Finding Simplicity In Country Music
There’s fascination, even romance, in the following lines. They’re so beautifully simple:
“… and it makes me wanna take a back road, makes me wanna take the long way home, put a little gravel in my travel, unwind, unravel all night long. Makes me wanna grab my honey, tear down some two-lane country who knows, get lost and get right with my soul — it makes me wanna take, makes me wanna take a back road” — Rodney Atkins, “Take A Back Road”
I’m here to make a unexpected statement: I enjoy country music.
Do you know that feeling when a song comes on, and it reminds you of a certain period in your life? That’s how I feel about country: it reminds me of my time living in the 20,000 soul small town of Elon, NC.
But that’s not the reason I enjoy country music.
Country music is simple, and it talks about the simple pleasures of life. Rappers need bitches, lamborghinis and thousands of dollars. Latinos mostly sing about love and sex. Scooter needs you to be hyper hyper.
Most songs, at some point, are about a fantasy, about something that is highly unrealistic to the vast majority of humans. We’re attracted to that music because it provides an escape from our current reality.
Country is different. Take a look at a few song titles:
- “Hunting, Fishing, Loving Every Day” by Luke Bryan
- “Something ‘Bout A Truck” by Kip Moore
- “Drink in my Hand” by Eric Church
- “Pickin’ Wildflowers” by Keith Anderson
Nothing too crazy here. Just a typical day in North Carolina.
Country is about the simple pleasures of life.
Most songs are about nature, beer, relatively mundane activities, love, trucks or family. Those are all things that anyone can have, anyone can relate to. Country music paints the picture that you don’t need much in life in order to be happy.
Simple = Better
In these unprecedented times (“unprecedented” — how cool does that sound?), we suddenly don’t have access to the shiny things that made our life “worth living”. Instead, we’re stuck with ourselves at home, not really able to go anywhere.
And suddenly, we discover the small things again. A walk in the park, just listening to the birds. Going to bed early. Getting an intense training session in. Interaction with a loved one. A hug.
All these are things we (or at least I) didn’t appreciate before, but do now. When you can’t go anywhere, you start realizing that the things close to you are valuable.
The simple things in life are often enough. Do you really need that weekend trip to Southern Italy? Or will a cold one on the balcony with a dear friend do it, too?
When life goes back to “normal” (whatever that will look like), let’s not lose sight of the simple things.
They are what makes life worth living.
And well, yeah, then there’s this strange, uncanny fascination with unpaved roads: “Road Less Traveled” (Lauren Alaina), “Dirt Road Anthem” (Jason Aldean) or the aforementioned song “Take A Back Road” are just a few titles that pop up.
Do they make life worth living? I have my doubts.
Looks like that I still am — despite frequent consumption of country music — still a city kid.