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I’m A Little Bit Country

Lonestar was playing in the background as I drove my 13 year old son to school this morning. He was singing along to My Front Porch Lookin’ In when an instrumental break began, and an interesting conversation ensued.

James: “This song is REALLY well written. I love how it’s so poetic. I mean, it’s actually really beautiful. It’s not just a bunch of words that rhyme, you know?”

Me: “That’s one of the reasons I love it so much. And it has a great message, too.”

James: “But only country music does that, besides church stuff, I mean.”

Me: “Well, it’s not JUST country music that does that. More pop groups are starting to put a stronger emphasis on great lyrics, but I think country music has had an effect on that. As more country songs cross over to pop radio, they make more of an influence.”

James: “Yeah, but they don’t talk about Heavenly Father or families the way they do in country songs.”

For the most part, he’s right. And it’s only been recently that pop songs with more subtle Christian/pro-family messages have really gotten any airplay. In fact, typically, if a pop song mentions God, it’s usually in derogatory terms.

We listen to a wide range of styles of music in our home. Rock, pop, Contrmporary Christian, Sacred, Bluegrass, Classical, Opera, R&B and some of the earlier American classics like Nat King Cole and Dinah Washington, gotta love it!

But the positive, pro-family, pro-God messages are one of the things I love about country music. Of course, country music also has it’s “dark side”. Darth Vader seems to stick his foot in everywhere, right? For every good country song about God, country, hard work or family, there’s a song about getting drunk at the bar or cheating on a spouse. And actually, it probably really is that way. Four good to every one or two bad. But that ratio isn’t too shabby when you compare it to the other genres. And you’ll be hard pressed to find anything like this in a #1 pop song playing on the radio.

My Front Porch Lookin’ In
Richie McDonald, Frank J. Myers, Don Pfrimmer

The only ground I ever owned
Was sticking to my shoes
Now I look out my front porch
At this panoramic view
I can sit and watch the fields fill up
With rays of golden sun
Or watch the moon lay on the fences
Like that’s where it was hung

My blessings are in front of me
But it’s not about the land
I’ll never beat the view
Of my front porch lookin’ in

There’s a carrot-top that can barely walk
With a sippy-cup of milk
A little blue-eyed blond with shoes on wrong
‘Cause she likes to dress herself
And the most beautiful girl holding both of them
Yeah, the view I love the most
Is my front porch lookin’ in.

I’ve traveled here and everywhere
Following my job
I’ve seen the paintings from the air
Brushed by the hand of God
The mountains and the canyons reach
From sea to shining sea
But I can’t wait to get back home
To the woman He made for me

‘Cause everywhere I go
And everywhere I’ve been
Nothing takes my breath away
Like my front porch, lookin in

There’s a carrot-top that can barely walk
With a sippy-cup of milk
A little blue-eyed blond with shoes on wrong
‘Cause she likes to dress herself
And the most beautiful girl holding both of them
Yeah, the view I love the most
Is my front porch lookin’ in.

The music video that goes with the song is also a great one. The band is playing on the front porch of a home, with onlookers coming by to listen. As the camera pans through the front window into the house, you see the singer’s family. But then as the onlookers also look through the window, they each see their own families and loved ones.
Now THAT’S a message I’ll take any day!

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • kiar March 19, 2008, 10:57 am

    I love this song too! it has always been one of my faves! I do agree that a lot more country songs have good messages than pop, or rock.

  • Ray March 19, 2008, 9:34 pm

    LOVE this song. If you like this one, you must like “Mountains”.

  • jennycherie March 20, 2008, 2:32 pm

    I followed the link to the video of the front porch song, and then also the video to Phil Vassar’s song–loved both of them. I do think there are quite a number of songs recently that have great messages (as opposed to the ones I remember from my youth). I am amazed that when there ARE such great songs, there is still room for songs that are nothing but drivel. I am always amazed when the whole point of the song (the hook?) ends up being something like “in my Red High Heels” or “Don’t forget to remember me.” What genius (who wrote an otherwise sweet, sappy song) decided that the chorus of ANY song should be “Don’t forget to remember me”? great article Tracy!

  • Ray March 20, 2008, 5:50 pm

    How about “Mister Mom”? Any song that includes the line, “Rewind Barney for the fifteenth time,” deserves applause.

  • facethemusic March 21, 2008, 2:02 pm

    HA! Yeah– you’ve got to love a song that captures all the obnoxious things that we as ”loving parents” put up with! Although, now that they’ve gotten rid of all the GOOD shows on PBS– like Reading Rainbow, Carmen SanDiego, Big Blue Marble, etc and replaced them with crapola like “Boobah”, I think somebody needs to be hanged. :devil:

  • Michelle D March 21, 2008, 7:25 pm

    Great post! Recent country is my first choice in music for a daily dose of happiness, for all the reasons you mentioned. (Okay, second choice: Hilary Weeks is my first choice). Thanks for reminding me how much I enjoy good music and how it makes me feel.

  • Ray March 22, 2008, 6:49 pm

    Three Times a Lady
    Almost anything by Air Supply, Chicago, Bread, Journey, Billy Joel (the early year songs), etc. (Obviously, soft rock romantic songs from my dating years)
    Collin Raye has never released a song I didn’t love (Survivors, All My Roads and The 11th Commandment, especially, are phenomenal — If you haven’t heard them, find them and listen)
    Brad Paisley is an amazing song writer (He Didn’t Have to Be)
    Martina McBride has the voice of a goddess (Independence Day and Broken Wing blew me away)
    Heroes (Paul Overstreet)

    The best song lyrics ever written are in “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” (Alan Jackson)

    I Stand All Amazed
    A Wintry Day, Descending to Its Close
    I am a Child of God (The heart of the Restored Gospel in song)

    Oh, Lord, My Redeemer

    Oh, way too many to list!

