5 Country Songs That Define Me
Plus a few honorable mentions
I’ve seen everybody doing these on here. Terry Barr started the whole thing I reckon, and I figured I’d hop in on the fun!
To even begin pondering my choices here, I first had to define, well — the word “define”. What does it mean for something to define you? Some people wrote about songs/movies that reminded them of a time that defined them. Others wrote about songs/movies that fit their personalities. Some just wrote what their favorites were.
All of these are very well fitting ways something can define an individual. I figure, I’m going to try and do my best at choosing songs that really just fit into all three of these uses of “define,” at once.
(Also just a little preface; these are in no particular order.)
“Old At Heart” by Jesse Daniel
I touched on this a little bit in my write-up of Jesse Daniel. This song really hits home for me.
I had a lot of friends in middle school, but when I hit freshman year of high school, I found that they really weren’t the friends I thought they were. After freshman year I opted to be home schooled, because I just couldn’t stand school itself, and had some anxiety issues.
It was in these years that I began to really find myself, and mature quite a bit. This has resulted in me not really making any friends my age. I have a couple good ones, but most of the people I consider my friends, are much, much older. I’ve met a lot of them through my dad, just by hanging around him, and all his buddies.
A lot of his friends are older than him as well, I guess I’m just a chip off the old block. I love being around all the old curmudgeons who sit outside the general store down the road. I love talking to all the folks who sell at the flea markets. Me and my dad have a few fishing buddies who are almost triple my age.
I love getting advice from people who have lived to know it’s true. I love hearing stories from bygone eras about when they worked as a prison guard. I love hearing them tell their stories of the one that got away, and exaggerating the size of every fish they’ve ever seen. It’s just such a huge part of my life, and it’s something I’m proud of.
I also feel this way on Medium. I feel very young, and inexperienced compared to everyone on here, so I love hearing that ya’ll enjoy what I have to say.
I love hearing the tales of what old songs, and movies mean to you. That’s why I’ve loved this trend of picking stuff that defines you.
I enjoy old country tunes, 50s rock, and 80s pop. I like talking about, and collecting antiques. I am a collector to the point where it’s almost hoarding. I don’t really fancy social media, or tech. I enjoy going for a good ride on some old forgotten backroads. I would rather play records than throw on a playlist. I just feel so “old at heart.”
“I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am” by Merle Haggard
While I may not have had the rough and tumble living situations described in this song; I still think this is one that defines me.
It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where “I take a lot of pride in what I am,” but I’m here. I’ve always struggled with knowing what I want to do in life. I never could be decisive about any career path; every other week it was something different. Detective, game warden, chef, Nascar driver, singer, songwriter, DJ, cargo boat worker, truck driver; you name it, I probably wanted to be it at some point.
A few years ago I found my passions of photography, and writing. It’s pretty hard to tell someone you want to be a writer. “What kind of writer? How are you going to do that?” I don’t know Louise, leave me alone. It’s the same way with photography, except they don’t ridicule you as much, because they want you to take their family photos for free. Because of the shame I felt from these people, I was never confident in my choices.
I also didn't go to college, nor do I plan on it. That gets some heads turning, and some dirty looks as well. It’s just not for me, I couldn't complete the first 12 years of school without having issues. Why would I make myself do at least four more, just so I can get a degree, when I have no idea what I even want to do?
Even though I know what I want to do now, I still don’t feel the need to go. I can hone my skills by practicing my writing every day, and learning online.
There was also the shame of having to say “no” every time someone asked me if I had a job. The story behind the adventures of all that are too long to put here, but I wrote in full about it in this article.
The general idea is that I hated the idea of a job, and having to work for someone much richer than me. I then thought I was just exaggerating, so I got a job. I proceeded to have a mental breakdown after one day of said job, and had to quit.
