Four on the Floor and a Fifth under the Seat

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Music appreciation like dog ownership has its own personality subtypes.  Intellectuals of course prefer classics. Those of INTJ typology enjoy Baroque and Bach in particular with its mathematical precision such that a note is never out-of-place. Those more romantically inclined such as liberal leaning educators or Italian chefs might prefer Brahms or Vivaldi respectively. Those who are depressive lean towards Tchaikovsky, though I would never recommend the final movement of Symphony # 6 to a suicidal patient. The composer ended his life a week after its completion with cholera after intentionally drinking unboiled water.

Politically speaking, right wingers lean towards Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, whereas a socialist might like the 5th Symphony by Shostakovich. Alienated marginalized youth are fond of punk and grunge (Nirvana). Young male substance abusers enjoy Pantera or Nine Inch Nails. A preference for heavy bass music is also linked with antisocial and borderline personalities.

Clean cut hipsters struggling with emerging and confusing sexuality go for Green Day hip hop.
Histrionic girls in training bras fawn over Justin Bieber pop schlock. Pop in general is for the mindless drones of the debt driven consumerist Audi loving bourgeois class who lacking in creative thought enjoy music based on only 4 chords…

As a specialist in the study of human nature I enjoy analyzing the meaning behind “hurtin” songs. As such I have found that there are only two kinds of music enjoyed by the proletariat masses, the blue-collar stiffs slugging out in the mines and assembly lines of North America- country and western. Songs of working men and women..

“Yeah, the girls are out to bingo
And the boys are gettin’ stinko
And we’ll think no more of Inco
On a Sudbury Saturday night”

In these tunes rests the heart and soul of America (or Canada). Mostly they are songs about loss, abandonment, divorce and the heartache that women cause to men primarily. Much of the descriptive psychopathology of human relationships is covered within C&W and this has been true since Country emerged from the backwoods of the Southeastern states in 1927.

Consider old favourite’s like ” I keep my beer cold next to my ex wife’s heart” or “she ripped out my heart and stomped that sucker flat” or “my wife ran off with my best friend and I miss him.”

The reader will find that the lyrics depict various diagnostic categories and, in general cover most that is real in human misery.

C&W explores the full DSM range of alcohol abuse, depression, neurosis, personality disorders, and adjustment problems.

All social scientists and mental health practitioners should explore the depths of country music, a veritable gold mine of testable hypotheses regarding human, and sometimes animal- social relationships. As the old adage goes if you play a C&W song backwards your wife comes home, the truck runs fine and the dog doesn’t die….

“Well, Interstate 80, we was cuttin’ the fog
Just me an’ old Sloan (Old Sloan’s mah dawg)
We had an eighteen-wheeler with ten on the floor and the stereo layin’ a strip”

Relationship issues:
“You must think my bed’s a bus stop the way you come and go.”
“Flushed from the bathroom of her heart.”
“Our marriage was a failure but our divorce ain’t working either.”
“She got the gold mine and I got the shaft.”

Alcoholism:
“How can whiskey six years old whip a man that’s 32?”

Personality disorder (antisocial usually):
“On the muscle of my arm there’s a red and blue tattoo saying, ‘Fort Worth, I love you.’”

“I turned 21 in prison, doing life without parole.”

”I’m stuck in Folsom prison and time is draggin’ on”

Narcissism:
“Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble when you’re as perfect as me.”
“What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine and that’s the way it’s always been.”

Erectile dysfunction:
“It takes me all night long to do what I used to do all night long.”

At the treatment level here are some lines I have modified for therapeutic use:
As a confrontation to the hysteric – “Look, Bambi, ‘You’ve Closed Your Eyes to the Cold Hard Truth You’re Seeing.’ ” or for use with the borderline patient who is just moving into another relationship – “Linda, it sounds like ‘You Don’t Know What It Is But You Sure Miss It When It’s Gone.’” and finally, for the existential therapist ..”Gee, Jean Paul, it seems that ‘You Don’t Know Whether to Kill Yourself or Go Bowling.’”

To sum it all up the perfect country song has to include elements of “mama, trains, getting drunk, pickup trucks, and prison,” not to mention schizophrenia, alcohol abuse, mood disorders, and neurotic relationships.

In other words, the contemporary human condition

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