Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
For this past Father’s Day, I received a card from my wife, a card from my son (whose handwriting looks suspiciously similar to my wife’s), and Brad Paisley’s new CD, This is Country Music. It was just perfect.
How could I, the guy whose passion is to positively re-brand fatherhood, not be a fan of a genre of music that respects the idea of family and faith?
Despite living my whole life in the South, I don’t have a Southern accent. Nor do I drive a pick-up truck, wear Wrangler jeans, or know how to rope a calf. But I ama proud fan of Country music. Not only did I meet my wife in 2006 because of it (we met while waiting in line for a taping of the CMT show Crossroads in Nashville), but I grew up in the same small town as the legendary band, Alabama.
While I can’t personally relate to the songs about tractors, cheatin’, and honky tonk badonkadonks, I can relate to the way Country music is brave enough to be simple and honest.
In other forms of music, like Rock, it’s not quite as acceptable or natural or cool to talk about your wife and kids. Or to mention that you love Jesus, without it being ironic somehow. In other words, Country music, more than any other genre, holds the strongest value for family and faith.
I am very sensitive to sexism; especially in music, because music is so influential on our culture, whether we are willing to accept it or not. And this goes for not only Rap music where it is common to openly degrade women to the standard of sex objects in bikinis at pool parties and refer to them as words that are not in my vocabulary, but also in Pop music where it is normal for man-bashing to be common.
Honestly, I don’t care what kind of music it is, if it negatively stereotypes either women or men, it bothers me. I don’t take it lightly. Both women and men deserve respect and honor, not to be damned into a stereotype of bimbos and idiots.
But with Country Music, it’s not something I really have to think about. Because for every “you’re a no good liar” type of Country song that exists, there are a dozen “I love my wife and kids” songs to overpower it. That’s not the case in other genres.
Granted, I don’t just listen to Country. I love Jazz, 90’s Alternative, and anything in the likeness of Guster and Pete Yorn.
But when I hear a song like “People are Crazy” by Billy Currington, or “Love Without End, Amen,” by George Strait, there’s a connection there that just can’t be matched by even the coolest, trendiest Rock star.
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“Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us,
You see, daddies don’t just love their children every now and then,
It’s a love without end, Amen.”
–Love Without End, Amen by George Strait