Athens Review, Athens, Texas


June 28, 2012

Hank Williams’ sad music made us grateful for our lives

Athens — Into these last nine beers

I have shed a million tears.

You are on my lonely mind.

I’m gonna keep on sittin here

Until I’m petrified.

And then maybe these tears

Will leave my eyes.

There's a tear in my beer

Cause I’m crying for you, dear

You are on my lonely mind

 — Hank Williams Sr.

There’s no question, is there, that country music is made for the benefit of the pathetic among us?

And who hasn’t played that role a time or two?

That’s probably why I became a fan in my early 30s. When a man feels pitiful, he sometimes needs to soak in it, until his self-pity causes him to fall on the floor after the tears ruin  his beer.

If he can get up, by then, he’ll usually be laughing at  himself.

It means he’s healed, and can now go home.

 It’s quitting music, the kind that touches the soul of every man and woman who’s ever given up on an unreasonable lover, a bad kid or a hypocritical parent.

A successful evening on the pitty pot just goes better with the sounds of Hank Williams, who you know going in, is on  his way to a fatal car wreck before his 30th birthday.

I sometimes wonder how many car wrecks he’s caused, even after death, for truck drivers hauling loads across the country.

They say misery loves company, but I’m telling you, company loves misery.

You can’t find that kind of support group when you’re listening to “achievement” music.

All they do is take human bodies, and pass them back and forth, while you jump up and down, and hold your hands like you’re signaling for a touchdown.

What kind of misery is that?

It’s strictly cardio-vascular, deodorant-destroying music.

Now I’m hearing that so-called country music singer, Kenny Chesney, recently greeted his country music audience in Boston by flying high above his fans all the way to the other end of his fans, and then back again.

Kenny Chesney, he of health club muscles and mediocre,  but loud  music, ought to listen up.

I never thought I’d be saying this, but country ain’t country, anymore.

Can you see Don Williams flying across the stage, while singing, “Some Hearts Never Mend?”

Kenny’s music is rock — which is fine. I like most rock music. But don’t label it country.  You can’t do pure pitiful, if you’re keeping time to Chesney music. It’s like cheating.

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