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Country music culture doesn't clearly represent the true rural lifestyle


Credit: LAUREN DIETRICH

Your favourite country artists are lying to you about what the country lifestyle is really like.


Lauren Dietrich | Interrobang | Opinion | June 1st, 2018



Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
Growing up in Huron County, about an hour North of London, I saw first hand what a real country hick was. I lived in the small town of Goderich that had a population of roughly 8,000 people. This is considered the city to the country folk or those who lived in the surrounding hamlets and villages.

However, with my boyfriend and all of my friends living in places where you blink and miss it, I have been able to witness some of the not so classy behaviour of a country man/ woman and join in on the shenanigans.

Country music has become one of the most popular genres of music in Canada. There is an appeal to a good looking man with a guitar singing about his truck, girlfriend and beer. I am not talking about the real country music by musicians such as Alan Jackson and John Denver. Instead I am referring to the cookie cutter songs that sound the same regardless of who is singing it.

What I am here to tell you, is that country music is lying to you and millions of people continue to believe it.

Contrary to popular belief, a country man does not look like the Luke Bryans and Thomas Rhetts of the world. They do not walk around in factory ripped jeans that cost hundreds of dollars. They wear dirt covered jeans that are torn from hard labour and were probably previously owned.

It is also very rare that I see a man walking around in cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. Instead they wear steel toed boots or running shoes that they have had since the beginning of high school and baseball hats that they were given for free at some farm or auto show.

They do not have clean and soft hands like the majority of your favourite country singers. They have big hands with cuts, calluses and dirty fingernails and sometimes have less than 10 fingers thanks to incidences on the farm.

Cowboys in music videos driving around in their brand new pickup trucks is another misconception. The high school parking lot was not filled with $50,000 trucks, it was filled with Duct Taped tail lights, missing door handles and people joking about owners of lifted trucks overcompensating for something.

Another thing that country music has wrong is the women. Of course they like to get dressed up to go out, but they are not always walking around in cowboy boots and sundresses with perfectly placed curls in their hair. Instead, they are expected to help on the farm and will often wear manure covered coveralls or free volunteer shirts they have had for 10 years.

She probably does not think your tractor is sexy and there is a good chance that she will be naming both the babies and the dogs.

Another issue I have with country music is how they portray parties in the country. The majority of music videos show a group of people line dancing at a hoedown. What it does not show is the tractor pulls where you watch to see which tractor can pull the most weight. It does not show a beer pong game in a barn where it is a requirement to put your drink in the cup regardless of the balls rolling around in questionable substances on the barn floor. It certainly does not show having to leave a party to help your manure covered dad after the crap tank explodes.

Country music also does not talk about the fact that farmers are some of the smartest and most genuine people you will ever meet.

I would not have traded growing up in Huron County for anything and it sure beats feeling overcrowded and overwhelmed in a city.
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