  • facethemusic March 22, 2008, 10:20 pm

    You listed some of my favs- Ray. Sounds like our CD collections are rather similar.
    That Alan Jackson songs brings me to tears everytime I hear it. We have every CD he’s made!
    One I LOVE by Collin Raye is “Cheyenne” — that whole CD is a good one.
    And I LOVE Billy Joel– probably one of THE most talented and versatile singer/songwriters ever.
    He had some really crummy ones though– musically, he’s ALWAYS awesome, but sometimes the lyrics were horrible. (not in technique, but in message–ie–Only The Good Die Young)

  • davidson April 3, 2008, 11:48 am

    I’ve got to toss in one of my all-time favorites, Christmas and otherwise. This Christmas I heard Vince Gill and his daughter sing, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” Beautiful. I’ve loved that song since I was a kid. It is right at the heart of the gospel message, and I thought it was really touching that he sang it with his daughter.

    Our age is showing, Ray, but I love all the groups you listed from your dating years. Three Times a Lady is THE favorite song of the Davidsons. He gave it to me on my first Mother’s Day, along with a bottle of Jontue perfume. (I had a baby from a previous marriage, which he adopted and had sealed to him.) At that time in my life, I felt like garbage, and his love turned me into the lady he wanted me to be, so the words were significant.

  • Ray April 3, 2008, 12:50 pm

    davidson, have you heard Brad Paisley’s “He Didn’t Have to Be”? If not, find it and listen. Given your background, it probably will leave you bawling.

  • davidson April 3, 2008, 1:07 pm

    I’ll find it, Ray. Thanks for the idea.

  • kiar April 3, 2008, 5:27 pm

    I love that song! it makes me cry every time. Also Tim McGraw’s “Don’t take the Girl”. When my husband hears it he freaks out. The other day, I saw my 3 year old doing the first part of that song. We were going somewhere, and our friend’s little girl wanted to come, and Joe was letting her come, and Jeff started to say, “No daddy, don’t take the girl, she can’t come!” And I started to giggle, since I thought of the outcome of the song!

  • Tinkerbell April 3, 2008, 8:12 pm

    I love Tim McGraw in general, particularly “Its Your Love” and “Where the Green Grass Grows”. It helps that they were on the radio as I was getting to know my husband. 🙂 (Speaking of husbands, why does everyone call them “DH”?)

  • kiar April 3, 2008, 9:25 pm

    darling husbands! (I assume)

  • facethemusic April 3, 2008, 9:57 pm

    Hi Tinkerbell!! Welcome to the group!!

  • Ray April 3, 2008, 9:57 pm

    “dear husband” I thought – or “dang husband” (edited to meet the requirements of our previous discussion) :bigsmile:

  • agardner April 3, 2008, 10:00 pm

    Yeah Ray, it kind of depends on the mood what the adjective is…ha ha.

  • davidson April 4, 2008, 8:47 am

    Finally heard “He Didn’t Have to Be”, Ray, and yup, it made me bawl. It started out like such a fairy tale. My husband adopted my little girl. Everything was good for several years. Then she became the daughter who suffers from bipolar illness, and he was the dad he didn’t have to be through some really ugly, vicious things. Sometimes I’m sure he wondered what he’d signed up for, but he has remained loyal to me and my little girl and continues to be an excellent dad. He doesn’t make any distinctions between her and our other children. They are all his. I look forward to a resurrection so that she can be who she was meant to be and our family relationships can sweeten and strengthen. We love her now, but we trust it will get better and easier in the days to come.

  • Tinkerbell April 4, 2008, 8:50 am

    Davidson, what a wonderful man you are married to. I love that song.

  • davidson April 4, 2008, 11:15 am

    He IS a good man. Thank you.

  • facethemusic March 20, 2008, 2:16 pm

    Yes– but I don’t think it was delivered as well as it could have been. The message is great– I love the message. But the lyrics weren’t as well written, and they almost don’t really fit the melody and meter in some places. It almost sounds like the words were written out separately from the music. Like it was written by a “lyric writer” and then someone came along and put it to music. I know that’s not the case though, because Ritchie McDonald co-wrote it. But that IS the way it sounds in several places.

    Ex: In the first verse… “She’s waited ON” The word “On” gets all the musical emphasis in that sentence, and it’s the LEAST important word in whole line. The same thing happens in the chorus… “I’ve been around and I’ve noticed THAT”. The word “THAT” isn’t very important, but it gets ALL the emphasis, musically and rhythmically, it get’s held out the longest. That happens in several places throughout the song. ….But I’m sort of picky that way.

    I love “I Pray” though. Have you heard that one? The music fits the words perfectly– so it supports them amazingly well.

    Just another Day in Paradise by Phil Vasser is one of favs. INCREDIBLY written, great pro-family message– washing machine breaking, over due bills, kid wanting to jump into mom and dad’s bed because of a bad dream (right when mom and dad were hoping for a little intimate time) — but oh well, that’s family life, I love it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
    GREAT song!

  • facethemusic March 22, 2008, 6:29 pm

    So, what are your all-time favorite songs?

    I’d have to say, in the secular realm, my all-time favorite is “A Piece of Sky” by Michel LeGrand, from the movie Yentl.

    Favorite Contemporary Christian ones– that’s harder. I have so many. I’d have to say Hallelujah’s by Chris Rice and Every Season by Nicole Nordeman.

    Kenneth Cope recorded both of them on his “Hear My Praise” album, and I actually like HIS recordings better. His voice is just gorgeous on these songs. But the lyrics and music to both these songs move me in ways I can’t describe. Nicole’s lyrics to Every Season are especially stunning, and truly inspired.

    My favorite hymns are “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” — neither of which are in our hymnbook!!!!

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