Country and Western Music
Country and Western Music research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?
Country and western music, being a form of folk music, often reflects the modes of feeling and thought prevailing among a large segment of American society. We will examine three songs—Longacre and Gilles’ Is There Life Out There, Toby Keith’s, Boot Up the Ass, and Joe Nichols, If Nobody Believed in You—in terms of their relationship to history, their cultural relevance, and the presence of political overtones in them.
IS THERE LIFE OUT THERE? Reba McEntire has performed this song. Its historical associations are more in the realm of literature than music. The thematic sense of the song is a sense of disquiet with a woman’s lot. The woman of the song married at 20 and her life has moved along familiar lines, but she is now experiencing a sense that her life has been incomplete, “There’s a place that she’s never been where life is fair and time is a friend. Would she do it the same as she did back then? She looks out the window and wonders again.” One is reminded of James Joyce’s, line from his short story, Eveline, “She had consented to go away, to leave her home. Was that wise? She tried to weigh each side of the question” . The theme of a woman’s sense that there is something “out there,” a realm of experience that may be richer than the ordinary life that she knows at home, has a rich literary history.
The cultural connotations of the song reflect the progress that has been made over the last forty years or so regarding attitudes concerning the independence and autonomy of women. The song has a distinct sub-text, that sub-text being that a woman has a choice as to how she will live and that she is responsible for the choices that she makes. A great deal of the tension in the song stems from the notions of possibilities and of obligations to explore possibilities. There is an element of modernity to this. This message is accepted today; a hundred years ago, when womens’ economic and social roles were better defined—and far more restricted–this would have been a fairly radical notion.