Tuesday, May 31, 2016

That Kind of Music

I heard, somewhere about the internet, that in light of a recent tragic event at a concert someone was mounting the argument that the type of music was to blame.  Now first I want to remind you that just about every form of art has carried the blame for the downfall of society at some point, be it novels, comics, and of course various types of music.  And, possibly because it's wrapped up with these homey images of picnics and whatever country music, currently carries the banner of being perceived as a wholesome kind of music.  I'm guessing mostly by people who don't listen to much music, but whatever.  So while I listen to less of it these days (which has more to do with me being old and listening to less new music overall) let's just look at some hit country songs that were about racy and/or criminal behavior. 
Carrie Underwood "Before He Cheats" - a woman who damages her ex's property.
Dixie Chicks - "Goodbye, Earl" - hiding the body of a murdered abusive husband.
Martina McBride - "Independence Day" - a woman who burns down house with herself and her abusive husband inside it. 
"Papa Loved Mama" - a song about the vehicular homicide of a cheating wife. And with that, I'll mention that there are a lot of songs about cheating or abusive spouses being harmed in various ways. 
Bobby Gentry and Reba McEntire - "Fancy" - a song about child prostitution
Blake Shelton - Ol' Red - a song about busting out of jail.
Joe Nichols - "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" - the title is fairly self explanatory, and we're going to let this song stand in for the zillions of country songs that are basically about alcohol and sex.
Hank WIlliams, Jr. - "Family Tradition" - a song about the traditions of drinking, getting high, and having sex.
Johnny Cash - "Cocaine Blues" - self explanatory title.
Willie Nelson - "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die"  - and honestly if I listed all the country songs implicitly or explicitly about marijuana, we would be here all day.  Suffice it to say there are many.
The point of this is not to suggest that country music is the root of all evil.  The point is that music doesn't cause crime or bad behavior and trying to explain away bad behavior by blaming the music is not useful to anyone.