I really should have a category for Music. If it weren’t for music, arts, literature, I don’t know what I would do. Of course, one man’s best seller is another man’s tackle box. We celebrate different strokes for different folks!


Two weeks ago, Patti and I drove to Austin for a concert. Casey and her boyfriend, Rick, gave us tickets to a George Strait concert. Also appearing with George were Lee Ann Womack and Reba McEntyre. Hey, if you like George, you gotta hear him in Austin where it all started. It’s like seeing the Grateful Dead in San Francisco or James Taylor in Boston.

I like all forms of music, but these days I listen mostly to country music. I know when my fascination with country music started, too. I was living in Houston, Texas working at the local newspaper there. One day, I was shaving and listening to the radio as I got ready to go to work. ¬†For about the 300th time that day, Steely Dan’s “Hey 19” appeared on the radio. Yeah, it was THAT many years ago.

So, I flipped through the stations and landed on a country station and the song that played next was “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” and I was hooked. I started listening to country music then. Over the years, I have been impressed with country music writers and the craftiness they use in creating their lyrics. Of course, the music is good, too. Since then, there have been other classics like, “I’m Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate My House,” and others too numerous to mention here.

Please excuse my jest because I know there have been terrific country songs, too. For example, who cannot appreciate Garth Brooks‘ “Unanswered Prayers“? And, the list goes on and on.

Lee Ann

So, at the concert, Lee Ann Womack is the opening act. She comes to the stage in tight spandex pants, willowy top and seven-inch stiletto heels. Could not have been easy to walk around that stage at all.

She has had a hit with a song, “I Hope You Dance.” Of course, she sang it that night.

Afterwards, Patti and I were talking about the music that sometimes gets in your head and stays with you the rest of the day and perhaps the day after. They are not annoying songs, but those songs that scoop everything else you may have in your noggin away to make way for their melody or lyrics.

After the concert, when we were debriefing with Casey, we collectively decided that the Monty Python song “I Am a Lumberjack and I’m OK” was just such a song. Whenever any of us is scurrying around the house doing chores or working in the kitchen, or just cleaning, if someone starts with a lyric from the song, we’re all doomed. It stays with us like superglue.

And, while on the subject of songs, do you have a song that propels you beyond reason? For example, there are two songs that can get me to the dance floor faster than cookie dough rises in the oven.

I am a sucker for “Amarillo by Morning” by George Strait or Chris LeDoux, a former rodeo cowboy who wrote and performed the song originally. I’m a boot-scootin’ fiend when that begins to play. Even though I find it to be a buoyant song about life on the rodeo circuit, when the soulful violin starts and ends the song, it conveys the most loneliest of feelings. I don’t know, call me warped, but it really gets me to want to dance.


The other? Frank Sinatra. When he sings “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” I am SO there — particularly the live Vegas version. Wow! What an artist. When that song plays, there is no bad news anywhere in the world. There are no wars. There are no starving people. When that song plays, I smile the broadest smile and hope my body can catch up with my legs and feet. And I will dance like nobody’s watching.

My wish for all of you is that you are lumberjacks who want to get to Amarillo by morning, traveling with someone you’ve got under your skin … and I hope you dance and dance and dance.