The Freedom of Country Love
Country music has always held a consistent theme of individualism, freedom,
relationships, and loneliness in the songs written and sung by their artists.
This can be viewed in
the early days of Patsy Montana (1930’s) and Hank Williams (1950’s) singing such hits as “I
want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”
Often, it seems like
country music’s unifying theme all came down to the central unifying idea of love in the rural
The three cover songs “Take it Easy” covered by Travis Tritt, “Always on My
Mind” sung by Willie Nelson, and “Walking After Midnight” from Garth Brooks all exemplify
these themes of a country mindset-taking it easy, being free, and having the pursuit of unrequited
These songs were originally sung by The Eagles, Elvis Presley, and Patsy Cline
respectively and were all from different genres of country.
Since the beginning of country music, different genres have evolved over time from
hillbilly to western swing to honky tonk, yet the principles of what was sung and instruments
were basically the same.
These themes sung about were about love and relationships while
playing the instruments of guitar (steel, acoustic, and bass), drums, piano, banjo, and fiddle
(Neal). Patsy Cline is an example of this as her 1957 rendition of “Walking After Midnight” was
her first hit that gave her national exposure (Malone 263).
In the original, there is a simple
shuffle beat with little bits of steel guitar in the background along with other instruments like the
acoustic guitar, basic drums, electric guitar, and some piano.
At the time, Cline’s music was a
crossover of country and pop, yet, this song gave off a jazz feel with a kick of blues (Nash 239).
In Brooks’ cover version, it is a very contemporary, modern day country feel that is classified as
neo-traditionalist (Malone 416).
The vocals and style are less like the jazz and blues, but still use