Country music on education

Country music has insights on education, write Bob Holland and Don Soifer, both Lexington Institute policy analysts, in the Roanoke Times.

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.

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Comments

  1. Actually the writer knows nothing about country music. There are only two kinds of country songs. There are those when the away from home and longs to return, and those in which the singer is home and can’t wait to get the hell away. Of course there are variations, but anyone who makes it more complex than that is probably better off listening to “new country,” a genre that has no meaning whatsoever.

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