It may be somewhat surprising to learn that, despite having grown up in Oklahoma, I was not a fan of country music. All that twang and depressing subject matter just wasn’t of interest to me. One of my favorite jokes was always, “What happens when you play a country music song backwards? He get’s his wife back, his dog back and his truck back.” This was only made that much better when I once saw a country music video showing an overhead shot of a cowboy lying in the back of his truck with his girl and a dog lying on the ground next to the truck. As the video progressed the woman disappeared and then the dog disappeared and I burst out laughing thinking, “what happens if you play this video backwards…”
I was forced to listen to, and then eventually came to like, what was then modern country music, in the mid-90’s, when I was dating a girl who I thought I was going to marry and who decided that she was going to become a country music fan and always had it on in the car. I listened to country music pretty regularly for a while after that and it was only after I moved to the bay area where there is no country music station that I quit. I had a number of country music albums by that time though and most of them have made their way into my iTunes and therefore, fairly regular rotation in my music listening routine.
Michelle doesn’t dislike country music though it is a LOOOONG way from being her preference. Our tastes overlap fairly well, though she does like some of the more… urban? R&B? stuff. I’m not even sure what you’d call it. Let’s just be really tacky and say that her tastes are more ethnically correct…
Michelle also doesn’t like anyone to hear her sing. She thinks she has a bad voice. Truth is, she sings fine. She may not be recording any albums anytime soon, but she shouldn’t be embarrassed for anyone to hear her singing.
On the way to Cache Creek Wednesday afternoon my iPod in my car was, as always, on random and there wasn’t anything that she might object to that came on. At one point I even heard her singing. I started to say something, only, every time I tell her I can hear her singing she stops and I didn’t want to embarrass her or have her stop singing, so I didn’t say anything. I was surprised at first at the song she was singing, because it was, shall we say, more ethnically appropriate for me… Also, it was from October, 1994 and it surprised me that she’d be familiar with it. But she does have a couple of years on me and she was actually far less sheltered than I (I didn’t really come to know the song until about five years ago, so…)
As we were driving through the parking garage at Cache Creek, a song by Terri Clark came on. The song is called Cure for the Common Heartache. If you have iTunes (and who doesn’t these days) do me a favor and go listen to the preview. I tried to find a way to post a sample here, but I’m just not that technologically savvy… Anyway, the song is quite twangy: “This mornin’ I’m achin’ all over. Cain’t eat. Cain’t sleep. Cain’t rest…. Is there a cuuuuuure for the common heart ache. An unknown prescriptiooooooooon, any loser can take…”
(By the way, for the record, there has only been one Terri Clark song, ever, that I didn’t really like a lot, so I’m not saying anything bad about her!)
I turned to Michelle, right before I turned off the ignition and said, “This is a country music song… In case you were wondering…” I was making a joke, because the song is the epitome of country twang (though I still like it,) but she thought I was apologizing, or in some way making a joke that suggests she doesn’t like country music.
“I was singing that other song,” she said somewhat defensively.
“Which song?” I asked.
“You know. The one about the cowboy and the horse.”
Now this is not much of a description to know which song she was talking about, except that I immediately thought of the song I heard her singing earlier and had a feeling that’s the one she meant. I sang a few bars, “I’m a cowboy. On a steel horse I ride…?”
“Yeah, that one,” she said as I was unable to keep from laughing.
“Honey,” I said a little more condescending than I meant to, “that wasn’t country. That was Bon Jovi!”
(Also? Heh. The clothes! My Goodness!!!)