Country for the Soul — Part 2

To remind you of what this series is about, I enjoy country music … especially when I’m in my truck. It can be raunchy and risque at times, twangy and bring out the best (or worst) of our redneck feelings {aw, come on, we all have them}. But, no matter what, it is always real — addressing real-life issues, warts and all.

I think that’s what I like most about contemporary country music. Life isn’t always hearts and flowers. There are breakups, separations, hurts, successes, failures, looking back, looking forward and everyday choices — not always good ones. There is hard driving, hard drinking and hard loving in life and the country genre deals with it all. The country genre lyrics are honest, honest to goodness honest.

But at its root, the country music genre is a compilation of life in America — not the America of cities, but the rural America. It may have been born in the south, but its sound resonates in every state … even upstate New York. Despite its sometimes shortcomings, it buzzes with traditional American values — God, family and country. It’s not unusual to hear a country song with lyrics like “… five-card poker on a Saturday night, church on Sunday morning …” (Boondocks by Little Big Town).

Country music tells a story in less than five minutes, especially contemporary ballads. It’s the lyricist’s story … it’s the singer’s story … It’s your story … It’s my story.

And then there are those times when a country story just stops you in your tracks. Whenever you hear it, you make that connection with God. It returns you to communion.

So this series is about those country songs that have — at least for me — a Christian message.

I’ve written before about Beer with Jesus by Thomas Rhett (, which is ranked fourth as my favorite country songs with a Christian bent.  Last week, I shared my No. 10 pick, Alabama’s Angels Among Us.

Moving up my list is No. 9 Red Dirt Road by Brooks and Dunn before they split up.

The dynamic duo released the song in 2003 as part of an album by the same name. In their biography, Ronnie Dunn said, “I knew we were going to call this album Red Dirt Road before the first song was even picked. I wanted that thread, that growing up in rural America and all the universal touchstones we all go through — that first beer, wrecking my first car two weeks after I got it, being taken to a revival by my cousins who lived a few miles farther down that road. That road ran through every major event in my young life … But that’s the power of life and roots and dreams — it can.”

I didn’t grow up in rural America, but I could still relate to those universal touchstones — my first beer … my first car wreck … where I found Jesus … figuring out the path to heaven is full of sinners and believers …learned happiness on earth ain’t just for high achievers.

Looking back through a Judeo-Christian prism — and a lot of adult years in rural America — when I hear the song, I remember life has a purpose. We all live on a red dirt road. And we learn “There’s life at both ends of that red dirt road.”

What about you? What have you learned on your red dirt road?

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Correction does much, but encouragement does more.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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