Country music full of pain, pathos

Categorized as 02/21/11 Goshen News column

“I Thought She Was Out Jogging, But She Was Running Around On Me.”  (I am not making this up.)  Now there’s a girl who should’ve gotten a stationary bike for Christmas instead of a new running suit.  Ten bucks says he won’t make that mistake again.  Ten bucks also says this is the guy who turned around and wrote, “I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well” and “I Keep Forgettin’ I Forgot About You.”  If you’ve been recently jilted, I’m not trying to rip off those scabs.  I just want you to know you’re not alone.  I know, I know.  It’s hard not to get bitter when you’ve drawn the short straw.  If this is you, “I Gave Her My Heart and a Diamond and She Clubbed Me With a Spade,” you have good reason.  Then there’s this song that says, “I’ve got tears in my eyes from lying on my back while I cry over you.”  Go ahead.  Let it all out.  “I’ve got a funny feeling I won’t be feeling funny very long.”  That’s what one guy sang when he saw the handwriting on the wall.  Another skeptic penned this line, “Ever since I said ‘I Do,’ there’s a lot of things you don’t.”  Ouch.  It’s just hard when you started out so sweet and all.  “I Changed Her Oil, She Changed My Life” is a – well, unique opening chapter for a love story.  But sometimes stuff happens, and the romance veers of track or, um, runs dry.  That’s when “Thank God and Greyhound She’s Gone” becomes your anthem, right next to, “This Time, I’m Gonna Beat You to the Truck.”  It’s a fact that anger follows denial in the grieving process, and that’s why you see sentiments like this:  “If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I’d Be Out By Now.”  If you find yourself hitting rewind on songs like that, it’s time to find your happy place.  Same goes if you’re the anonymous listener who keeps requesting, “I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim Is Getting Better” on the local country station.  “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly” is a terrible accusation, but some folks will say anything when they’re mad.  Other titles are just inexplicable.  What kind of song is this, “Don’t Run Through the Screen Door, Honey, You’ll Only Strain Yourself?”  Huh?  What?  “I Just Fell in Something and I Sure Hope It’s Love?”  And, “I’m Sorry I Made You Cry, But Your Face is Cleaner?”  These actually got air time?  So what if all your exes live in Texas.  I’d avoid that state like the plague if I were you, bypassing it completely on any western trips with the family.  I’m just sayin’, because that could get real awkward.  Then you’d be the one singing along to the Billy Ray Cyrus hit, “Achy Breaky Heart” instead of throwing up a little in your mouth like every other guy does when that song comes on.  “I’m Just a Bug on the Windshield of Life” would mean a lot to you.  So would “The Last Word in Lonesome is ‘Me.’”  It’d be too late, but you’d wish you had “walked the line.”  Oh, would you ever. 

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