drivin’ with country

It’s Sunday, and I’m driving back from my daughter’s through the deepening fog of the Berkshire Mountains, through bouts of torrential rain that I’m trying to outrace. All along the way, groups of soggy motorcyclists huddle under overpasses, braced for the splatter of our speeding cars. I surf the radio waves for something to keep me awake. For a while, its NPR (more about that another time). I finally settle for country/western.
I grew up with country/western music — Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams…., an aunt who sang and yodelled, neighborhood guys who had a band. They taught me to play three chords, which was all I needed to play every Everly Brothers’ song. And Webb Pierce’s There Stands the Glass, which was sort of my college drinking anthem.
It’s Sunday, and I’m driving through driving rain listening to a countdown of the current top ten country songs. The lyrics are filled homey stories and homely stories and horny stories — all too human stories.
It’s just a high maintenance woman
Don’t want no maintenance man.

Lives and loves lost and found — you can’t have country music without those kinds of stories.
I’ve had my moments, days in the sun
Moments I was second to none
Moments when I knew I did what I thought I couldn’t do
Like that plane ride coming home from the war
That summer my son was born
And memories like a coat so warm
A cold wind can’t get through
Lookin’ at me now you might not know it
But I’ve had my moments

and
I told her way up yonder past the caution light
There’s a little country store with an old Coke sign
You gotta stop in and ask Miss Bell for some of her sweet tea
Then a left will take you to the interstate
But a right will bring you right back here to me

And, of course, you can’t have country without beer and smoke and a hot horny guy:
everytime you take a sip
in this smoky atmosphere
you press that bottle to your lips
and i wish i was your beer
and in the small there of your back
your jeans are playing peek a boo
id like to see the other half
of your butterfly tattoo

I have to say that I was disappointed that I didn’t hear any female singers in the top ten.
And so I switched back to NPR. Stay tuned.