Explain something to me.....why is Country music considered 'wholesome'?

I don’t get it???

Plenty of sexual innuendo, just as much as any other genre. Actually, lyrics speaking of premarital sex in relationships is very much the norm. I suspect because it is so accepted amongst the protestant christians that make this music.

The videos are no better; scantily clad trashy looking women, suggestive poses, yadda yadda.

It seems like everyone complains about the smut element in rock and rap, but because country comes wrapped in the proud to be an American mantra, it goes un-noticed??:confused:

I don’t get it…:confused: :shrug:

Some recently troublesome songs off the top of my head…

Carrie Underwood- The ‘I don’t even know my last name’ song

Toby Keith- I a’int as good as I once was.:rolleyes: (sorry Toby I have my doubts you ever were)

Gretchen Wilson- let’s go to bed…video actually shows her nude on top of her ‘husband’ .

many more I can’t think of off the top of my head. I’m not a fan of country save for Allison Krauss and other bluegrass types.

And, just for reference when I say ‘country music’ I’m referring to the pop country type stuff, mainstream.

I remember being at a family fair on July 4th, waiting for the fireworks display. Loudspeakers were broadcasting “patriotic” music, mostly of the country variety. I was absolutely appalled when I heard the song “Put a boot in their a**, it’s the American way!”, apparently by Toby Keith. I could only imagine all the little toddlers going home later and saying “put a boot in their a**!” since we all know how little kids are magnets for inappropriate language. :mad:

Working in a lab with country fans, I was exposed to many of the songs you’ve listed, along with “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”. Then there are all the Shania videos with her in skin-tight outfits with her midriff and cleavage hanging out.

Generally I like Trisha Yearwood, and I’m a huge fan of Alison Krauss and Union Station (although definitely more Bluegrass), but I’m not terribly impressed by the rest of it. I wouldn’t let my kids watch CMT or listen to it unsupervised any more than I would let them watch VH1 or listen to rock music unsupervised.

You forgot Big & Rich’s “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”. :wink:

Toby Keith has lots of other iffy songs, too. In fact, it would be easier to list the songs of his that are not a bit questionable. :smiley:

I get what you’re saying. It does seem like Country gets a free pass in regards to morality (especially sexual morality).

Part of the reason is that Country music seems to have a higher percentage of songs that are morally sound and/or uplifting than many other genres (even if it is a low percentage). That’s a broad generalization, and it may or may not be true any more, but you don’t hear many songs like “Unanswered Prayers” or “Angels Among Us” coming from other genres (save CCM), at least in terms of those that get mainstream radioplay.

I think that many of the more overtly problematic Country songs are more recent. They seem to be behind the curve, as it were, in terms of moral decay compared with other genres. That’s probably why many people still view Country as more benign.

A lot of it also has to do with image. When you take a down-home Country girl (even one that is fairly scantily clad) and compare her to people like Britney Spears, Marylin Manson, or Eminem, they can’t help but look a whole lot more wholesome by comparison.

I totally understand what you are saying. In fact I was just talking to a colleague about this the other day. Country music has long talked about such things.

But I will say - Toby Keith is a hottie and I for one think he certainly was!!

Okay, before we start trashing “young” country, let’s go back about, oh, 30 to 50 years…

“Help Me Make It Through The Night” – I’m not sure of all the lyrics, but I do recall the lines: I don’t care what’s right or wrong… Let the devil take tomorrow, 'cause tonight I need a friend
Hmm… don’t think she’s talking to her husband!

“Heaven’s Just a Sin Away”–I think the title says it all!

“Lonely Women Make Good Lovers”

“For the Good Times”-- Don’t look so sad/ I know it’s over… let’s just be glad we had some time to spend together/ there’s no need to watch the bridges that we’re burning… Lay your head upon my pillow/ Hold your warm and tender body close to mine/ Hear the whisper of the raindrops falling soft against the window/ and make believe you love me one more time, for the good times
This barely scratches the surface. Country music has always been rife with “cheatin’ songs” and drinking songs. “The Lord Knows I’m Drinking”, “Harper Valley P.T.A.”, “The Midnight Oil”, etc. were all hit songs. And those songs were from back in the day when movies that are rated “R” today might have been rated “X”!

Loretta Lynn sang about “The Pill”… so why are we shocked that Tim McGraw refers to abortion in “Red Rag Top”? I remember 20 years ago a born-again Christian co-worker was thrilled because T.G. Sheppard had recorded this really Christian song called “Do You Wanna Go To Heaven?” (which starts out with the singer recalling his baptism and the preacher asking him that question.) I asked her if she’d REALLY listened to the lyrics, especially the last verse:

It was a lonely night in Augusta
She was sittin’ at the end of the bar when I saw her
And with a little wine and little time she would be a prize to win,
And I’ll never forget, I remember it yet
The taste of that clear pure water
But that preacher’s words could not be heard when she whispered, “Come on in”
*She said, "Do you wanna go to heaven?
*And I said, “yeah, just lead me on”
Nothing new, folks.

