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I Blame Texas. But Not Really.

4th September 2012

I like music.  I love music.  I greatly esteem music.  The first site I crank up on any given morning is last.fm.  (Spotify has too many ads.)  Even before facebook.  Or real-life coffee.  That’s big.

While my musical taste is kind of eclectic, my first music-love is country.  I love it down to the ground.  Or the red dirt road.

I know it isn’t cool to admit to liking country.  At least for me, growing halfway up on Long Island, New York.  I’ve heard all the country music jokes.  And I actually think this one is funny:

What happens if you play country music backwards?

Your wife returns to you, your dog comes back to life, and you get out of prison.

But that’s the difference between laughing with and laughing at.

I blame Texas.  But not really.  Because I’m not ashamed to say I like country.  And anyway, it’s not my fault.    I was born in Dallas, and according to my father, country music was all that was played at the hospital during my stay.  Funny, that.

After they sprung me, the first song I actively remember was You Are My Sunshine, as sung by my Grandparents.  To this day the Johnny Cash version makes me cry.

As I got older, I remember the local country station blasting out of the windows of my father’s Blazer.  I am a Garth fan from way back.  And I got a standing ovation after lip-syncing Kathy Mattea’s Eighteen Wheels and A Dozen Roses for my third-grade talent show.  Complete with suede-tasseled cowboy boots.

The best love songs are country love songs.  As a teenager, I would listen to a bunch on repeat, wondering what it would feel like when the lyrics to the happy ones actually meant something to me.  I’ve since figured that one out.

When I left for Uni, it was The Dixie Chicks blasting out of my Dad’s car windows.  When I got there, I’m kind of ashamed to say I began to use my CDs as coasters.  A bunch of them don’t play anymore.  I blame myself.  And Peach Schnapps.

These days, Sarge keeps his CDs well away from me, and that’s OK.  He doesn’t like country and I don’t like most of his music.  It’s healthy for couples to have different interests.

If my music is on when he gets home from work, he might greet me by saying:

‘Is it raining?’

‘No honey, that’s the song.’

Take last week for example, I had shut down the computer for the day and the house was too quiet.  The silence drove me to download a song on my phone.  It’s the first song to live in my phone.  (I don’t have an ipod/earbuds for the same reason I don’t wear contacts.  Because why would you voluntarily poke yourself in the face?)

Anyway, I might have been playing my downloaded song when Sarge got home from work.

‘The hell is that?’

‘I downloaded a song.  I’m working on my wedding music choices.  The .69 is a wedding expense.’

He raised his eyebrows.

‘Hey, country has Celtic roots.  Be nice or I’ll play it again.’

This was the song.  Kinda my new favourite:

Do you like country music?  It’s OK if you don’t.  Bless your heart.

PS.  This is my 200th post.  If you’ve ever wondered why I ramble on here, I blame Texas.  But not really.

PPS.  This post does not imply that if you are from Texas, you must love country music.  But if you are, and you do, hi.

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  • Reply sharechair 4th September 2012 at 11:22 am

    Not a fan of country. Born and raised on the east coast, there isn’t a drop of Texas in me. Altho….. I do enjoy the Dixie Chicks. Saw them in concert a few years ago and they were awesome. But that’s as close as I get…. 🙂 It will be fun for you and Sarge compromise your music tastes… 🙂 🙂

    • Reply LKD 4th September 2012 at 3:27 pm

      It’s already proving interesting!

  • Reply Hippie Cahier 4th September 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I keep forgetting about last.fm. As you know, it keeps me entertained as I grind through the workday, but only iif I log into it before said workday begins.

    I’m not from Texas. That’s right, I’m not from Texas, but I too grew up with country music, when country wasn’t cool. “You Are My Sunshine” is a tear-jerking special classic in our family too (and wouldn’t that be fun to include in your wedding list somewhere). The same might be said for almost anything Johnny Cash. He was big in our family before he was cool, too.

    Today country music is the closest mainstream match to what I like most (I like all sorts of music. You’d be astonished at my iPod lists.) I like contemporary folk/rock-ish artists. Mostly, I like good lyrics, and that’s the genre where I find that most often.

    Today’s country music seems much like the “southern rock” of my youth. A few weeks ago, the universe smiled on me with a last minute invitation to a concert where I ended up with a floor pass, standing *this close* to Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw as they performed. Easily the most fun I’ve had in years.

  • Reply Hippie Cahier 4th September 2012 at 12:26 pm

    P.S. I love the video song (and its sentiment) and happy 200th post. Whew. Somebody needs to cut back on caffeine!

    • Reply LKD 4th September 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Oh, man. Actually jealous. But happy for you, though. Of course. 😉

  • Reply urbannight 4th September 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I grew up listening to country. I like that country. Modern country isn’t really country anymore. Too much pop in it, to much rock in it. It if was rockabilly I would like it but it is not. It’s country themes set to rock music and it just doesn’t work for me anymore. Even my country loving dad totally stopped listening to it. One of my favorite songs is actually before my time. It’s Johnny Cash’s One Piece at a Time.

    • Reply LKD 4th September 2012 at 4:13 pm

      My Grandpa didn’t have much time for the modern stuff, either. Bill Monroe was big in our house, too.

      Most of my favourite songs were before my time! My favourite Johnny Cash after Sunshine is The One On The Right Is On The Left.

