This is the 85th anniversary of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry radio show.
Schools have long been a source of pride for many Americans, as John Conlee’s “Old School” memorably captured. (“You say everybody does it/I don’t care if they do/I’m from the old school /Where hearts stay true.”) But of course differences of opinion about the business of schooling can become emotionally and politically charged. Indeed, Mac Davis could easily have been depicting that tumult with good humor when he penned “Oh Lord, It’s Hard to be Humble When You’re Perfect in Every Way.”
While far more Americans graduate high school than did in the years when Hank Williams did his writing, the alarming number of those who do not, or do so only to discover themselves inadequately equipped for the challenges of college and the workplace, is well documented.
This predicament is not much different than that of the poor soul in “My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It,” a song that showcased Williams’ gift for toeing the line between humor and despair (“I can’t buy no beer … “).
Similarly, “You’re Gonna Change (Or I’m Gonna Leave)” suggests the liberating power that a family has when it can say adios to a bad school and choose a good one.