Country music raised me and i'm not ashamed of that

When I was growing up there were a few things I was certain of you go to church on Sundays, Friday nights were for football and country music was the pinnacle of music. There were very few times my parents' car radios were turned on anything other than the sultry sounds of George Strait or Rascal Flatts. So for a lack of a better phrase, I was born and raised on country music.

It is no secret to me that majority of people I know are not fans of country, heck, I have a friend that once told me that if there was music in hell it would be country music. But that has never, and will never, deter me from listening to the music from my childhood. To me, it's never been about listening to the "newest" or "trendiest" music. Don't get me wrong, I love an Ed Sheeran song and still find time to throw multiple different genres into my daily mix, but my go-to genre is country. I joke with my friends that 60 percent of the music that comes out of my headphones is country music. Even Spotify understands my love for the music of my childhood because it has a mix of some of the best country music as my first Daily Mix.

Now I know by now most people have probably stopped reading this thinking that this entire piece is essentially a love letter to country music, and to some degree you are right. But this is more than that. It's also a love letter to my past and the music that raised me and formed me into the person I am today. I won't sit here and try to convince you to fall in love with country music as I have, but I will share with you why I have fallen in love with it.

First, and foremost, it's actually good music. Now I know most people can't stand it and think all country music is, is rednecks singing about beer, tractors, and girls, but it is so much more than that. I could sit here and list off a plethora of songs that have much deeper meanings than the things previously mentioned, but I know I'd just be wasting my time. All I'll say is that everyone's taste in music is different, and for me, country music is something I find enjoyable and find comfort in.

Secondly, there's nothing better than driving down a back road with the windows down blasting country music. I can't even begin to count the number of road trips, taken with both friends and family, that have had a significant amount of country music involved. If I'm quite honest, it makes for great traveling music because it has something to offer for everyone. If you're looking for some chill, lazy day tunes put on some Hunter Hayes or if you want some upbeat hits to keep you awake go for Thomas Rhett or Miranda Lambert. Country music is flexible and has a tune for just about everyone.

Lastly, more times than not the lyrics in country music songs tell a story. Yes, I know a lot of pop songs and Christian music can do that too, but it's more prominent in country music. Growing up I learned about love and life from the chords of an acoustic guitar and the melodies that poured out from the local country radio station. I connected to the lyrics in a way that most people only find themselves doing to Taylor Swift's latest hits. For instance, the song "Skin (Sarabeth)" by Rascal Flatts was the first song that exposed me to the intricacies and struggles that comes along with having cancer at a young age. Not many artists take the time to tell such a beautiful, heartbreaking story like they did in this song.

To me country music is a comfort, it's home. It's the music I turn on when I'm ecstatic over the news I just received or when I'm feeling stressed over the chaos of my schedule or when I'm walking around campus just embracing the day. Most importantly though, it's the genre I go to when I'm missing home. It centers me and reminds me of my roots. It reminds me of the girl who rode with her dad to softball tournaments and jammed to old school Kenny Chesney. Or the concerts I went to with my sister and my friends out at Walnut Creek (or at least that's what it was called back then). Country music reminds me of s small North Carolina town six miles outside of Raleigh. To me, country music IS home. So for that reason alone, I will never apologize for my unrelenting love for it.

I could sit here and talk until I'm blue in the face trying to convince you to give country music a try, but I won't. I won't because I don't have to convince anyone else of my choices in music. I'm the only one who has to listen to and enjoy, my music. So there you have it, I'm the girl who is unashamed of being born and raised by country music and who will never turn her back on her first musical love.

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