Christmas in the Country

This isn’t really about Christmas, it’s about country. Country, as in country music. I was thinking about country music yesterday, having spent part of the day watching CMT on TV. What is it about country music that’s touched me lately?

Well, when I look back, there have always been a number of country songs that I’ve enjoyed. Many of them were crossover songs, popular both in the country and in the “pop” world. But it’s more than that. As I’ve listened to more and more country music, I am fascinated by the deep feeling and meaning that many songs have.

When I was younger, I thought all country music was about was drinking, sex, cheating, whiskey, fighting, who’s husband or wife left, etc. But I find that it’s a lot more than that. It’s really more about faith, belief, hope, love, community, thankfulness, sharing, and peace. There are so many great country songs, and so many great country singers. I can’t remember the last time I heard about some pop star donating money to feed starving children or the like–they are most likely to get up on their high horse politically and complain, but do nothing about it. When was the last time you heard about Alec Baldwin or Madonna quietly feeding the hungry, or setting up a fund to house the homeless? Never, that I’ve heard of. If they do something at all, it’s purely for publicity, and only a token effort at that.

Country stars, on the other hand, generally do not get up and speak out politically. (And if they do, they can end up like the Dixie Chics–scorned!). Rather, they seem to act and give and not make a lot of noise about it. I hear from time to time about some of the great things people like Dolly Parton have done. And it’s wonderful. Amazing. Touching. And they don’t do it for publicity, they do it out of love.
I think country music, in essence, speaks of and to the heart and soul of good people everywhere. You don’t have to be a Christian to be touched by the deep faith and belief of many country songs.

So, this Christmas season, I am happy to say that I have a new found appreciation for country music and for all things “country.” So, I guess, I’m having a “country Christmas” this year, and loving every minute of it!

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