  • Reply Miriam Joy 4th September 2012 at 12:53 pm

    My music taste is also quite eclectic, but I’ll admit that I have never really listened to country music. I do, however, listen to a lot of trad Irish and Scottish music, which around here has the same sort of stigma – folk music is for country bumpkins and leprechauns, you know 😉
    I don’t put my mp3 player on shuffle any more. It got too stressful when I turned it right up to listen to Stravinsky’s Firebird and then My Chemical Romance came on, blasting through my headphones and deafening me!

    • Reply LKD 4th September 2012 at 3:39 pm

      I know, and I like that, too. But instead of compounding the stigma, I may do another post!

  • Reply RFL 4th September 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I am from Texas, and I do love country music, mostly unapologetically 🙂 Hi!

  • Reply AnnMarie 4th September 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I am not from Texas…from the midwest but I love Texas and I love country music. You gotta love songs about men who are crazy about their women and women all running from them. 🙂 Seriously, I think country lyrics are the most heart-felt and I make no apologies for songs with good lyrics (plus I love the grit in their voices). Love this video/song, too. It might be my new favorite as well.

  • Reply zebedeerox 4th September 2012 at 9:18 pm

    There’ve been a few dalliances into country, although I can’t admit to being a big fan – Ray Charles certainly knew how to strike up a decent deep-south scat, as did the Spencer Davis Group; more recently, when Jon Bon Jovi reaches into his roots you can tell he’s a real country boy at heart.
    The surprising band for me who stoke up images of country, though, are Metallica. The Unforgiven & Wherever I May Roam, although overtly rock, not only strike up images of long, dusty roads but remind of Roland Deschain (The Dark Tower) – how dare Sir King release a prequel when I thought I was done with the Cala!?
    It’s not all six-string, chewing corn and rusty old spittoons, you know?!
    Lorna – thanks for the post – superb – and take no notice…when Daniel O’Donnell starts up with Danny Boy, a tear pops into the corner of my eye, too, reminding me of home…

  • Reply Carol 5th September 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Not from Texas, not a fan of Texas, but I prefer country music. I must admit, however, that I prefer the “new” country which is more pop-ish than the old, twangy, weepy, drinking song country.

  • Reply inkspeare 6th September 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I love Country music and I also love Celtic music – these two are my favorites, although I like electronica too and other music genres.

  • Reply euregirlsandboys 8th September 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I love music so much, too. And I think my taste is fairly eclectic, except…no country music for me 🙂 There are some minor exceptions – I’m okay with some girl country like Taylor Swift and Shania Twain and some Dixie Chicks. Happy 200th post!

    Visiting from Saturday Sharefest.

  • Reply CarliAlice 8th September 2012 at 12:26 pm

    My love for country music is on and off. Currently it’s off. It’s so funny that you sang Garth Brroks in third grade. In third grade I listened to Crystal Gale (soooo aging myself).

    Happy Saturday Sharefest!

    • Reply LKD 8th September 2012 at 12:30 pm

      I lip-sank to Kathy Mattea in the third grade. I sang Crystal Gayle in my kitchen way before that!

  • Reply Mama Pants 8th September 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Happy 200!
    I like just about everything. Even some country. I like how you write. very funny 🙂

    Happy Sharefest!

  • Reply Leigh Powell Hines (@Hinessightblog) 8th September 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Happy 200th post. Country doesn’t even sound country these days.

  • Reply Ellie Augustin 8th September 2012 at 1:01 pm

    hehehe… I had to giggle as I’m living in LI & I feel the same about music it just drives me to get moving and do what I need to do for the day… although country hmm maybe a few songs but hey Music is Music and that is what is awesome! Happy Sharefeast.

  • Reply Karen 8th September 2012 at 1:22 pm

    great post, I like all kinds of music, as long as the song inspires me, I’ll listen to it. my mom is a HUGE country music fan. for awhile 1 of my favorite songs with goodbye Earl, LOL
    stopping by from Saturday share fast, have a great weekend babe.

  • Reply Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel 8th September 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Visiting from SITS. LOVE Country music. So fun to sing along to!

  • Reply Ginny Marie 8th September 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I started listening to country when I lived…in the country. Now I live in the suburbs, but I still love country! Dixie Chicks are one of my favorites!

  • Reply Jackie Cangro 8th September 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I’m not from Texas (but Texas wants you anyway). Sorry. I couldn’t help myself. I just saw Lyle Lovett in concert a few weeks ago.
    Living in the South for years gave me an affinity for country music. Would you believe that I can’t find a country radio station in NYC?
    I’m a fan of all things Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard too. 🙂

    • Reply LKD 10th September 2012 at 5:06 pm

      I think the New York station is now defunct. When I visit I listen to the Connecticut station. Which only feels slightly wrong.

  • Reply padraigoconnor 10th September 2012 at 1:31 am

    Hey there. Enjoyed reading that. I´ll start by saying that it isn´t my favourite genre of music 🙂 , but there is some great country music out there: Hank Williams, Emylou Harris, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson to name but a few. I´ve already written about The Big Rock Candy Mountain in my song of the week blog, but I´m planning on writing something about Gene Clarke (maybe For A Spanish Guitar) or Gram Parsons (Christine´s Tune) a few weeks down the line as I´m reading a really good book about the West Coast music scene (Hotel California) at the moment.

  • Reply Dear Sarge, I’m Sorry I Lied. | Gin & Lemonade 1st March 2013 at 1:47 pm

    […] you for letting me blast country music. Sometimes. Thank you for seeing me in songs and my grandmother’s face. And in your […]

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