COUNTRY MUSIC and ME by Charlene Sands


I love country music.  The songs always tell a good story.  They move me to emotion and I can always understand the words (meaning I truly can sing along). Wait, maybe that’s not a good thing after all – I can’t carry a tune.  But I love to get into the foot-stomping rhythm, clap my hands and feel the beat.    Whether I laugh or cry … or just get to thinking, I sing along envisioning the scenes playing out in my head.   I love how some songs have a patriotic tone, like the one from my favorite duo, Brooks and Dunn. This song really depicts what’s good about America – the land of opportunity (except for the prison part 🙂

Sun coming up over New York City
School bus driver in a traffic jam
Starin’ at the faces in her rearview mirror
Looking at the promise of the Promised Land


One kid dreams of fame and fortune
One kid helps pay the rent
One could end up going to prison
One just might be president


Only in America
Dreaming in red, white and blue
Only in America
Where we dream as big as we want to
We all get a chance
Everybody gets to dance
Only in America

Lyrics can be fun and crazy and when I think of funny, I think of Brad Paisley.  His lyrics make me laugh.  He’s cute and he knows how to push humor buttons like no one else.   Here’s Brad Paisley’s rant about going overboard with political correctness:

You’re not supposed to say the word “cancer” in a song.
And tellin’ folks Jesus is the answer can rub ’em wrong.
It ain’t hip to sing about tractors, trucks, little towns, and mama, yeah that might be true.
But this is country music and we do


Do you like to drink a cold one on the weekend and get a little loud
Do you wanna say I’m sorry or I love you but you don’t know how?
Do you wish somebody had the nerve to tell that stupid boss of yours
to shove it next time he yells at you?
Well this is country music and we do


So turn it on, turn it up, and sing a long
This is real; this is your life in a song
Yeah this is country music.


There are ballads of love gone wrong, love gone bad and love that never happened.  They touch my heart, sear into my soul and some are so sad, honestly, I’d rather not hear them at all. Like Tim McGraw’s, Don’t Take the Girl.  I think it was one of his earliest big, big hits, but honestly, I’d rather hear ballads filled with hope, like Tim McGraw’s, Live Like You Were Dying or Brooks and Dunn’s, Believe.


Then there are the songs about falling in love!  So many stories, so many would-be plots.  Take a look at this week’s Top Ten List and tell me there aren’t at least a hundred ideas floating in your head, just from the titles!


Here’s the Top Country Songs:

Blake Shelton–God Gave Me You 

Eli Young Band–Crazy Girl 

George Strait–Here for a Good Time 

Miranda Lambert–Baggage Claim 

Taylor Swift–Sparks Fly                                                                     

Brantley Gilbert–Country Must Be Country Wide  

Keith Urban–Long Hot Summer 

Rodney Atkins–Take a Road Back 

Lady Antebellum–We Owned the Night

Jason Aldean–Tattoos on This Town 


 Do you like country music?  What types of songs move you and who is your favorite artist? What is your favorite song?

Did you watch the CMA AWARDS? Who was your favorite from the show?


Since my hero, Clayton Worth is an ex-country superstar, it’s only fitting that I give away a copy of THE COWBOY’S PRIDE today. Post a comment and let’s share country music!!

4 STARS **** ROMANTIC TIMES BOOK REVIEWS! "Readers are going root for this perfectly charming couple to put their marriage back on track with a little help from a tiny angel."



Read an Excerpt at:











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49 thoughts on “COUNTRY MUSIC and ME by Charlene Sands”

  1. Love this post but I must say I am biased. My grandparents lived in Bristol, Tenn where country music originated. I am related to the Carters,the First Family of Country Music, and my great aunt taught June Carter Cash. I have a picture of June Carter Cash when she was little girl with some of my cousins. Roots run deep.

    Sadly, I didn’t watch the CMAs because my Southern born husband doesn’t like “twang”, he says. So I will watch it on line. But I find it interesting that when it comes to Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and other female stars, he LOVES Country.

    It is fitting I suppose since I am into the guys. I am more of a Trace Atkins and Brad Paisley, Eric Church and Jason Michael Aldean kind of girl. But give me a gritty song from Martina MacBride or girl getting revenge song from any female artist and I am a fan too.

    Scotty McCreery is from our area and he has been the best thing to happen to country music as far as attracting younger fans. It has been great for putting Garner on the map too.

