Challenging Social Perceptions of Country Music
By Sarah Elaine Hart and Grant Johnson
Country music has a reputation for being more innocuous and wholesome than rock or rap, yet this is not always reflected in the genre's most popular songs. Our project will examine the messages and meaning found in the lyrics and music videos of popular country songs. Our analysis will focus on songs that reference and even celebrate unwholesome topics such as teen pregnancy, premarital sex, drug abuse, and threesomes. Songs we will look at include "Indian Summer" by Brooks and Dunn, "As Good as I once was" by Toby Keith and "Getting You Home" by Chris Young. By analyzing songs from the Billboard Top 40 country chart over the past decade, we will determine whether or not country music is less misogynistic and overall "cleaner" than other music genres, as is popularly believed.