Of course there is trash in country music.

But I believe that the good songs far outnumber the bad songs in the country music genre.

Two songs come to mind right away:

Randy Travis’s “Forever and Ever, Amen.” This is an AWESOME song and if you haven’t heard it, YouTube it or call up a local country station and request it. When I hear this song, I always think of women who get cancer and how faithful husbands stick with them, even when they lose all their hair and their breasts.

Tracy Byrd’s “Keeper of the Stars.” My daughter had this sung as the first dance at her wedding reception a month ago. It was beautiful, a wonderful tribute to God.

I can think of hundreds more country songs that have a beautiful, godly, WHOLESOME message.

And a lot of country songs are just “fun,” for example, “He Stopped Lovin’ Her Tonight” by George Jones. They have a “joke” in them.

Also, the good country music stations (not the “hot” country stations) tend to play songs that don’t fit into the rock/pop genre, e.g., “Butterfly Kisses” and a lot of the Cajun artists like Jo-El Sonnier. I like this more eclectic approach to music.

Many of the Johnny Cash songs are just delightful. “Walk the Line” is just one example of an excellent song. And “Riders in the Sky” is a classic. I recently saw it listed on a list of “best songs ever written.”

The Judds also did some beautiful songs, e.g., “Love Can Build A Bridge.”

Dolly Parton has some pretty songs. “Coat of Many Colors” was a song that my kids loved when they were little.

I also like the dancing that goes with country music. Two-steps, waltzes, and of course, line dancing. Even old fat ladies with bad feet like me can do these dances, but I’m utterly ridiculous doing pop, rock, or…heaven forbid!..hip-hop dancing!

Our whole family, including my two kids, love country music. I agree that bluegrass is great, too (going to a bluegrass festival in a few weeks–yippee!). And I love Western music, too.

A lot of country music has its roots in Celtic music. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference in certain instrumental interludes.

I like Country music, from the old-old classics to the new stuff. I never really thought it wholesome music, just real music about life. Yes there are certainly sexual references & innuendos, but the difference in Rap for instance is that no one is calling anyone a B**** or a “H**” or using any of the other REALLY NASTY words OR talking about putting a cap in someone or killing a Police Officer in Country Music (at least I am not aware of any:blush: ).

Oh I can think of a fair few country/and or folk songs with uncharitable things to say about policemen :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Ok none of them go as far as the infamous *** tha police of lo a time when dinosaurs walked the Earth and its George Bush senior in your White House but country music has never been altogether pure it’s always had that tension between divine and secular, a lot like in black music you had gospel and then the devil’s music the blues.

I should let you guys listen to Irish folk songs and some of the lyrics about policemen in them !

As a Country music fan, I would like to comment. Of course there is no genre of music that is totally pure except for Church music but that is not what we are talking about.

I guess I am a ‘newbie’ to Country, so I don’t totally identify with one artist and love all their songs.

I like Country music because you can actually hear the words and not the sound of bass played to levels that will make you deaf.

Here are some of my favorite songs:

Celebrity by Brad Paisley (it makes fun of people who worship celebrities)

What a beautiful day by Chris Cagle

Who I am by Jessica Andrews

3 wooden Crosses by Randy Travis (excellent song on God’s justice and mercy)

The fishing song by Brad Paisley (A good commentary on how stupid men can be when they put their hobbies ahead of their marriage)

I believe by Diamond Rio

Where were you by Alan Jackson

Forever and for always by Shania Twain (the song not the person)

Beer for my horses by Toby Keith and Willie Nelson (the music video for it was interesting)

Through the years by Kenny Rogers

The country music in my house is all older stuff. I used to take the mickey out of my dad’s country records when younger - it took me time to appreciate the music, it wasn’t until I was into my late teens I started been able to see coutnry didn’t mean just silly songs about everyone dying in mines. Remember country and western isn’t all the huge a genre in the UK. It was in our house as a lot of Irish people of my dad’s generation were big listeners to it.

Cat, you’re right, I do like Johnny Cash, the Judds, and Dolly Parton. I’m also partial to Kenny Rogers, I remember listening to him when I was little. And Martina McBride’s album “Evolution” is still one of my favorites.

Much of it’s quite good. It does seem that the modern stuff is falling into the same trap as the rest of popular music.

Commercial country is just pop music like any pop music. Some is pretty good.
Yeah, it has roots in Celtic music but that’s not the entire story. i’m actually just getitng into learning where it came from and I know it’s a little German/Swiss/Austrian alpine and somewhat Spanish with a bit of Moorish influence as well, and more – pretty complex stuff for sucha simple sound. And in turn it helped create rock, which produced dance pop, disco, punk, metal, new wave, grunge, speedmetal, thrash, on and on. Branches of so-called hillbilly music or cowboy music (not the same thing, pardner) have so much variety that if there’s someone left who hasn’t listened to any of it on earth she might never believe they all came out of the same country. So I’m sayng let’s not generalize, let’s swap trivia. More fun that way.

