Music speaks to me on some level that all other words and conversations can’t. I’ve found that I am frequently compelled towards Country Music to communicate the yearning, grief, loneliness, or general sadness that at times consumes my being as a hopeless romantic and a romantic struggling with hopelessness (Major Depressive Disorder). There is something about country music that just gets it right; the combination of folk origins, successful story telling, and twang that mimics a heartbroken man wincing in pain, work together to create something elevated, something transcendent, and yes I am aware that I just referred to listening to some country music as a transcendent experience. Let me show you what I mean through a series of posts titled “Country Music Will Break Your Heart.”
#1- “She Don’t Love You,” by Eric Paslay
When my friend Mountain-Man Karl introduced me to Eric Paslay in 2012 via text message I informed him that he spelled ‘Brad Paisley’ wrong. I was too much in a summer state of mind to appreciate Paslay’s talent, and so I wrote him off.
A few weeks ago I took a trip to Publix to get some much needed Blue Bell ice cream when this song came on the radio, stopping me in my tracks. I literally stopped driving in the middle of a busy street. It was as if this man, later to be identified as Eric Paslay, was singing the words I wrote in my private journal a few months prior. Of course I had to listen to “Killing Me Softly” afterwards because it was too uncanny. I digress…
Song topic: A woman incapable of loving after too many heartbreaks shuts herself off emotionally from the men that she seeks out to fill her needs for physicality. Sound familiar?
Some lyrical gems:
She’s no stranger to the leaving
She’s heard all the best goodbyes
Falling has a different meaning*
She don’t love you, she’s just lonely
She don’t know another way
To break free from what’s been broken**
*After a certain amount of negative experiences we learn to associate love with pain, giving typically happy events (such as falling in love) a fearful and unsavory association. So when you are dating someone you need to not assume that you’re on the same page with the other person. I have seemed to learn this lesson a lot.
**In depression as in heartbreak oftentimes people feel trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts/behaviors/emotions. We do the same things expecting different outcomes mostly because we don’t know any other way to behave. In this instance I imagine the first ex and the recent ex sitting at a bar; the first ex is explaining that you shouldn’t be upset with her actions because that is all she knows. The recent ex finishes his whiskey and sighs in an exasperated fashion.
Check out this acoustic version of the song. Even if you aren’t a Country Music fan this song is too universal to not communicate something to you. His voice is piercing. I get chills every time. Every other time I burst out in tears.