I have been listening to country music for the past several months. I’m not entirely happy about it.
I don’t generally listen to music. Most of my audio-only time is filled with podcasts or audiobooks. A lot of podcasts and audiobooks. A quick scroll through my Audible and Apple Podcast apps recently played lists have several political and true crime pods, Star Wars novels, memoirs, biographies, churchy things, history, and medical shows. There are more, but my point is that they’re not all child-appropriate.
My small human is what changed things several months ago. I was listening to a Sword and Scale episode while driving to Menards with my sassy ginger tornado in the back seat (that’s our go-to store for quality time).
Context: Sword and Scale is a gritty, well done, not child-appropriate true crime podcast.
Anyway, we were listening to this podcast and something terrible and dramatic happened in the episode and my small human let out a very timely gasp in the back seat.
I know it’s unlikely that her gasp was actually in response to what had happened in the episode, but nonetheless, it caught my attention and provoked me to realize that I should find better things to listen to.
My next go-to was Jesus music on Spotify radio and actual FM radio. We listened to that for the next several days during our drive time and all was well and good. But as that drive time progressed, I started to actually listen to the lyrics and music quality. Some of the music had really questionable theology in it (I’m talking to you Bethel and Hillsong), while other hipster Jesus music was just poorly done. I wanted to like the poorly made stuff, I really did. But it’s kind of like Christian movies: I want to want to like it, but they’re just not good.
My next stop on this otic adventure was Top 40 radio and “normal” music on Spotify. You know, that supposedly benign popular music that’s listened to everywhere. I think the technical genres were hip-hop, pop, rock, and rap.
That was an even worse choice.
Really, I think there’s a solid argument that this kind of music is one of the major problems with our culture and the youths of today.
Sheesh, I sound old… but hear me out:
In my listening endeavors, I discovered that most of this music involved a lot of poor life choices. It had excessive alcohol, foul language, drug use, frivolous spending of money, copious amounts of sexual innuendos, and blatantly sexual content. That’s not even including how it’s generally degrading toward women (from both men and women).
Then, somehow, I landed on country music.
That was an interesting twist I didn’t expect. A twist with much better musical plot development. Sure, some of it is unpleasant at times, but the vast majority of what I’ve listened to boldly included love of God and country, the importance of family, bonfires, fishing, the joys and struggles of farming, and most of the artists actually seem to care about the women they’re singing of.
Personally, I still don’t care for country music. It’s much better than that Top 40 drivel and the poorly done hipster Jesus music, but I still prefer my podcasts and audiobooks.
I could be wrong, but perhaps we’d all benefit from better quality Jesus music, more of Craig Morgan’s International Harvester, and less of Cardi B or Lil Nas X.
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