalie, me too. Cowboy boots may be one of my biggest downfalls! ;-P Oh, you listened to it? I LOVE that song. I've actually been singing it pretty much all week since I heard it first. I haven't heard that one by the Dixie Chicks, but I know some of their other songs -- I like "There's Your Trouble", which they play on the radio a lot.

      Thanks! I hope you find some songs you like. ;-)

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    2. I haven't heard "There's Your Trouble" so I'll have to look that one up. :)

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  16. Great post!

    Country music is the best.

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  17. Hey, Emma! Just popping in to let you know I tagged you. No pressure, of course! :) http://marchramblings.blogspot.com/2016/05/so-when-youve-been-tagged.html

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