Pseudonymous blogger and political theorist “Miss Self-Important” has an interesting and entertaining post in defense of country music that I thought I’d share. My two favorite passages:
Country music’s virtue is its adherence to the view that music has real emotional power, and that lyrics are part of that power. If a song bothers with lyrics, the lyrics must be coherent. They don’t have to be sophisticated or edgy (in fact, they should probably never be so), but they should assume a language-enabled audience that connects words to music and can be moved … by the combination.
The “closedness” argument that country music is about fearing change and clinging to the good ol’ way of living assumes that it’s completely sincere (as angsty pop music is) — it’s really by and for naive rubes who’ve never left Festus, Missourah and are terrified by all the cosmopolitan modernity swirling around them. But country music is much more like Benjamin Franklin at Paris in his fur cap posing as the simple colonial that the French imagined all Americans must be, while securing war loans from them and bagging their wives for good measure. … Country music has in fact heard of and experienced Manhattan and corporate finance and divorce and the importance of whole grains in a healthy diet, and it is not impressed or convinced that these things supersede its own narratives.