Story in a Song

I love country western music. I especially love the easy style of George Strait. In my opinion he can sing anything. On the drive home from Palm Springs airport last weekend, I turned on the radio—which is permanently set to 106.1 FM country radio—and heard George’s latest: I Got a Car. I sang along, half-thinking about my recent trip to San Antonio, Texas, for the Romance Writers of America conference, and half-thinking about my current story that features a Texas cattle-rancher. He loves George Strait’s music too. : )


Anyway, the story has become an earworm. I find myself singing it and smiling as I go about my work. The lyrics are so simple. There’s a laid-back almost lazy strumming of the guitar. And yet, when you take the time to picture this story within the song, it is so complete it could be a contemporary romance.

Boy sees girl across a bar and approaches. I see him in his blue jeans and Stetson, a bit of a swagger in his walk, a wicked grin on his face, and maybe a twinkle in his blue eyes. Girl already knows his intention and thinks, why not? She appreciates the view, but she’s a tiny bit skeptical. Maybe she’s been hurt before. She’s looking for something: A change of location, an adventure, maybe.

He tells her, “I got a car.”

She says, “That’s somethin’.”  ?????????????????I detect a little bit of snarkiness here. : ) They get together. She asks, “Where’s this goin’?” He says, “There ain’t no way of knowin.”  It’s pretty typical of a romance so far, right?

They stay together. She gets pregnant. They end up in a little white house. There’s a storm. The lines are down. She’s in tears and worried, because she needs to get to the hospital. His response: “I got a car, it’s already runnin’… ”

This little story within the song leaves me feeling happy. I like the way they “get” each other. The way they’ve created something together. I enjoy their simple beginning, the acceptance of “whatever it is” as they explore the relationship, and then how they get to embrace a happily ever after. It makes me think of the stories I write. They don’t need to be so complicated.  Somehow, by touching on the simplest of emotions we can leave the biggest imprint in the reader’s mind.

Here’s a link to a youtube video:

What do you think? Are you a C&W lover? Or do you hate it, or just not “get” it?



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14 Responses to Story in a Song

  1. Janie Emaus says:

    I love country music, too. It’s a different station here in LA 105.1. But when I get in my truck (yes, I drive a big white pickup) that’s what I listen to. Sorry I didn’t get to see you in San Antonio.

  2. robena grant says:

    I can see you in that pickup, Janie. ; ) I think C&W has changed in the last two years and some of the music I don’t like so much. I find myself enjoying more of the good ol’ boys.

  3. Gina B. says:

    Several people have tried to get me into C&W, but my heart will always belong to pop/rock/classic rock. I do have a few C&W songs I like, though — my favorite is Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s in Love with the Boy.” Like “I Got a Car” for you, it tells a sweet story and always leaves me happy. 🙂

  4. HI Robena
    I love country western music. It’s all I listen to. I love the stories they tell. I just finished a story about a country music star living at the beach. So I get how you sing in the car and think about the story of the song. I do it all the time!

  5. My taste in music is much like my taste in books…I’m all over the place. I think it’s because I’m a sucker for a good story, and good stories happen in all genres.

    I think my favorite C&W song of late was Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart.” I don’t know what happened with the guy, but that mama was giving out some tough love! (“Run and hide your crazy, and start acting like a lady!”)

  6. robena grant says:

    Yep, I’m a bit all over the place too, Sam, but I think top of my list is C&W. And I adore Miranda Lambert, and that is one of her best. Talk about a great story, I get great visuals from that one. : )

  7. You know I love C&W and especially George Strait. I love how many of the country songs tell a complete story, many of which make me cry!
    Simple, right to the gut of issues, and fun to pop fingers with.
    Good luck with your cattle rancher.
    I’m currently writing a Wyoming doctor whose father is the cattle rancher. Named the town Cattleman’s Bluff. Fun to make stories up, isn’t it?

  8. I’m a Miranda Lambert fan, too. But even she has a couple of songs I don’t like. I like country music very selectively. When they start singing about how good it used to be – no. When they sing about how much better, healthier, happier they are than people in cities – no. People are happy in cities. People are happy in the country. People are unhappy in cities. People are unhappy in the country.
    Sorry. Didn’t know I was going to rant.
    I guess I like C & W more than I thought cause I love the music from Longmire – great show by the way. And Justified.

  9. robena grant says:

    I figured you’d be a George Strait kinda’ person, Lynne. I’m with you on the tearing up over a song. C&W can really hit those emotional chords. Looking forward to reading about your Wyoming Doc.

  10. Marie Miller says:

    Country music has always been my choice of music but then so as the oldies but goodies… Why I always dig CM is that they tell stories – a bar scene, guy meets girl, line dancing, stetsons, blue jeans, boots with pointed toes and spurs or am I straying more toward cowboys…that rugged outdoorsy look….ooh I can go on and on…lol! George Strait is my man!
    Got my brother and sister-in-law hooked on CM when they visited from New Zealand..

  11. robena grant says:

    I’m right there with you on all of the things you love about C&W, Marie. My family are all Aussies and they also like C&W although back home we just say country ballads. My favorite Aussie country artist is Lee Kernaghen, but I also like Keith Urban although his songs are not as pure country as our man George. ; )