    I love country music in all its forms from traditional blue grass to the pop end. It is music from the heart.

    Can’t wait to read your new book!

    Peace, Julie

  2. I love country music. My favorite song is Drift Off To Dream by Travis Tritt. I love George Strait, Josh Turner, Billy Currington, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, Lady A and so many more. I grew up listening to country music so I also enjoy the classic country greats like Loretta Lynn and George Jones. Great topic!

  3. You’re so right, Charlene, about the stories told in Country Music. I think that’s what I like about this kind of music the most is each song tells a tale. I enjoy both the old and new artists and songs.

    Some of my favorietes are: Chris LeDoux, Pam Tillis, Brad Paisley, Shania Twain, etc, etc. It’s really more about the song than the singer for me.

    LOVE the cover of THE COWBOY’S PRIDE! So cute!!


  4. I actually thought about you when the awards were on last night, Charlene. I like country music but usually forget to listen because I like other music, too. When I hear it, I think Wow, this is great. Love the lyrics you posted.
    Agree with you, there are so many story ideas there. I need to listen more.

  5. Good show last night! I listen to a lot of country music… It started when we lived in a mountain community that got one radio station — KUZZ in Bakersfield, CA. That’s when I got hooked on Randy Travis, KT Oslin, Clint Black, the Judds.

    My favorites these days are Gary Allan, Chris Young and the Zach Brown Band. Taylor Swift is a radio favorite. I don’t buy her music but I listen when it’s on. Same with George Strait. Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins are in my personal Hall of Fame.

  6. Hi Julie — Oh, it’s so cool you are related to the Carters! One day you’ll have to share how that is.

    I voted like mad for Scotty M on Idol. So glad he won. He seems like a good kid and great role model for younger children. I think the same of Lauren (sp?)too.

    My hubby likes country when the artist sings patriotic songs. We’ve seen Tim and Faith and Brooks and Dunn in concert along with Kenny and a few others, my all time favorites. One concert with B and D, Reba walked on stage and surprised the audience and sang her duet with Ronnie Dunn. It was so exciting. Love her!

    So glad you stopped by today Julie with your insights about country music!! Sing on!

  7. Hi Lori – Great list of favorites! I missed seeing George Strait on the CMA’s last night. Was he there? Love that man! Taylor is an amazing artist, not just her songs, but the way she interacts with her fans. Young girls love her and look up to her. Her performance last night was wonderful, but then, most of them were! 🙂

  8. Hi Kristen – I’m more of a newbie to country music..discovering it in the past 15 years. I don’t know too many of the veteran artists from back in the day, but I remember how much I loved the Mandrel Sisters. Last night, the tribute to Glen Campbell was awesome. I loved all of his songs too. I think we are seeing country music evolve and more and more artists are joining up with pop artists for duets. Lionel Ritchie was great last night. I was smiling all thru the CMA’s.

  9. Hi Kristen – Thanks for the compliment about the cover. I was floored when I got it. They got it absolutely perfect this time. My cowboy really looks prideful and protective of the baby.

    I agree, country songs make me feel emotion. So many of them have amazing lyrics, I swear I can write a book about the plots in THEIR songs!!

  10. Hi Elizabeth – Funny that you thought of me last night! I guess I’m an open book (pardon the pun) when I love something or someone, like my hubby! 🙂

    When our local country radio station went off the air, I was lost. It’s almost all I listen to, but I do enjoy all types of music though when I’m in the car, I need Country! Luckily, so many protested and a new and improved radio station made it to the airwaves. I’m am happy, though I can’t carry a tune!!

  11. Hi Vicki – Zach Brown Band did great last night. I hadn’t seen them live on stage, so it was nice to get acquainted with them. Also love Lady Antebellum. I love their sound.

    I love to hear about how fans first discovered country music. I think I saw Tim McGraw on Leno one night, and thought, hey, I should check this music out. It wasn’t twangy, but more like country rock and that surprised me. After that and 7 Tim Concerts, I was hooked!

