Howdy y’all. (Insert smiley face wearing a cowboy hat emoji) Sorry. Couldn’t help it.
So at my most recent workplace, we listened to a lot of country. A lot. Not hating. Listen to what you want. Seriously. It’s just not my scene. While I was kinda.. outlining this post (me? organize my thoughts ahead of time? whaaaaa? – but I legit had to look up lyrics to country songs so, ya know) I was listening to Sigur Ros. For those unfamiliar, they are an “Icelandic post-rock band known for their ethereal sound” and incorporating “classical and minimal aesthetic elements.” So a bit removed from songs about your boo meeting your momma and having your lady meet your kinfolk.
But! In the brainwashing… I mean the very casual, not at all drilled into my head ten hours a day, six days a week at work, listening to the genre… it fucking broke me. I want a life and a love like a country song. And I’m not at all sorry.
If you’ve read previous posts here, you maybe might notice a theme of my ever tumultuous love life. I do the karaoke, right, and out of all the songs I’ve ever done, there’s this one I sing more authentically and with more like… raw vulnerability than any other. “You Wanted More” by Tonic… the line… the fucking line… gets me every time… “I don’t know when I got bitter, but love is surely better when it’s gone” …Right in the God damn feels…. Truer words have potentially never been sang by me, except if you gave me a calendar, I could give you the exact date my bitterness solidified me into the Ice Queen y’all know and love. Though, I have do a ridiculously wonderful (and brave!) guy currently attempting to court me. Yes. I know. Melting me. May need a smaller crown. May have to settle for being a Slushy Princess for a while….
Anyway, country music. Like… man… there is something so kinda simple and pure about a lot of the lyrics. It’s not artsy fartsy or deep or bogged down with obscure references or heavy metaphors. It’s not even violent or offensive or explicit most the time. It’s… there ain’t nothing that a beer can’t fix, let’s slow dance in a Walmart parking lot, I’m chasin’ you like a shot of whiskey, I only meant to hold this drink now I’m tryna hold your hand, beer never broke my heart, straightforwardness. Songs praising women with their hair a mess, wearing an old pair of jeans. Songs about taking back roads, and that being literal, and not a thinly veiled anal sex reference.
I’m a city girl at best. A suburbanite at worst. The country factors nowhere into my life landscape. I don’t go swimming in the crick. I don’t have parties in barns. I’ve never driven a truck. And I’m not sure I need to incorporate those things into my life but… the energy of them… that like… just simple, (I keep using that word, and I know it might read condescending but I have ultimate respect for simplicity) like.. living. I want that. I don’t want stuffy. I don’t want impressive. I don’t want cool. I want a beer and a bonfire and people I love. I don’t want a five star hotel or a hundred dollar meal or a thousand dollar purse. I want a little bitty house and a little bitty yard, a la Alan Jackson. I want to wear outta season, marked down clearance lingerie (you know I’ll be rockin some “ho ho ho” panties on the 4th of July) and be made to feel like a Victoria Secret Angel.
I’m not traditionally religious, and country songs do a lot of giving thanks to God, but even that like… man.. I want to see the blessings in the day to day. I want to have that faith and endure the struggles with the grit and grace I find in those songs. And I maybe do legit want some boots..
You aren’t going to find me at a honky tonk (I wouldn’t even know where to go), doing the boot scootin boogie (I wouldn’t even know how) anytime soon. You’ll find me at an average bar, probably in a strip mall, singing along with whoever is on stage for karaoke. But maybe you’ll find me in beat up old jeans and a boring t shirt, instead of being decked out – trying to impress. Maybe you’ll find me being completely content with a cheap beer, instead of a complicated cocktail. And you’ll definitely hear me say, “y’all.”