Thursday, December 30, 2021

Raise ‘Em Up on Country Sunshine and Blow Up Your TV


For some reason early this morning the song “Country Sunshine” popped into my head. 

I couldn’t even tell you who sang it, but the chorus lyric “I was raised on country sunshine” echoed through my head. 

Appealing idea, no? “Raised on country sunshine”

Seems to me that we as parents have failed our kids by outsmarting ourselves into believing kids belong anywhere but outside as much as possible. They do not really need constant shuttling from here to there in a motor vehicle, since they generally have two feet and can put one in front of the other. 

Yes, they might get kidnapped on the way to school, but only if you watch too many movies and read too many news stories that amp up your fears and pump up your “fight or flight” adrenaline response, inventing risk in your head that is essentially zero in the real world. 

Be careful with undoing thousands of years of acquired evolutionary social knowledge; it’s fragile, and there might be unintended consequences from messing with it, is all I’m saying.

Turns out “Country Sunshine” is by Dottie West. Ah, yes, she’s a legend. 

Dottie West, “Country Sunshine”

Here’s a nice live version from a TV show.

Refreshing and very similar in outlook and attitude to John Prine’s “Spanish Pipedream” about living the simple life.

Blow up your TV
Throw away your papers
Go to the country
Build you a home
Plant a little garden
Eat a lot of peaches
Try to find Jesus
On your own

John Prine has a wonderful economy with words — very visual with a “you are there” feeling. That’s the definition of great songwriting.

Dottie West is of course a very well-known country star from “back in the day” but I had never really listened to her catalog before — I’ll be diving into that these next few days. Already started, in fact, and while some of it is pretty “commercial” as they say, I’m mostly okay with that, because 60s and 70s country is some of the best type of “commercial” pop music ever made, with legendary singers and songwriters and production. There’s a place for that, sometimes.