Country Christian — No. 8

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 was No. 9 Red Dirt Road by Brooks and Dunn before they split up.

Today’s installment — No. 8 on my list — is When I Get Where I’m Going by Brad Paisley. It’s other-earthly … no double entendres … no hard driving, hard drinking or hard loving.


It’s a story written by George Teren and Rivers Rutherford and includes harmony vocals from Dolly Parton.

The video features footage of Paisley singing in a forest, as well as home movies of himself with his grandfather, Warren Jarvis. He also holds up photos of himself with Jarvis and his aunt Rita Takach. It also features many different people holding photographs of loved ones who have presumably died. Two notable people featured are Michael Reagan, who is shown holding a photograph of his father Ronald Reagan, and Teresa Earnhardt, who is shown sitting in front of a painted portrait of her husband, NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt. Although she does vocals on the song, Dolly Parton is not shown singing in the video. However, she is shown holding a picture of a her grandfather, Rev. Jake Owens, who had died a few years earlier. She kisses her hand then touches the photograph in this scene. Figure Skater Scott Hamilton is shown holding a picture of his mother. John Carter Cash is featured holding a photo of his parents, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Pixar director John Lasseter holds up a picture of co-director and fellow CalArts alumnus Joe Ranft who suddenly died in 2005 in a car accident. Various unknown people hold up photos of relatives who have passed on throughout as well.

The chorus sums it up
Yeah when I get where I’m goin
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here.

I’m looking forward to meeting those who went before me again when I get to where I’m going. And I add to my friends and family, “Don’t cry for me down here.”

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Out of the mouths of babes come words we should never have said.

About wisdomfromafather

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