Storytelling in Country Music

11 February 2020

Although many people cannot see past the frequent beer, boot, and truck references, country music provides a unique means of storytelling. Listening to “Text Me Texas” by Chris Young the first time, I was initially dissuaded with the southern references and country twang. However, the more I listened to Chris Young’s vocal elements and lyrics, the further I was able to appreciate the storytelling quality of the song. The stereotypically backroads country song revealed a love story told in a somber, expressive tone when listened to with an unbiased and receptive ear. The lyrics themselves tell a story of a man yearning for love but unfortunately not having his affection reciprocated. The tangible qualities of the song paint the picture of a difficult romance but it is the tonality and expression of his voice that complete the story. The melancholy nature of Chris Young’s voice combined with the chord progression expresses a quality of sad, unfulfilled lust. Although the lyrics are sad, it is the expressive quality of his voice which truly conveys his message to the audience. Adding somber vocal qualities personalizes the story, allowing for its content and emotion to resonate on a deeper level with listeners. Therefore, country music travels past the seemingly negative stereotypes, providing a unique, personal story through its vocal qualities and lyricism. 

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