Ok, so I know that there are a lot of people out there who, as almost a past time, despise country music.
“Hey, what kind of music do you listen to?” Someone asks before pulling the car out of the parking lot.
“Anything but country and rap. Actually, some kinds of rap are ok.”
“Do you like Cash?”
“Yeah, Johnny’s great, but that new shit can go back where it came from.”
“I like country, but the new stuff is straight top 40 drivel. It’s not even close to real country.”
I used to be one of those people who hated country music. Except of course for Garth Brooks, because I mean come on, who living their junior year of high school in a small agricultural community could not worship The Dance & Friends in Low Places?
Fast forward seven years after graduation to my first summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. I was a scenic carpenter in a shop full of guys. Almost all of them were good old southern boys. The radio, suffice it to say, wasalways on the country station. It took me exactly 2 weeks to get over my country music hating and get on board, because while I am not good at math, I could see that:
12 solid weeks
7 day work week
16 hour work days
1 radio – 90% preference within the shop for country music
Resistance was futile.
My acceptance of country music coincided nicely with country remakes of non-contry songs…Aerosmith’s Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing for example. Being the dim wit that I am about music (I am the girl after all, who thought Rock the Casbah was Rock the Sasquatch) I would listen and think:
“Hey, I know this song. I hadn’t realized I’d listened to country before.”
I realize that the previous admissions regarding my musical knowledge midgetry might make a person wonder how I manage to breathe in and out, rest assured Sean keeps me on track. But all that aside, country music came to be the first type of music I listed when asked what I listened to. Ok, actually I take that back. I spent a few years adding it to the list I gave after musicians less likely to draw outright mockery- Dave Matthews, Pink Floyd, CCR and those that suggested perhapss the water ran somewhat deeper thatn might have appeared- Elmore James and Billy Holiday.
The thing is, sometime in the last two years it became what I said first. No need to be ashamed. We like what we like. It’s not as if passing up Pachelbel for country music is going to make me dumber…need I remind you I thought Casbah was Sasquatch?
Briar, our little iTunes fiend, has a playlist that relies heavily on the infectious hits put out by Rascal Flatts. Her all time favorite is Me and My Gang, which of course she calls:
Me’n my’n Gang
Since the first time she heard that song she has literally not been able to listen to it without singing. She bops her head, she bends her knees, she bites her lower lip- truth be told there are times when it looks like she’s either having a fit or trying to dislodge a bumblebee that found its way into her ear canal.
I often dance with her, bouncing along in my way (read- as if I am listening to another song. Mama ain’t got much rhythm.) Since Avery came along Briar has insisted on her being involved in the dancing.
“Mommy. Avery. Gettin’in Mommy’s arms Avery. Dancin’ with Mommy’n Avery to Me’n My’n Gang.”
Lately she has learned to ask for me to turn it on really, really loud. So we dance.
I take Avery in one arm and then scoop Briar up in the other. We dance. We jump. We squeal. We hug. We joyously revel in the catchy, easy to follow lyrics and beebop along to the beat (Kind of sort of). It is country and it is loathed by many, but here at Chez Wink, when the right song comes on there is nothing that can rival the delight of me and my girls dancing.