Have You Forgotten? A few years after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, I noticed several country singers interviewed and talking about their patriotic themed songs. I wasn’t a fan of the country music “twang”, but some of these modern stars were getting crossover play with a little more rock infused sound. I respected their patriotism and so I decided to listen to modern country for 30 days to see if I liked their music too. After one month, I was starting my country music collection.
When You Think Tim McGraw: My daughters were 10-13 years old in 2006. They were just starting to discover music, and before they could listen to any song, they had to print out the lyrics. Most of their suggestions of “good music” were rejected. Eminem and Green Day were scratched off the list and never made the household playlist. One day we were driving in the car and I told them about this new singer who I thought was pretty talented and whose music and lyrics were pre-approved by Dad. Queue in the tween\teen eye rolling, moaning and groaning. They were convinced that Dad couldn’t possibly know anything about “modern” music. I played a new song by little known singer Taylor Swift. They were not convinced, but two weeks later when their friends were raving about Taylor Swift, suddenly they’re telling me about how we have to listen to this singer and they’d completely forgotten about my introduction to her music.
Fearless: Taylor Swift’s music seemed to speak to teenage girls and she became a star as my daughters attempted to survive the toughest challenge of their life: high school. She sung about friends, relationships, love, and the ups and downs of teens. She had a wholesome image and produced memorable songs with a country-pop flare. She didn’t write with profanity or raunchy lyrics. My wife and I even surprised the kids by taking them to a Taylor Swift concert at the Frontier Days in Wyoming. Whenever I hear a Taylor Swift song on my playlist, it takes me back to those days. You could say my daughters grew up with her music playing in the background.
Our Song: Around 2010, Taylor Swift moved completely into a pop genre and I lost interest in her music. Artists change their direction and grow older, and I understand that. But many celebrities forget why they got famous in the first place. I like to listen her music, not hear what political candidate she endorses. For many years, she didn’t talk politics, but that changed with the recent election cycle. Her candidate for senate lost by the way. I really don’t want to know what her politics are. I wish celebrities what stop thinking that their opinion is relevant to my life. I am amused when most of the time celebrity endorsements don’t work. Maybe their ego gets knocked down a peg. Does every facet of our life have to be politicized? I wish they would just stop, because when I think of Taylor Swift, I want to think of the music, not the politics.