Anatomy of a Country Music Song Part VIII

Anatomy of a Country Music Song Part VIII

 

Figure 1. My friend Danielle used to drive an orange VW Beetle with a bumper sticker that said this

Figure 1. My friend Danielle used to drive an orange VW Beetle with a bumper sticker that said this

 

Remember how I said that one thing I love about country music is that it’s basically a catalog of white male entitlement and cultural beliefs?

No?

Well, too bad. I said it once. Trust me.

Anyway, that’s not the only thing I love about it, but there is something in me that remains constantly intrigued by notions of “masculinity.” I don’t profess to understand the minds of men just because I understand my rank here in the patriarchy. Patriarchy only tells me about who has power and who doesn’t. It doesn’t tell me what men are thinking, either as individuals or as a group.

If yall find the minds of men transparent and obvious, well, then, lucky for yall. Leave me to my fascination. But I didn’t grow up with brothers or a lot of male cousins. I don’t have boy children. I had a lot of boyfriends, I guess, but they didn’t really give me much access to their inner reflections.

So I contemplate my own sensibilities as a lady and then compare them to dudes. Then I marvel at how we’ve arrived in Our Current Predicament.

This song by Jason Isbell, which was written back when he was a part of Drive-By Truckers, is a really nice find if we’re talking about cultural messaging from fathers to sons. It’s funny and it’s sorrowful (the best things tend to be this mix) and it’s romantical in that the father in the song is speaking much like a honorable-yet-defeated knight.

(Romanticism about their lives and roles in the world seems to be one constant in masculine thinking. I find feminine thinking much more brutally practical, to be honest.)

Not much to make fun of here; much to admire. Lyrics after the jump.

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