Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Brief Explanation and another Song of Place

So I've got a notion to blog about music for a while. The last two posts being indicative. This blog is transitioning thematically from mostly religious faith commentary to, well, anything and everything that happens to take my interest. In case anyone's wondering, this does not indicate a decline in personal faith or something, just that I've exhausted the theme, said all I've had to say for now. Not guaranteeing I won't ever return to that theme on occasion though.

The Songs of Place series represents the intersection of several interests, among them being cultural history and geography. I've always noticed that country songs are far more likely to mention a place than are straight pop songs. Country songwriters are always naming rivers, towns, valleys, states. Pop songs occasionally name major cities, but that's about it.

Country songwriters, even today, are often hearkening back to the good old days, simpler times, etc. Pining for the homeplace. This made a lot of sense during the country-to-city dislocations of the mid-twentieth century in America, when Country music rose to prominence, but the tendency lingers even today. A lot of contemporary Americana still uses the naming of places to anchor the song in a certain feel. For example, the much played "Wagon Wheel." Darius Rucker's version captures the importance of place in this song in pictures as well as words:


2 comments:

jeff said...

My son has recently gotten into playing the harmonica and his teacher makes him listen to lots of different styles of music and play by ear with it. This is one of his favorite songs to play along with. However, his style of playing is still along the lines of "incredibly loud random noise," so it has sort of ruined my appreciation of this song!

Robert Spencer said...

Great song choice. Hoping the noise becomes less random though!