Get Past the Twang

Having become thoroughly fed up with the blatantly sexed quasi-music offerings on the radio stations I had discovered, I decided to try something else. I’m always up for new music. And plus, when one is embarrassed by the need to censor the music on the radio for the woman who feels she needs to censor herself around you… you know it’s bad. I decided to let her tell me a couple of her stations that she listens to. She recommended a couple of the local contemporary country stations, and I added them to my presets.

My second summer in Kenya I had a craving for country music, (I was tired of reggae mixes of Celine Dion and the dregs of R&B that made it below the equator), and happily was able to procure some from a fellow volunteer from the south. I liked what he had handpicked for me to hear, along with a album by someone from my “home town” at the time.

I have a predisposition, if not a history, for country music. I adore folk and bluegrass, and basically anything with a guitar, or especially a mandolin. But growing up, we didn’t listen much to country, although I have realized that my parents don’t much listen to the radio, even in the car, which I now find more curious than ever. Although I do remember a scattered and random moment in Lyons when we were watching a Music video of “She thinks my Tractor’s Sexy” and my mom saying that I should use the song to my advantage, and use a tractor as a qualifier for whether or not I could date someone. (It didn’t matter which way, just to be used as an excuse or explanation.)

The greatest obstacle for me with country is the twang. Although I do have a dormant regionally southern accent, sometimes the singer lays it on a bit thick, or whatever it is with the guitar that gets the twang, is a bit much. And I used to say that they were all about “Dead Dogs, Ex-wives, and Pick-up Trucks” which was (and still is) close enough to the truth that it kept me from it.

The greatest argument for country for me is that I can find myself in the songs so easily. Not all of them, but just enough to keep me listening. Fascinatingly, the songs are more about the beginning of love, and so are sweeter than the songs that are in the mainstream, which sing about sex and violence. I like to fashion myself as the girl next door, one who likes a little adventure, but who likes to go barefoot, too.

Granted, sometimes I still flip between my 4 music presets, and see what is going on in the world with NPR, but in this season, an occasional bit of country is good for my heart.


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