When choosing a musical genre that relates with the American culture only one thing came to mind, country and American folk. Country music has revolutionized from classical folk to American commercialized. It provides an example of everyday living for the average American and the lifestyles that we live. The reason I chose to discuss how country music has been revolutionized into the American culture is because for many, especially in the midwest it is a way of life. It is something we feel connects us with our country.
Country music has been around since the 17th century. This music developed from traditional music elements from various European immigrants – it has been a large reflection of the melting pot of America. It was most commonly known from the southern area of the United States. It originated in Georgia in the late 1920s and it uses multiple instruments including fiddles, guitars, banjoes and acoustic guitars. The original term of calling it “country music” came from the 1940s when people would reference this genre of music of being “hillbilly music. Country music often reflects the lives of working class Americans, in that the music brings you on a path of the many different things we as Americans have experienced.
Some songs reference the work that is done on farmland, tragic events, our wars, and heartbreak. In 2009, country music was the genre most listened to during rush hour traffic during evening commute. I think it is such a large part of American culture because we are able to relate to it. In the song Have You Forgotten by Darrek Worley, he sings about 9/11. In the song it says, “Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire and her people blown away? Have you forgotten when those towers fell? We had neighbors inside going through a living hell and you say we shouldn’t worry ‘bout bin Laden. Have you forgotten? ” This song is a great example of showing how us as Americans felt after the attacks on our nation. It was something to which everyone was able to relate and in some ways people were able to find comfort in a song. It celebrates Americans pastime and that’s why country music is a different kind of music. It’s untraditional, and combines a multitude of different genres.
It takes a variety of sounds from rock, gospel, and pop and celebrates it all into one. Country music culture develops and shows the artist and the way their lives are lived with those that are able to relate. Country music has the tradition of being passed down from fathers, mothers, sons, daughters. It celebrates friends, families, and true family and southern values. The lyrics explain the good and bad times that we as Americans have come across and survived, the secrets to heartbreak and the common Sunday morning – there is a song with which all people are able to relate.
This genre is a true reposition of patriotism. It shows the spine of our country with blue-collar life that is not luxurious but together we have exactly what we need. This has revolutionized into showing how some people are willing to sweat and have determination, such as farmers working hard in the fields to provide a living and crops, or soldiers willing to sacrifice the lives of themselves to protect our own. Country western music is powerful but still tends to be simple and shows the realization of the middle class people.
In the song by Lee Greenwood, “Proud to be an American,” “If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life. And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife, I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today, ‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom, and they can’t take that away. And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free. ” In this song you can distinguish the values that are being shown, it is a common set of belief amongst our people.
Country music will always be written for the American people, about the American people. Although it began in the south as a melting pot of many different genres it is to this day idolized as one of the largest listened genres in America. The music works and is relatable because we feel it reaches out to us individually and represents our lives. As Americans we strive to maintain a normalcy for ourselves and loved ones. Through hard times lyrics will be written that we will be able to relate to.