Maria – Lyrical Themes in Country Music

Tichi, Cecelia. High Lonesome – The American Culture of Country Music. UNC Press Books, 1994. 4-20 Google Book Search. Web. 9 June 2016.

As the author concentrates on the lyrical themes in country music. She says that while considering the subject matter in country music lyrics, “all are about life on the American Road.” As she prefers the term ‘country’ to The United States of America, she further goes on, “In this historically mobile nation, country music is virtually missing a puzzle piece the many representations of the American road.” She specifies that Country music provides extensively to the meaning one would attach to the road, i.e, to a journey along the countryside. She also argues that the genre is a cultural mark of the nation by saying “Country music is a crucial and vital part of the American identity.”

The genre itself is a direct association with the heart and soul of the nation and its various socio-cultural aspects. Country songs try to communicate a profound understanding of the power of the ‘open road’ as the form and symbol in the formation of an American self-concept over centuries. As she further moves on, she mentions about the concept of the national ideology of ‘the pursuit of happiness.’ She argues that, nevertheless, this concept has simply proved too burdensome over the centuries. She supports her argument by mentioning that “emotional life in America is much less a storybook conclusion to ‘the pursuit of happiness’ than it is, all too often, a face-to-face encounter with loneliness.” She also writes about how various “Country artists confront this issue directly and in a wide range of styles over decades.” She quotes Steve Earle as she writes: “Country music is where strong and tropical lyrics originally come from.”


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