Death in a Country Song

Country music has always been known for telling a captivating story. While many people believe that all country song are about beer, girls, and trucks, artists are still writings songs that break the norm and touch people’s heart. Country music tells beautiful stories about birth, intriguing stories about life, and unfortunately the sad truths about death. After doing my album analysis of Martina McBride’s Eleven, I started thinking about how many country songs cover the tragic story of death and sickness.

Martina McBride’s “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” is about a wife and mother of three who finds out she has breast cancer. The song follows her before, during, and after her treatments. Luckily, the woman in Martina McBride’s song doesn’t die, but instead pushes through the treatment with the support from her husband. This song ends on a happy note because no one passes away, but unfortunately not every song has such a happy ending.

Alabama’s “The Christmas Shoes” played on my iPod yesterday and I couldn’t help but tear up. This emotional song is about a young boy who is trying to buy some shoes for his mother for Christmas. The listener quickly learns that the mother is very sick and not expected to live past Christmas. The boy doesn’t have enough money to pay for the shoes, so the man behind him at the cash register helps him cover the cost. This is another song where someone is very sick, but instead of making a healthy recovery, the family is doing whatever they can to make the mother more comfortable.

Carrie Underwood’s “Temporary Home” also ends with someone close to death, but instead takes a more inspirational turn when the man tries ensure everyone that he is going to a better place. This man’s temporary home was Earth and now he has stated that his is going home to heaven. I have seen Carrie Underwood perform this song in concert twice and each time I can’t help but think how comforting it must be to anyone who is about to, or already has lost a loved one.

The last song I will talk about is “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry. I had never really listen to the lyrics of this song until heard The Band Perry preform it live last summer. This is a very sad song about a person deciding how they want to be buried if they were to die young. Most young people never even consider this, but this song is about the singer not being afraid of death.

Most rap or hip-hop song are about living life to the fullest, but country songs do a beautiful job of tackling the more emotional topics that many artists don’t like to think about.


Filed under Lists, Live Music, Music Videos, Reflection, Reviews

2 Responses to Death in a Country Song

  1. Julianne Staine

    I think this post is based on a very astute observation. I have found in my life that the saddest songs I ever listen to are pretty much always country songs. They focus on the more real aspects of life, even if that includes death. I like the songs you picked as examples and I also always think of that Dixie Chicks song, Traveling Soldier!

  2. James Pruitt

    I think your post is an interesting one. I have noticed that in recent years there seems to have been more songs on country radio about death. The two examples that pop into my mind are Justin Moore’s “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” and Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck”. I agree that country music does a good job of covering topics that other genres do not. But that’s not to say that all country songs about death are sad. The Dixie Chicks song “Goodbye Earl” uses black comedy to tell a story of two friends conspiring to poison one of the friend’s husbands. However, most songs dealing with death have a more somber tone. One song that I remember listening to growing up that was almost overwhelmingly sad was Martina McBride’s “Concrete Angel”.

Leave a Reply