  12. Great post Charlene.. I did get to see some of the CMA’s last night and I adore Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisely as hosts..
    You have one of my all time fav singers on your list George Strait. I could listen to him for hours and hours. Somebody I also love is Reba, along with Garth Brooks. I also love Brooks and Dunn.. So many great singers in the world of Country music..
    I just got your book in the mail yesterday. Can’t wait to start reading it.. I love COWBOYS…Must be something about the way they were there Hats…

  13. Hi Kathleen – I also adore Carrie and Brad. They are truly funny, not corny. And I love the bit with Hank Williams at the beginning. I hope you enjoy The Cowboy’s Pride. I really put a lot of my knowledge as a childbirth and babycare instructor in that story. I’ll be starting on Jackson’s story soon too.

  14. I didn’t catch the CMA’s last night, thought I’m a fan of country music. As far as upbeat country goes, one of my favorites is Alan Jackson’s “Little Bitty”. I confess to being a dorky teen that sang along at the top of my lungs to that one. At least my friends were singing along with me?

  15. Char,
    I love country music! Growing up, it was different of course–I was crazy about the pop/rock groups, and my mom was glad of that because she didn’t like country so much ( but she didn’t like what I was listening to, either!) I was also crazy about folk music, and that was good with her–my sister and her fiancee were folk singers. But as I got older, I gravitated toward country and I’ve never looked back. We’ve got lots of country music stars from here in Oklahoma–Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Joe Diffee, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire & Ronnie Dunn I believe. Also Wade Hayes…know I’m leaving someone out. And Brad Paisley is a West Virginia boy, which makes my husband proud as punch. My favorite song of Carrie’s is “Before He Cheats”–one of the groups on the show “Sing Off” performed it the other night, and did a really good job with it–and that’s not an easy one. I didn’t get to watch the CMA’s last night, but CMT will be running it again within the next few weeks, I’m sure. So many good singers and songs, but I’m with Vicki–Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins are some personal faves –especially Marty, I’ve got El Paso as my ringtone on my cell. Great post, and I’m looking forward to reading your book!Love the cover.

  16. Can’t say I’m much of a country music fan. A song here and there. I’m more a pop gal. I buy all of the Glee songs for my ipod. I play praise and worship music in my house all day long. Taylor Swift is okay, but only a song or two at a time, because after that they all sound alike.

    I like The Band Perry. Are they country? And I like Sugarland, in fact Stuck on You is my ringtone. And I love their Christmas album.

    Now at Christmas I like a lot of country albums, because I like the songs. I even listen to Dwight Yokum and Alan Jackson.

  17. You know I do, Charlene! Love it. “How Can I Live Without You” makes me cry every time. I love stories in songs, and I love how the regular folks get held up as good enough in country music. You may also be aware that I got to write some country lyrics (both patriotic and a love song) in a certain book, too. 🙂

    Fun blog, thanks!

  18. I love country music. I forgot that the CMA awards were televised last night. Some of my favorite artists are Lady Antebellum, George Straight, Blake Shelton, and Alan Jackson.

  19. I love Country music. It just seems to speak to my soul. King George is my all-time favorite singer. He certainly has a knack for what his fans want in a song. But I’m kinda partial to Tim McGraw too. Plus, both men are really something to look at.

    I know you’re enjoying little Everly. Give her sweet little cheeks a kiss from all of us Fillies.

  20. Hi Cheryl P – Wow,you are really a big fan! You HAVE to watch the CMA’s on CMT when they show it. I smiled all the way thru it. Great acts and fun stuff with Brad and Carrie. You certainly have your share of talent down there!! Great list!

  21. Hi Cher – The Band Perry is quite impressive. I never knew them before, but I’ve heard their songs on the radio. Sugarland is country, but many are more rock/pop country, than pure country. I think I like it all.
    I LOVE GLEE too!! Wonderful….

  22. Hi Lynne — Yes, I LOVED your lyrics in ONE FOR THE ROAD and meant to ask if you made them up? If you did, you are clever. They really resonated with me. It’s a great story about life as a country band!! Thanks for stopping by today!

  23. I was never really a country music fan and now we live near the birthplace of country music (not Nashville but Bristol, TN). The Carter Fold, home of June Carter-Cash is a short drive away. No matter where you go, there are blue grass and country bands playing. It kind of grows on you.

    I have always enjoyed certain artists and songs and will admit to having developed a taste for it. I still do not care for the twangy, nasal style of some of the music or some of the less meaningful lyrics, as in dumb songs. The country music I like is touching and heartfelt, DON’T TAKE THE GIRL, LIVE LIKE YOU WERE DYING as you mentioned plus many more. My daughter used to watch country music videos and that brought the meaning and heartbreak of many of those songs into touching focus. INDEPENDENCE DAY by Martina McBride and IF I LOST YOU by Travis Tritt were two videos that made the songs mean so much more. The other country music I like are the songs that are just really fun like FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES by Garth Brooks.

