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Student Blog: Why Y'all Should Like Country Music

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Just hear me out!

Student Blog: Why Y'all Should Like Country Music

I know, it's a lot of fun to poke fun at country music. I do it, too, and I grew up on it.

But despite all the songs about girls and trucks and beer that seem to be trendy in country music, there are quite a few bright spots, such as Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris.

Even so, there were artists from the 90s and 00s that wrote incredible songs that tend to go unnoticed by younger generations, which is a shame, but theater fans especially should be able to appreciate it.

Why do we love theater? Is it the marvelous sets? Explosive vocals? The costumes? Surely, all of that is wonderful, but whether you're listening to the cast album or seeing a show live, you're going to hear the songs and experience the story.

Well, that's what the best country music is all about. It tells a story.

It's easy to brush country music off as a whole as sexist, homophobic, racist or problematic in some way-and I am not in any way disputing the presence of such ugliness within the genre-but Broadway is not much better. The past and present of Broadway are both fraught with instances of discrimination within productions, general hiring and casting practices, and the content of the shows themselves. Not to mention the lack of inaccessibility for low-income people to enjoy live theater, let alone fly to New York to see it on Broadway. But while Broadway has appeased more people through pinkwashing, country music is, as a whole, not performative and not very activist, with the exception of a few artists. Ultimately, however, Broadway is just about as culpable for the upholding of systemic prejudice in the entertainment industry as country music.

Now, with that being said, let's celebrate the parts of country music that deserve our attention-especially as lovers of storytelling through song.

Garth Brooks, The Chicks, Willie Nelson, Miranda Lambert and many others have written songs with rich, compelling stories that would be more than worthy of the Broadway stage if they were to be developed as such.

"Travelin' Soldier" (The Chicks), "Whiskey Lullaby" (Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss), and "Beaches of Cheyanne" (Garth Brooks) are all tear-jerkers with deeply emotional lyrics.

Meanwhile, there are also comedic songs; "Friends in Low Places" (Garth Brooks), "Mama's Broken Heart" (Miranda Lambert), "Goodbye Earl" (The Chicks), "That Don't Impress Me Much" (Shania Twain), and "Bye Bye" by Jo Dee Messina. are all good for a laugh.

Are you a fan of the classic 'I Want' song? Look no further than "I Keep Looking," (Sara Evans), "Something More" (Sugarland), "Independence Day" (Martina McBride), and "Waitin' on a Plane" by Maddie & Tae.

There is more where that came from. Like with Broadway or any kind of media we consume, pick what appeals to you and leave the rest. Maybe country music isn't for you-that's alright. But just know that, like Broadway, country music is a genre that's changing, with more and more women and people of color making their mark. And to that, I say, "yee-haw."


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From This Author Student Blogger: Alexandra Lang