Monday, December 13, 2010

Friends in Low Places

Continuing with my self-indulgent, overly, emotional theme, I'd like to write about country music today. 

When I was young and cool, I had a Pinto station wagon that only got A.M. radio.  My boyfriend and I were WAY too cool to listen to the one pop music station available, so we went country, since that seemed SOOOO uncool that it was Extra Cool.  Kind of like heavy black eyeglass frames (or socks with sandals).

Fortunately for my cool factor, I managed to wreck the Pinto (actually, someone else rear-ended me and I didn't blow up), and got a new car with an FM radio. A Chevette.  WAY cool, right?  Anyway, we were  able to go back to a Heavy Metal station and not have to try to make country music trendy (this was 1980.  Country was NOT cool then).

Anyway.  A seed was planted.  I passed through the Heavy Metal stage into Psuedo-Hippiness, following the Grateful Dead around and listening to Crosby, Stills and Nash and wishing I had been at Woodstock (I would have been five).  Then I got married and started having kids, and my music preferences became all Barney all the time.  Shudder.

We moved to Northern Kentucky (a HUGE cultural shock, to move 15 miles from the west side of Cincinnati).  We bought a truck.   We do NOT have a gun rack or a confederate flag, and we do wear shoes (most of the time) and have most of our teeth.  We listen to country music.

Country music feeds my romantic soul.  Taylor Swift songs make me cry:

Drew looks at me
I fake a smile so he won't see
What I want and I need
And everything that we should be

I'll bet she's beautiful
That girl he talks about
And she's got everything
That I have to live without

  Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Trace Adkins (my other boyfriend besides Johnny Depp).   There are so many great stories that can come from those songs.  Some of them have already been expanded into movie form.  Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks is one.   I guess most country music themes have been made into movies and books in one form or another, because they are so universal.  The Dance is another Garth tune that I love, and my hero Suzanne Brockmann gave it a nod in The Admiral's Bride

Friends in Low Places, though.  Now THAT is a great song:

 Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots
And ruined your black tie affair
The last one to know, the last one to show
I was the last one you thought you'd see there
There is nothing like a cocky, drunk ex-boyfriend to liven up a party, is there?  I read a great little Harlequin Super Romance over the weekend

I stayed up past my bedtime to finish this one. It has everything you could ask for in a hero:  Injured alcoholic veteran with PTSD, biceps and tatoos.  Very nice.  Brady shows up at his ex-fiancee's wedding, drunk and bitter.  While he doesn't exactly cause a scene, everyone knows he's there and is uncomfortable, so it totally counts towards Garth Brooks points.  The Ex-fiancee's little sister, who has been secretly in love with Brady forever takes him, home, whoops she gets pregnant, and hijinks ensue. 

The thing I liked about this novel was the total messed-up-ness of the protagonists.  Even the Ex-fiancee/older sister gets to be messed up over all this.  It's not a neat tidy story.  Older sister is jealous, new husband is jealous, Brady doesn't sober up the instant he finds out he's going to be a father.  We know they'll work it out, but the road to HEA had a lot of those great "oof" moments.

This is the kind of book I aspire to write. 

What songs inspire you? 


  1. That sounds like a book that would appeal to you. You like those gritty stories.

    Country music ranks among my least favorite type. Every so often there's a country song I like, but mostly - not so much. I guess I like rock from the 70's and 80's the best. And the Beatles. I discovered the Beatles during a snow day when Help! was on tv. (Which is very appropriate for me today since we have gotten about a foot of snow since midnight and it's still falling. The kiddos got a snow day, but alas no Beatles movie on tv)

  2. I like the sound of that book! :D

    And I like your song choices as well...

    I grew up listening to Madoona, Cindi Lauper and Michael Jackson. I danced to MC Hammer, Duran Duran, Chicago, U2, etc. (Yes, I know I'm aging myself:)

    But, I found that the older I got, the more of their mellow songs I gravitated toward.

    After 2 kids, I was a gonner. I still listen to hard rock and even have a secret crush on a few songs by groups with names I don't remember (something to do with cherry I know is one of them :D) that my teenagers laugh about, but mostly, I listen to country.

    It's about love, it's about life, and it does NOT Give me a rip roaring headache because country does not try and compete with my children's level of noise. (except low place and a couple of other favs about keying cheating boyfriends trucks before taking a bat to them. Yeah, those songs get decibal priority)

    Funny how that worked for me...

  3. I am a closet country music fan. Whether it's "cool" or not, I do like a song that tells a story.

  4. if we ever meet, i will get u drunk then we wil go singing country songs on the street or until someone knocks us out to shut us up. I love Country Music!
    Right now tho' I am really influenced by Eminem he does wonders for my conflict scenes, and DJ Lance from yo gabba gabba (don't laugh).
    That book sounds amazing and messy I want to see how the author made it work.

  5. Mary: It is my mission in life to bring you over to the dark side.

    Leona: As an eighties girl myself, I spent a lot of time watching MTV. O.M.G. But now I go back and forth between flaming pop (what IS a G6, anyway?) and country.

    Linda: One thing about getting older is that I don't worry nearly as much about whether something is cool or not. Being cool got me into a lot of trouble.

    Joanna: I drank my share (and yours, too) before I hit forty. Fortunately I no longer need alcohol to be willing to make an ass of myself in public, so Bring It! And I kind of like Eminem, too. In a train wreck kind of a way.