G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Driving through Kansas the other day I ventured through radio signal waste land. Somewhere amid the Flint Hills my tuner scoured the channels and finally landed on a classic country music station somewhere towards the low end of the dial. On came a song I’d never heard before, John Conlee’s “Friday Night Blues”.
In case you didn’t listen to it: man works hard all week, just wants to watch TV and relax; come Friday the wife wants to go out for a night on the town. “She wants to boogie, he wants to lay there, she’s got the Friday night blues.”
Conlee croons, “The girl down the street says her husband is neat, and makes it sound so true. Now she’s feeling lonely, thinks she’s the only one with the Friday night blues.”
The song was written in 1980 so it’s not that country and western is today filled with songs written by self-blaming men. But the attitude still pervades the music and, in my opinion, Southern society. There is an expectation there that men should do everything – be providers, both financially and emotionally. As we know, these are often and increasingly mutually exclusive.
I bring it here to open up discussion on relationship themes in pop music, rock music, country music, and southern culture. A pretty decent paper I came across discusses the evolution of gender roles in country music, and I’m curious about commenters’ thoughts.