Thursday, March 10, 2005

i love country music

I have been in Nashville this week. The bulk of the time has been spent on the beginnings of a ministry study that the United Methodist Church has been undertaking. The remainder will be a board meeting related to higher education and ministry in our denomination. There is now a brief, middle of the week break. On the one evening when we completed our work at dinner, I went with a German friend (Halger, who is the Dean of a United Methodist seminary) to the Bluebird Cafe. We arrived at about twenty until nine (which is actually twenty until ten on the east coast) and were allowed in about thirty minutes later.

At the Bluebird Cafe, four singer-songwriters perform, in sequence, one after another, telling stories in the midst of it all about the artists who made the songs famous, the money they made or didn't make on a particular song, family life, etc. There were some recurring themes among the two hours of music: failed relationships, missed opportunities, the rapid pace in which children grow up, taking the good things in life for granted, the grind of ordinary work, broken hearts, the passage of time, etc. Good country music, without the embellishments; just the singers, the songs, and the people, pretty close together.

A couple of the songs did have to do with how quickly our kids grow up, and having an almost 19 year old and an almost 16 year old, I could connect with these. One, sung by Wendell Mobley, was entitled "There goes my life". The first verse is about the realization of a young man that he is going to be a father, that he is not going to get to be a bum on the coast--there goes my life, i.e., missed opportunity. The second verse is about the two year old daughter going up the stairs, and being put to bed. The young child has become his life. And the third verse is about the young adult woman/daughter driving away to the coast, to begin her own adult journey. There goes my life. Time passes.

I love country music. Not the slick stuff that is broadcast on commercial radio, but the simple narratives that I heard that night. Halgar seemed to appreciate it too, even though English is not his native language. His kids are 14 and 12, and the music seemed to have the same effect on him.

I love country music.

2 Comments:

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