LOL, I guess you’re right. It’s not just the new songs.

As with any musical genre, there’s good and bad songs and artists. I listen to metal, so I know all about that! :wink:

I think many people are latching onto country these days because it’s the only contemporary genre out there for the middle class. What choices are there today for contemporary music? Metal and its forms (which don’t make it onto the radio), country, and rap and hip hop (which have dominated the popular music stations for nearly ten years). Everything else is oldies.

You can classify Country music into 8 categories: bar music, redneck pride, Protestant family music, trashy women, girlfriend music, social issues, single mother music, slice of life music, and really patriotic music.

Bar music: Music that glorifies the bar scene (especially Southern bars) or alcoholism. Songs include “Alcohol,” “Stays in Mexico,” and “5 o’clock Somewhere.”

Redneck pride: Everything in the South is better than it is in the Godless North. According to themselves, Southerners have religion, beer, hot women, beer, and are more polite, and so they are better than Northerners, who are rude, atheist, beat their wives, and have road rage. Songs include “International Harvester,” “Small Town Southern Man,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “Redneck Woman,” and “Ladies Love Country Boys.”

Protestant music: Songs that idealize the Protestant family and religion, since everyone knows that a single-church church with a firebrand preacher who shakes the plate and has a congregation of 30 people is the one true religion. Songs include “I’ve Been Watching You” and “And I Thought I was Tough.”

Trashy women: Music that idealizes the trashy barfly who wears Daisy Dukes, lots of makeup, and would love to go home and have lots of kinky sex with the first guy wearing a Stetson and spurs, preferably after a few shots, since somehow there’s nothing sexier than a half naked woman who shoots whiskey. Such songs glorify date rape and don’t even seem to consider it rape. Songs include “I Don’t Even Know His Last Name,” “She’s a Hottie,” “All Tanked Up,” and “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.”

Girlfriend music: Usually from the perspective of a woman whose boyfriend cheated on him. “Before He Cheats,” “I’ve Got a Brand New Girlfriend.”

Social issues music: Written by pompous rednecks who think they have all the answers to social ills or are the only ones who think they see a problem. “Shift Work,” “Pain in the Gas,” and “Love’s the Only House.”

Single mother music: Music that glorifies the single mother family. Who needs husbands anyway? Martina McBride cornered the market on this genre.

Slice of life: Music that tries to prevent you from forgetting the harsh realities of life. “Live Like You Were Dying.”

Patriotic music: Either you’re a liberal Commie or a terrorist if you don’t blindly follow the government. “Have You Forgotten” and “American Soldier.”

9: Work music; not solving a social problem but telling work stories. Most common in trucker rap.

I divide country into several genres based on the type of music and the culture it reflects. Trucker rap is one of my favorite kinds. I like it much more than urban rap. I like reggae rap as well, which I think is where urban rap came from. But anyway, there are cowboy ballads, cowboy legends, cowboy dance hall songs, bluegrass, jug band music, holler and stomp, mountain ballads, which are mostly border ballads modified to use instruments available in the Appalachian range, trucker rap as I said, square dance calling, several forms of country gospel, cajun dance music and the new country to name but a few.
Who here knows all the words to “You Never Even Call Me By My Name – the Perfect Country-and-Western song”?

George Strait - “Love Without End, Amen”

Garth Brooks - “The Dance”

George Jones - “He Stopped Loving Her Today”

Kenny Chesney - “Don’t Blink”

Tim McGraw - “Don’t Take the Girl”

Josh Turner - “Long Black Train”

Martina McBride - “God’s Will”

Billy Ray Cyrus - “Some Gave All”

Big & Rich - “8th of November”

Vince Gill - “Go Rest High on that Mountain”

Steve Wariner - “Holes in the Floor of Heaven”

Brad Paisley (w/Dolly Parton) - “When I Get Where I’m Going”

I could go on…

The whole song or just the last verse??? :stuck_out_tongue:

I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got run over by a damned ol’ train

And I’ll hang around as long you will let me
And I never minded standing in the rain,
And you don’t have to call me darlin’, darlin’
You never even call me by my name.

I grew up in Nashville in the 60’s and Country Music and Folk Music were on every street corner. Some of it was very questionable but most of it wasn’t crude and in your face like the recent music stuff is.

I still enjoy listing to singer/song writers like Johnny Rodrigez, Tom T. Hall, Marty Robbins, Bobby Goldsboro, and Mickey Newbury. Their songs could be leading at times but they were very thoughtfully written for the most part.

I guess I’m just an old foggy.

I’d like to find the entire lyrics somewhere. I remember some were:
Well, you don’t have to call me (?)
And you don’t have to call me Charley Pride (sp?)
And you don’t have to call me Waylon Jennings
Even thought you’re on my fightin’ side…
And I’ll hang around etc.:smiley:


You don’t have to call me Waylon Jennings
And you don’t have to call me Charley Pride
And you don’t have to call me Merle Haggard, any more
Even though you’re on my fightin’ side


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