Since that whole job fiasco, I’ve found much more peace in what I’m doing, and the direction I’m taking. I am confident that what I am doing is right for me. I am strong in my core values, and if people want to look down on me for following my passions instead of rushing into something I hate, then that’s fine. I take a lot of pride in what I am. That’s all that matters.
“Gentle On My Mind” by Glen Campbell
I could go on about this song forever. If you’ve taken the time to read my 14 minute article on this song, you’ll know that’s true. I highly recommend reading that if you want all the details of why this song defines me, but I’ll try to sum it up here.
This is the song I go to when someone asks me my favorite song of all time. I don’t think that alone makes it a song that defines me though. It’s all the other stuff it evokes.
This song came to me at such a crucial time in my life. Everything was changing at a rapid pace. I was about to graduate, I was starting to learn how to live life, and I was starting to open back up to country music after a long (and edgy) hiatus.
I still hadn't fully accepted country music back into my life, but when this song came along — that all changed. I’m sure I had heard it before, but the magical moment that this came on the radio, on the way to a fishing hole, was the instant I fell in love with country music.
This song just takes me to so many places at once. Sometimes it takes me to the cab of the truck, that foggy morning I first fell in love with it. Sometimes it takes me to one of the backroads that I frequently drive, when I need to clear my head.
It reminds of the first time I fell in love. It reminds me of the healing process after the first time I experienced a heartbreak. It makes me feel like I’m standing in a wide open field, feeling the wind, and sun on my face.
At the end of the day, this song will always take me to a place that’s gentle on my mind.
“Biscuits” by Kacey Musgraves
This cute, catchy song pretty much holds my entire philosophy on life.
I have found that if everyone just minded their own business (or biscuits), life would be much easier. We live in a cycle of people getting in other peoples business.
Fighting injustices, discrimination, and general wrongdoing is a necessary exception to minding your own business, but it wouldn’t need to be, if the wrongdoers were minding their own biscuits in the first place!
I have found in life that I have never benefitted, not even once, from being a jerk. I have never once benefitted, from not minding my own business. Quite frankly, anytime I’ve stepped out of that philosophy, it’s come back to bite me in the biscuits.
I don’t care what your religion is, I don’t care what political party you are, I don’t care what color you are, I don’t care what sexuality you are, I don’t care why you drive the car you do, or why you wear the clothes you wear.
As long as you are kind to your fellow human, and whatever you’re doing in your personal life doesn't hurt anyone; I don’t give a biscuit. I like to think I can get along with just about anyone, because I stick to this philosophy.
I’ve had breakfast with a table full of millionaires who probably make more in a month than I’ll ever see, and I’ve stood and talked to homeless people on the street. Guess what? They were all humans.
I cracked jokes with both sets of people, I shared stories with both sets of people, and most importantly; I didn’t judge any of those people, and they didn’t judge me.
It’s pretty much just as simple as the song says. Mind your own biscuits, and life will be gravy.
“Does To Me” by Luke Combs (feat. Eric Church)
What can I say, everything about this song defines me.
Luke Combs is the king of making relatable songs, and this is definitely no exception. This song makes me proud to be an average Joe. The video makes me cry every time I watch it.
I’m a very sentimental person, so this song hits me right in the feels. There are so many things I have done, or things I own, that mean so much to me, but for anyone else it would be nothing.
I have a rose off my late uncle’s casket spread, and one of his fishing bags he always wore with us fishing. I have an old rickety director chair that belonged to one of my dad’s late friends from the flea market. He always sat in that old chair. I have two arrowheads I found down by the river. Two old pocket knives that my great uncle sent me in the mail just a few months before he passed.
I won a dodgeball game for my homeroom in middle school as the last person left. My friend and I got 2nd place in a statewide competition where we made a presentation about his family history in 4th grade. There’s also the moment I met my lifelong best friend in kindergarten.
You never know what importance an item or moment can hold to someone. This song just puts that into words so well. I’m proud of who I am, and what I come from, and that might not mean much to you, but it does to me.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed, and maybe found out a little more about me!