The Perils of Country Music for Toddlers


Shown here, an album cover of a country music artist whose hat is pulled so low, it’s comical. His *upper lip* is barely visible. Yet another reason why country music is an absolute mystery to anyone who is not a fan.

The Dangers of Country Music
A year ago, while driving, we were listening to a mix CD I had made of some popular songs, and I heard my five-year-old son sing the following line:

It’s a quarter after one, I’m a little drunk, and I need you now.

That’s when I stopped allowing Country Music into my home.

But as cruel fate would have it, one of the high school students I work with left a CD in my mini-van (Swagga Wagon!). It was a collection of various country music songs. So I gave country music another shot.  And yesterday, I heard my four-year-old daughter sing the following line:

If you’ll be my glass of wine,
I’ll be your shot of whiskey.

Not sure the word “whiskey” should ever be uttered by a four-year-old. At any rate, this line is from an incredibly catchy little tune by a guy named Blake Shelton who seems like a fine man, except that he seems to be the primary culprit behind this anathema re-make of the classic song Footloose.

At any rate, Mr. Shelton has made a cute little song, whose official music video you can see below.

Stop that rhyming, and I mean it!
The best part of the song, of course, is the chorus, whose lyrics are written in a ABCB DBEB FBGB HBIB rhyme sequence where the second line always ends with a word that rhymes with “bee.” Some examples:

If you’ll be my soft and sweet
I’ll be your strong and steady

Okay.  Starting off well.  Clever line. I like the commitment that’s implied.

If you’ll be my sunny day
I’ll be your shady tree

I am unsure how these are connected, beyond the fact that one directly causes the other to exist, and that they are opposite. But the image certainly maintains that “country bucolic” theme.

You’ll be my honeysuckle
I’ll be your honey bee

Beside the fact that this line sounds a bit too much like a 9th grader making a biology sex joke, I’m still okay with it.  But then, the chorus turns…strange.

If you’ll be my Louisiana
I’ll be your Mississippi

I understand the geographic proximity, but…beyond that, what does it mean? I’ll be second-to-last in literacy averages for students living in my state, and you’ll be dead last?

If you’ll be my little Loretta
I’ll be your Conway Twitty

Again, I realize I’m not the target audience for this song. I do not “chew tobaccy” nor do I own anything manufactured by John Deere, but I actually had to Wikipedia this line. Apparently, Mr. Twitty won a string of Country Music Awards for his duets with the female country music artist Loretta Lynn. Ironically, they were never romantically entwined. But the analogy still works. I like the idea that perhaps this relationship has more purpose than simply emotions. They’re going to do something last together – building on each other’s gifts and talents. Yes.

Yes, but what rhyming couplets got cut?
So again, a cute song, but it left me wondering what other rhyme sequences Mr. Shelton perhaps left on the drawing-room floor in his quest for the perfect 8-couplet chorus with the rhyme scheme entirely dependent on words that rhyme with “bee.” I mean, if the whiskey line got in, what got nixed?

You be the PLO
I’ll be a young Israeli

You be the iPhone 4
I’ll be your AT&T

You be my mental patient
I’ll be your lobotomy

You be my FOX news
I’ll be Palin’s Tea Party

You be my Africa
I’ll be Chronic Poverty

You’ll be my doggie doo-doo
I’ll be your little baggie

You be my 9/11
I’ll be your Giuliani

*sigh*

Reason number 203535 why I should not back down from my position that country music should not – at any cost – be introduced into a home with impressionable children.

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