We wanted to find out why country music fans love the genre so much. We sat down with a country loving Grizzly Rose fan to get to the bottom of it! Here’s what we learned…
I have a confession to make… I love country music! The older I get, the less dramatic this confession gets, but growing up where I did all of the cool kids loved to rag on country music. I’ll never forget how people would say “I listen to everything but country and rap” when discussing their musical tastes. So for years, I ran away from the genre even as my parents blasted it from their speakers every day. Then one day I stopped running, and pretty soon I realized that I’d been missing out on a lot of fantastic music. Now I honestly believe that country music has something for everyone. You don’t have to like it all, but I’m pretty sure that if you read on and listen to the songs I’ve picked out you’ll find something that speaks to you.
It’s perfect for telling stories.
While musicians of every sort tell stories with their songs, I would say that no genre can spin a yarn like country. It’s in the genre’s DNA. Since the dawn of country music, its artists have been serenading listeners with everything from wild west epics to incredibly personal confessionals. “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash exemplifies country storytelling. It’s emotional, funny, and catchy as anything. There’s a reason that even people who say they hate country are quick to clarify that they still like The Man in Black.
It can stretch across cultural boundaries.
It’s easy for people to think that because country music is so tied to American culture that it can’t speak to people from other countries and cultures. But that’s far from the truth; country music speaks to universal human emotions while talking about American particulars. Once I was in the Philippines and ran into a girl who mentioned how she came from the boondocks. I was surprised to hear that kind of American slang, but she told me it was actually a Filipino word that was brought back to American when US troops returned from fighting there during the Spanish-American war. I told her I had just the song for her and played her the song “Boondocks” by Little Big Town. We listened to it together, and her eyes lit up. The songwriters probably didn’t even know they were using a Filipino word, but she said they might as well have been talking about her life in the Filipino countryside.
It lets me relive my life with musical flashbacks.
One song that brings me back like no other is “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)” by Toby Keith. I wasn’t very young when the September 11 attacks happened, it was hard for me to process all of the emotions I felt. But when I heard this song playing on the radio it was like Toby was speaking to my soul. While good people of all stripes people disagree about the path America took after that tragedy, I think just about everyone felt the emotions that Toby cried out in that song. Every time I hear this song, it’s like a time machine that takes me back to that fateful day.
It taught me lessons I’ll never forget.
Songwriters have always used their art to pass down their hard-earned wisdom, but for my money, I’d say that country lyricists are some of the best. Kenny Chesney taught me how fast life could go by with “Don’t Blink.” But Keith Urban let me know that Tim McGraw taught me to be “Humble & Kind.” Carrie Underwood taught me never to try and pull a fast one on a country girl. But the song that taught me the most was “Unanswered Prayers” by Garth Brooks. In my life, I’ve wanted a lot of things. At the time it felt like I couldn’t live without them. But no matter how hard it was losing out on them, in then something else always came along. Even if you’re not religious, this song can serve as a powerful reminder that sometimes we need to hear no before we find what we’re really looking for.
It can be just plain fun.
So far I’ve focused on the deeper side of country music because it’s the side that most people don’t see. But while I love songs that bring me to tears I spend plenty of time listening to songs because they’re fun. There are songs for drinking, dancing, and having a laugh. “I’m Gonna Miss Her” by Brad Paisley is a favorite of mine, it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Deep and dark art might snatch up all the critical acclaim, but at the end of a long day, a bit of good clean fun is as good as gold.
Why Do You Love Country Music?