    Our local band, THE BAND PERRY, has shown itself to be nice people as well as a good musicians. We had tornados this past summer and they were right there, helping out and doing fundraisers. In all honesty, before then, I hadn’t heard of them.
    Nice to see good people do well.

    No need to enter me in the drawing. I have THE COWBOYS PRIDE and am looking forward to reading it.

  24. I watched some of the awards last night… enjoyed the bits I saw… I have been a fan of Carrie Underwoods since her American Idol days…

  25. I do enjoy country music but I don’t listen to it often. I go through sprees listening to it and I am in one now. I love some of the older stuff like Conway Twitty, love Willie Nelson, Marty Robins to name a few. I think the guy that won American Idol this year will go far. Scotty McCreery, loved his music with his deep voice like Josh Turners voice. Also like Josh Turner. I guess I have been listening to more country music lately. I did watch part of the CMA awards last night and have some of it recorded. If I am not listening to country I am listening to 70’s music, don’t like todays rock music at all.

  26. hi Charlene, well, you know I LOVE country music. I’m so proud that both of us converted our hubbies. We DVR’d the CMA Awards because we were at our neighbor’s birthday party last night…and I confess to reading the spoilers in today’s paper, but we’ll relax and enjoy the show a bit later today. I love If I Die Young!

    Probably ten years ago, we went to see up and comer Brad Paisley at our county fair, and he told the crowd, it isn’t really country music unless the girl cries LOL. I used to get to school (after listening on the way to our local country station) just in tears. I so love the emotion, the stories, and the yes, the titles of country songs.

    One of our family’s standards is Tim’s Live Like You Were Dying, referring of course, my hubby’s cancer battle. I think his other favorite is Red Dirt Road by our beloved Brooks and Dunn. Oh, and I love Everywhere/Albuquerque by Tim McG. And countless others.

    Whew, this is getting long. Go kiss your new grandbaby right now for me. I’ll see her soon. oxoxox

  27. Our daughter lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. area for nine years. When she came home to Washington State she would complain that she couldn’t find a good Country station where she lived and we had twelve of them at the touch of a button on the car radio. One of the good and fun things about country music is its appeal to all generations. Three generations driving down the road singing along with George Strait or Luke Bryan —-great memories.

  28. Fun post, Charlene. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket and I bet I can beat everyone on sincere children. My daughter asked me one morning in church to please not sing because I was messin’ up those who could! Yeard ago, another life time LOL, I owned an ol’ Texas Honky Tonk and played the bass guitar, but although I paid the players at the beginning of the last set, they wouldn’t let me play until it was closing time and the majority of the patrons weren’t listening! I love music, good old Texas Swing, and danced in my “other life” when I was younger. Thanks for a great post, sister Filly. Hugs, P

  29. Hi Pat B – It’s really nice to know that the country music community are as nice and good-hearted as they seem. I had just heard of The Band Perry and loved their songs!!

  30. Hi Cindy – My friend’s hubby was in a Johnny Cash band, and they sung all Johnny Cash songs. It was fun to see them impersonate him. He is a legend.
    The movie was good too. I Walk the Line. 🙂

  31. Hi Quilt Lady – I thought the CMA’s last night was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. It was fast paced, funny and full of talent. I’m a big Scotty M fan!! I voted like mad for him on IDOL. I’m so glad he won. He DOES sound like Josh Turner. He will go far. 🙂

  32. Hi Tanya – I loved seeing Brooks and Dunn with you guys. Remember when Reba came out. That was so awesome. It was really a good show. I saw Faith on Robin Roberts Special and she was gushing about how much she loves her hubby (Tim) even though they make each other crazy. I love her honesty. There are too many Tim songs to name, but you named a few of my favorites!! Everywhere is a beautiful song!
    And kiss Rhys and Carter too, when you see them again, for me!

  33. Thanks for sharing those lyrics. I think they are “bang-on” (after all, this is the Petticoats and Pistols blog, LOL!).

    I hope Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert have many blessed years together. They seem so in love with each other….

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