Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Music Education: Classic Country

It all started with a bottle of soda. Every time my kids drink soda from a glass bottle, at some point they will lean on the table a little bit, give me that half-sloshed look and begin to sing:
Well I was drunk! The day my mama! Got out of prison!
This will make us all laugh at their silliness and the general inappropriateness of their behavior while it causes me to question my parenting skills (or lack thereof).

And I went! To pick her up! In the rain!
But while the song may contain questionable lyrics, I stand by my kids knowing them.
But before I could get to the station in my pickup! truck! She got runned over by a darned old train!
Because it's part of my history, and part of theirs. They may no longer have Grandpa in their lives, but they can learn about the music that he loved (while, I'm not sure that my dad was a big David Allen Coe fan, I can tell you that I sang this song into many a plastic beer cup during my misspent youth.

This song also doesn't remind me of my dad so much as it reminds me of a good friend who had a contentious relationship with her mother and therefore loved to sing this verse of the song at great volume whenever possible.

But that one line in the song:
You don't have to call me Merle Haggard--anymore. Even though you're on my fightin' side...
Always makes me want to hear some Merle, so I queued up a classic(ish) country playlist to share with the kids on the ride home.
  1. You Never Even Called Me By My Name (David Allen Coe): also known as the song that started it all when the kids began to sing it. This song brings back so many awesome memories of friends and keggers and a tiny little town in Wisconsin.
  2. The Fightin' Side of Me (Merle Haggard): because it was referenced in the song before. This one I heard often as my dad was a big Merle fan, as am I.
  3. El Paso (Marty Robbins): Who doesn't love a good story song? We debated the merits of Felina (was she a dime-a-dance girl?) and why you shouldn't throw it all away for unrequited love.
  4. Delta Dawn (Tanya Tucker): Because my family reminds me of how I would walk around the house singing this song when I was but a wee little toddler. Precious. 
  5. Leavin' Louisiana in the Broad Daylight (Oak Ridge Boys): Mari took to runnin' with a travelin' man... I surely did. There's just something about that revival of country music that came rolling through in the late 70s-early 80s that makes me oh so very happy. I know country music isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it's necessary for me.
  6. Set 'Em Up, Joe (Moe Bandy): Love this man's voice, it's like butter. And though I'm not a big fan of Ernest Tubbs, I am a big fan of this song about a man who is a fan of "Walking the Floor." It's your standard drunken heartache song but weirdly upbeat.
  7. Luckenbach, Texas (Waylon Jennings): This is one of the first songs I remember loving. It's still on my bucket list to visit and drink a beer there. 
  8. After Midnight (Patsy Cline): Patsy Cline was a badass. She had giant lady balls, and you can hear that in her singing. Props to Miss Patty.
  9. All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down (The Mavericks): Yeah so this one is definitely NOT classic country, but that Tejano-like beat makes me so very happy. And when I hear this, I think of that time I was in the Ponderosa bar with my family and my dad and sister were swing dancing to this song. Love.
  10. Kiss an Angel Good Morning (Charley Pride): Love some Charley Pride. And these lyrics? Not so innocent! I don't sing this one around my kids because they ask too many questions.

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