It’s a Friday afternoon, you just finished school and are heading out to the lake with all of your best friends. Once you get there, you unload your things, put your swimsuit on, and walk out to the dock to catch some rays. But you’re missing something. Where’s the music? One of your friends goes to plug her phone in and what kind of music does she play? The answer is simple and almost universally known, country music.
Reflecting on my childhood days at the lake, country music always seemed to be around. No matter if it was in the car on the way there, on the boat racing in the lake, or in the kitchen during dinner, the sweet sound of country music had always somehow made an appearance. It was never a burden to hear the sweet sound of a banjo or guitar resonating throughout the house. Everyone always enjoyed it, even if it wasn’t something they listened to regularly. For example, my dad is not the biggest fan of country music and never exposed it to me growing up. However, he always tolerated it at the lake and even sang along. What is it about the lake that brings out the country in everyone?
When thinking about this question, my mind revolved around ideas of our country, family, and liberty. Normally, people go to the lake for Labor Day, the 4th of July, and other holidays as well. These holidays are for families and friends to celebrate our country, reconnect and reminisce with one another, and also just love on each other. Are those not some of the main topics of country music? When everyone is together as a unit, it brings out a very noticeable, yet ineffable power and mood that enlightens everyone’s time spent together. Country music simply adds to it.
Going to the lake usually implies some type of boating and water activity. There is nothing more soothing than closing your eyes, feeling the wind against your skin and listening to some country. Many country songs convey this feeling. According to Great American Country, a majority of the top 10 Boating Songs are country songs. Artists like Zac Brown Band and Kenney Chesney sing songs about how boats are an escape from life and provide a type of freedom. Also, a handful of country music videos involve boats and the lake. I am guilty of repeatedly watching Kid Rock’s music video to “All Summer Long” when I was in middle school. But now the song and the image of him cruising on his boat always pops into my head when I’m out on the lake with my friends.
Freedom, love, and patriotism are found in a majority of Texans and also found at the lake. In the end, I think it is these traits that country music efficaciously sings about that make Texans turn the volume knob a little higher at the lake.
3 Responses to Lakeside Country
This post made me think of the song “Buy Me a Boat” by Chris Janson. The song is about how money can’t by happiness, but it can buy him a boat which, to him, is the equivalent of happiness. Basically, this country star loved boats so much that he wrote an entire song about how he wants to buy a boat because it will make him happy. I recently went out on the lake with some friends and just like with you, the question of “what type of music should we listen to?” came up. One person tried to start playing rap music and that immediately got shut down. Not two seconds later the sweet sound of Keith Urban was coming out of the speakers. I had never thought about how much country music was associated with the lake until now!
I completely agree with this! Lake time is country music time. Whenever you get on a boat and someone plays dub step, rap, or some rando music everyone groans because we all know the lake is for country music. I associate the lake with summer time and patriotic holidays which are two themes prominent in country music. It is relaxing and a time to escape your stresses of everyday life and appreciate the American leisures. I never realized that the majority of the top 10 Boating Songs are country songs but I can definitely see that. Often time country music is about having fun with your friends, drinking beer, and celebrating the leisure activities after your hard and stressful job.
Abby, I really enjoyed reading your post! I really liked the connection you made between country music and the lake. The points you hit like family, unity, freedom, celebrating our country, etc. are definitely all reasons why I have gone to a lake before. But I also agree with Lauren about how the lake and country music can also be connected with the theme of “summer.” Since being in Texas, I have been out to Lake Austin and Lake Travis (both during the summer and during school), and I do have to agree that country music is always what people play on their phone as we cruise about the lake. Thanks for sharing this, because now I actually realize how similar the lake and country music are!