I never thought I was a country music fan until recently. I began to notice that the number one radio station in San Diego is country, not ESPN. On television, most of the singers this year on “American Idol” seem to be country. Country music is everywhere. My handyman, Paul, is a country music expert. As he works in my backyard, the music is blaring country music at high decibels, virtually non-stop. I was even thinking of wearing my boots again at work.
Country lovers tell me it really is true that country western stars are friendlier to their fans than the average rock and roll icons. This year, I even cheered on actor Jeff Bridges as he won the Academy Award for Best Leading Actor playing a bitter 57-year old has-been country star in the movie, “Crazy Heart.”
One thing I like about country is that their song titles make me smile and sometimes even blush! Just read some of the titles and tell me you are not smiling:
“I’m Married To A Waitress And I Don’t Even Know Her Name.”
“Billy Broke My Heart At Walgreens And I Cried All The Way To Sears.”
“All My Exes Live In Texas”
“An Old Flame Can’t Hold A Candle To You.”
“He’s Got A Way With Women And He’s Just Got Away With Mine”
“Did I Shave My Legs For This?”
“Her Only Bad Habit Is Me”
“How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?”
“If I Killed You When I Wanted To, I’d Be Out Of Jail By Now”
“I Went Back To My Fourth Wife For The Third Time And Gave Her A Second Chance To Make A First Class Fool Out Of Me.”
“If You Can’t Live Without Me, Then Why Aren’t You Dead?”
And finally, “I’d Rather Pass A Kidney Stone Than Another Night With You.”
What’s wrong with me? I used to be the “easy listening” kind of guy with enough
“classical music” and “soft blues” in me so that I can still hang around with the cool people. Did the same thing happen to me that happened to Bad Blake in “Crazy Heart?”
The sexy young reporter asks, “Where do all these songs come from?” With his favorite whiskey heavily flavoring his breadth, Bad Blake snarls, “Life, unfortunately.”
Life has a way to write your songs for you. Life has a way of removing all pretenses about relationships (children, parents, friends, family, money, lovers, marriages) and addictions (drink, drugs, food, cigarettes, money, and goals). Life hurts, wounds, and can devour. But life doesn’t have to destroy.
We have a choice. You see, life can also make you more tender, gentle, loving, and caring. Life can help you decide what is important and what is not important. Life can help you to say “no” to the tyranny of the urgent and say “yes” to the most important thing in your life. Life can help you slow down, see clearly, and provide meaning. Life can even help you forgive.
Recently, I received an email from a friend who has been reading my blogs, especially the last one, “Pathology is the New Normal.” He sent it along to a family friend back east who wrote, “Tell Tony B. he is right. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was burned over night.” Yes, my friend, you are right as well. When life happens, we can self-destruct. We can destroy in a short time all the good we have done with just one slip of the tongue, one lapse in judgment, and one untimely burst of anger.
The good news is that you probably have the makings of a country western star!