musc 144 paper

musc 144 paper - Duong, Richard rduong@email.unc.edu...

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Duong, Richard rduong@email.unc.edu 714246293 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 countryside. 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 love. 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
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Duong, Richard the same instruments with addition of more piano and fiddle to go along with the prominent twang in Brooks’ voice that give it a more country feel. The song was no longer a simple shuffle beat, yet it incorporated the whole band to give a more celebrated rural feel. Cline demonstrates the theme of love and relationships in her lyrics, telling a story of how she “goes out walkin’ after midnight” because it’s “just like we used to do” in order to satisfy her needs of remembrance of a love past. Also, the song exhibits the theme of loneliness in the chorus because of the depiction of crying and skies turning gloomy. Cline’s song fulfills the tradition of country, as many people in this era were singing with similar, such as “Faded Love” by Bob Wills. Next, “Always on My Mind” has always been a popular song that many people have
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This document was uploaded on 10/28/2011 for the course MUSC 144 at UNC.

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musc 144 paper - Duong, Richard rduong@email.unc.edu...

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