Country Music: Enabling Suicide?

by alphamonkey on January 14, 2005 · 19 comments

in Uncategorized

Oh, research papers! Truly an untapped vein of pure comedic gold.  And sometimes, just some weird, weird stuff.  Like this little wonder, which looks to correlate the effects of country music on suicide rates.

Sadly, I couldn’t find the complete text so I’ll never know if my extensive country music collection is putting me on a dead-end track.  Though when you think about it, if I listed to Toby Keith, I’d probably want to kill myself too.  Thankfully, I stick with Hank, Merle, Willie, Johnny, and Lefty.  From the paper:

In this article, we explore the link between a particular form of popular music (country music) and metropolitan suicide rates. We contend that the themes found in country music foster a suicidal mood among people already at risk of suicide and that it is thereby associated with a high suicide rate. The effect is buttressed by the country subculture and a link between this subculture and a racial status related to an increased suicide risk.

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1 fealty2dahriyah January 14, 2005 at 6:06 pm

I think this can be disproved by one line “link between a particular form of popular music (country music) and metropolitan suicide” no self respecting metropolitan has country as a popular music form…. except nashville or maybe branson.

2 olivesmarch4th January 15, 2005 at 2:53 pm

I don’t like country music in general, but I think George Straight and Garth Brooks are awesome.

3 .alphamonkey. January 16, 2005 at 4:19 am

You haven’t been listening to the right country music then.  There’s some incredible stuff there.  Just keep to pre-1973 and you’ll do fine.

4 olivesmarch4th January 17, 2005 at 9:48 pm

I like country music from the late 80’s in general.  Because that’s what I heard growing up.

5 fealty2dahriyah January 17, 2005 at 2:36 pm

normally I would agree, but damn it last year, ok year before at farm aid brooksndunn kicked ass, so did los lonely boys, drive by truckers, of course loretta lyn, hell something about that show made Dave matthews an enjoyable time. but hank sings to my heart…. cuz all my roudy friends have settled down.

6 .alphamonkey. January 17, 2005 at 2:45 pm

You have rendered your commets immaterial and moot by implying that Los Lonely Boys are capable of, and perhaps even did kick ass at said Farm Aid.

That’s been scientifically proven to be completely unpossible.

7 fealty2dahriyah January 17, 2005 at 3:37 pm

watch out that may be inspiration for their next “hit”, but I guess that would imply that they ahve had one.

that show was odd. but then again it was the same place that I heard about a thousand times that day as I walked around w/o a shirt “boy, who opened you up in back” when they saw my lovely scar running neck to crack on my back.

8 olivesmarch4th January 17, 2005 at 9:47 pm

Hm.  Let’s see:

“There’s a tear in my beer

And I’m crying for you dear

Cuz you are on my lonely mind.”


“Would it be wrong?  Would it be right?

If I took my life tonight

Chances are that I might

Mutilation out of sight

And a contemplation suicide.”

Oh yeah.  Country music.  What a threat.

(not that Papa Roach is a threat: I consider that song highly therapeutic.)

9 .alphamonkey. January 17, 2005 at 9:57 pm

Oh c’mon. At least pick a Hank song that fits as a comparison.

“I’m gonna find me a river a river as cold as ice.

And when I find that river, Lord I’m gonna pay the price, oh no.

I’m going down in it three times and lord I’m only coming up twice.” (Long Gone Lonesome Blues)

Or my favorite country death song: Goodnight Irene.

“Sometimes I live in the country

Sometimes I live in town.

Sometimes I get the great notion

To jump into the river and drown”

or from the same song, no less.

“I love Irene, god knows I do.

Love her until the sea runs dry.

But if that Irene turns her back on me

I’m gonna take morphine and die.”

There’s a lot of dying, killing, and just plain being miserable in good old country music and it’s told plainly and honestly. I’ll take that over Papa Roach any day.

10 olivesmarch4th January 17, 2005 at 11:08 pm

I’m just making a point.  You can’t go after country music any more than you can go after any other genre—it has its happy touchy feely songs, and it has its “kill me now” songs.  Music has been that way since the beginning of civilization.  People need to stop looking for scapegoats and actually seek out the real reasons depression is so rampant in this country.

11 fealty2dahriyah January 18, 2005 at 2:11 pm

I am very proud of my daddy’s name all though his kind of music and mine ain’t exactly the same.

Stop and think it over. Put yourself in my position.If I get stoned and sing all night long its a family tradition.

So don’t ask me, Hank why do you drink? Hank, why do you roll smoke?

Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?

If I’m down in a honky-tonk some ole slick’s trying to give me friction. I said leave me alone I’m singing all night long it’s a family tradition.

I love to howl this song drunk at bars

12 fealty2dahriyah January 18, 2005 at 2:13 pm

hank seems to sum up my life simply

and the hang overs hurt more then they used to and corn bread and ice tea took the place of pills and ninety-proof,

and it seems like none of us do things quite like we used to do

and nobody wants to get high on the town and all my rowdy friends have settled down.

13 fealty2dahriyah January 18, 2005 at 2:21 pm

oh nearly forgot my favorite…. the themesong for all that is redneck and backwoods

are you ready for some footballllllllllll

14 olivesmarch4th January 18, 2005 at 2:59 pm

Won’t you tell me if you can,

cuz life’s so hard to understand

Why’s the rich man busy dancing,

While the poor man pays the band?

They’re billin’ me

For killin’ me

Lord have mercy on the working man!

Yeah, okay.  Country music rocks.

15 .alphamonkey. January 18, 2005 at 3:02 pm

You’re damn right.

16 fealty2dahriyah January 18, 2005 at 3:44 pm

when will gansta rap admit it stole it’s whole game from country…

17 .alphamonkey. January 18, 2005 at 4:06 pm

Yes, because Long Black Veil and Straight Outta Compton are nearly indistingushable.

18 fealty2dahriyah January 18, 2005 at 4:16 pm

staight outta memphis, crazy fucking son of hank W…

19 country musician March 4, 2008 at 12:06 pm

I used to never listen to country, but it’s changed a lot over the last ten years or so. And the cowgirls are hot!

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