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The Student News Site of St. Luke's School

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of St. Luke's School

The Sentinel

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The Stereotypes Surrounding Country Music

Picture this: an old pickup truck driving along a dirt road with a huge American flag in the background and music blaring from the speakers. What type of music did you envision? I am confident that your answer is country music.

Many people are quick to assume that country artists and their music all share the same beliefs and lifestyles. More specifically, people view the genre as redundant and surface-level, only addressing trivial aspects of life such as partying or break-ups. 

I think this view of the genre is a major misconception. Yes, it is true that many country songs express fairly simple, lightweight messages; but isn’t that true of every music genre? It is unfortunate that some country artists who craft meaningful music and lyrics are overlooked solely based on general assumptions around their category. 

Younger generations caused country to become one of the fastest growing genres in the United States, but people still look down on it. While I am not trying to convince anyone that country is the best type of music, I do believe that the genre and its talented musicians deserve an equal amount of respect as other musicians receive. 

Diane D’Angelo, an entertainment publicist and CEO of Breaking Creatives Agency, describes the significance of country music best: “Country music is relatable content. We see reflections of our own struggles, our own triumphs, and our relentless pursuit of a better tomorrow.” Moreover, D’Angelo explains how, coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, “maybe we are leaning into country music because it allows us to take refuge in the simplicity of tales spun from the heartland, where honesty reigns supreme and vulnerability is celebrated.”

I would even argue that some of today’s best songwriters are country artists: Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, Dolly Parton, and Luke Combs are a few examples. Even Taylor Swift, who many praise as one of the most influential singer-songwriters of our time, began as a country artist. However, even individuals who seem to fit the mold of a stereotypical country singer may surprise you with their music’s complex messages. 

Artist Luke Bryan is a prime example. Bryan was born and raised on a peanut farm in rural Georgia, and writes mostly about his truck, dog, and girlfriend. One of Bryan’s most popular songs is titled “Drink a Beer.” Assuming you are a non-listener who views country music from the typical stereotypes, you would probably skip right over this song thinking its message does not go far beyond its title. However, you may be surprised to hear that Bryan’s song “Drink a Beer” is actually a story about his grieving experience after finding out a loved one has passed away – something he has endured twice after losing both his older brother and sister at a young age. While the song has a melancholy tone, the example demonstrates how country artists and their songs can go beyond their conventional appearances. 

If you take away anything from this article, I hope you at least hesitate before skipping over a country song or buying into the stereotypes around it. Even if you don’t fall in love with the style, I hope you listen with respect for the cultural significance of the genre and with an open mind, as you would for any other genre. 

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About the Contributor
Lucie Geist '25
Lucie Geist '25, On Campus Editor
Lucie is a junior at St. Luke’s who started as a freshman and is returning for a second season of the Sentinel. She enjoys playing field hockey and basketball, along with running the St. Luke’s Current Events club. She cannot wait for a great spring of writing on the Sentinel!

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