I reported a few weeks ago that I had to buy a new car after my old one broke down on a trip to Bend. The new car came with a “free” subscription to Sirius satellite radio, and I have been enjoying the change from my standard fare of public radio mixed with an aging collection of CD’s.
My wife and I have different musical tastes, but she has usually been gracious in tolerating my preference for folk, rock, and alternative sounds. She likes people like Susan Boyle and Barbara Streisand, so it’s a stretch for her to listen to John Prine. The addition of Sirius has really tested the limits of her tolerance, although it seems to appeal to her sense of humor.
I stumbled across a station called “Willie’s Road House” shortly after we bought the car, and I now have a new appreciation for country music I used to dismiss as awful. I’m not sure I think the music is any better than I thought it was 30 years ago, but the titles and lyrics are really funny. My favorite so far is “Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life,” by Bobby Bare. The chorus begins with the words in the title, and my favorite verses go as follows:
Take all the brothers who’ve gone on before
And all of the sisters who’ve knocked on your door
All the departed dear loved ones of mine
Stick’em up front in the offensive line.
Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life
End over end neither left nor to right
Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights
Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life.
I haven’t decided whether I want to be drop kicked into heaven, but I like the fact that the song seems to justify all those hours I’ve spent watching football. I now tell my wife I’ve just been spiritually preparing myself while watching the Ducks.
Another great song I heard for the first time recently is, “I’m Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home.” This ballad tells the story of a wife who is apparently dismayed by her husband’s tendency to come home late after spending time with his buddies at local watering holes. The wife proposes the following solution:
I’m gonna hire a wino to decorate our home,
So you’ll feel more at ease here, and you won’t have to roam.
We’ll take out the dining room table, and put a bar along that wall
And a neon sign, to point the way, to our bathroom down the hall.
My wife and I have had fun discussing many of the new songs we’ve heard; and, most importantly, they’ve given us some opportunities to laugh together. I am too cheap to pay for a subscription to satellite radio when our six-month free trial expires, and I assume I will have heard nearly every country song ever written by the end of that time anyway. I have learned something about testing old assumptions and being open to different ways of looking at things. I may even try out the jazz station before heading back to NPR, but I’m drawing the line at hip hop.