As cliche as it sounds, life is a roller coaster. There are the great times, the times when miracles blossom out of the air and land on our palms. Those times when every scent is pleasant, when every voice is sweet, and not even the rain can muck our day. Then there are the times when the ground gives way beneath our feet, when we fall so fast our reflexes don’t register we’re no longer standing, when we suddenly realize there’s blood spilling over the ground. Those are the times we turn from heaven, when the sound of robins is obnoxious, and when the rain makes us scream and cry. Then there are other times when we don’t know whether to be happy or sad, when the greatest adventures of our lives intermingle with the utmost pain. Those are the times when your head is too cluttered, when every move is confusing, when “The Cat In The Hat” becomes unintelligible to your weary eyes. Those are the times when you sleep for as long and as often as you can. Yet, at the end of times, at the end of the day, we must always remember to pray, to love, and to keep at heart the times of blossoming miracles.
So I’m listening to Pandora right now, and was honestly a little frustrated with it. I flicked through each channel to the news that not one good song was playing, no matter how many I skipped. Finally, my finger landed on that one station: country pop.
Most of my friends would compare country music to the screech of fingernails on a chalkboard. On the contrary, when “Even if it breaks your heart” by the Eli Young band began to resonate in my ears, my heart sighed with relief. I love country music. It reminds me of open fields, of the wild sun, of the smell of a camp fire. It is so genuine, filled with the truth of people’s hearts. Red trucks and green tractors, in popular culture, are outlandish topics to write an entire song about, but why is it stranger to write a song about an old truck stuffed with nostalgia than to write every one of your songs about sex or bars or lovers who may or may not have existed? Are Miley Cyrus or Eminem really better artists than Craig Morgan or Luke Bryan… because they have more likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter?
I love country music because most country singers write their own songs and can play real instruments, not just garageband. As well, nothing quite compares to the soul of that acoustic guitar solo. That tangy sound tickles my ears, comforting my mind. It touches my heart to hear Montgomery Gentry sing of his home in “Where I Come From.” Nothing is more important than family, and family is home. It is your city, your country. Country music reminds me of Pittsburgh in autumn. It reminds me that I’m proud to be an American, regardless of the status of our government. That is why country pop is now my favorite Pandora radio station.