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UnOnely Pleasures: Country Music December 3, 2008

Posted by Onely in As If!, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys, We like. . ..
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It’s ok to like something even if it’s unOnely! Some of my best friends are unOnely. And some of my favorite music is country.  I have three country music stations programmed into my car radio. Although independent-minded female singers with progressive attitudes are edging aside the good ol’ boys, the genre is still steeped in old-school heteronormative rhetoric. And I find myself rocking out to even the worst of it. Ignoring for a moment the philosophical issue of whether one can actually “rock out” to country music, here are some catchy tunes with lyrics you don’t want to listen to too closely:

Alan Jackson, “Livin’ on Love” : Without somebody nothing ain’t worth a dime (unOnely but really toe-tappin’)

Ricochet, “Her Daddy’s Money” : She’s got her daddy’s money, her momma’s good looks (sexist, although I listen to it anyway for the sheer joy of hearing the woman described as “country as a turnip green” and you know, one day I hope to have someone describe me as such)

Toby Keith, The Angry American: Ah, Toby. He is the master of the catchy tune with the “hey waitaminnit” lyrics. His controversial post-911  “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue” is chock full of metaphors I rather admire (“A mighty sucker punch came flying. . . As soon as we could see clearly through our big black eye”; “The Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist”; “This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage”) and some, um, not so much: (“We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way”).

The very worst is this song by Lonestar, who likes the view from his “front porch lookin’ in” better than his front porch lookin’ out, because inside he sees his toddler “with a sippy cup of milk”. Now, in my not-so-humble opinion, no song that is not sung by a cartoon character or a guy in a purple fuzzy suit should ever, ever, ever, ever, ever use the words “sippy cup”. Unlike the other songs above, which I listen to without hearing the words, I can’t even stand to have this song playing on my radio at all. 

And that’s what I think.  Does anyone else have strong unsolicited opinions about other people’s artistic expressions? 

–CC

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