That Good Ole Country Music Ain't the Same! - Ken Bailey


When I lived in Rangely, I was introduced to Country Music. I don't mean like today's Country Music -- I mean Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, Slim Whitman, et al country music! Johnny Horton and Steve Goodman! Yeah! That was music!

I like to listen to what the words of a song are saying.

Country Music in the old days told stories. Train wrecks, folk heroes, working class life, coal mines.

Today's typical country song's lyrics, if condensed to the message/story told, by comparison, might amount to this:

"I was drinking in the bar when a hot woman walked in".

if you are really lucky, you might get a little more than that --
"...and, since I'm more studly than the other losers in this bar, I stole her away from everybody else."

"...and now I can't find where I put my truck."

That's it -- three minutes or fifteen minutes, that's what you get these days. That's it.

I miss the days of comin' down the hill at ninety miles an hour, whistle in a scream, a big man at the mine bottom, Sam finding gold but missing his woman back in Nome, and Casey hollerin' for Sim to jump before the Cannonball plowed into that other train.

What can bring back the good old country music?

Should we dress it up like Shakespeare?

"Hear, hear, now, all you transportation associates at the circular locomotive repair facility! Lend me your auditory senses and I will tell you about a goods train driver that was involved in a ghastly accident. The chap was named for one of his former hometowns, and I will awe you with some statistics about the height of the wheels on his propulsion unit..."

"Hark, what light on yon coal mine breaks? One of the working class stands out as he is unusually developed in the height capacity of his DNA! Five cubits from ring finger to ring finger with arms outstretched. Most other mine associates give him a simple but friendly greeting."

...okay, perhaps that's not such a great idea. But I do miss the old Country Music!