recrop of the Skeeter Davis Album, I'll Sing You a Song and Harmonize too

Does Country Music Make You Want to Kill Yourself?

According to an academic report in the Oxford Journals country music makes people want to kill themselves. The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. The effect is independent of divorce, southernness, poverty, and gun availability.

The Effect of Country Music on Suicide

Please listen to the following song by Skeeter Davis and rate your suicidal impulse on a scale from 1 to 10.


If you ask me, yes, I love him
But I just cain’t understand

46 thoughts on “Does Country Music Make You Want to Kill Yourself?

  1. When I first read your title, I laughed. I thought, “A little bit. Sometimes.” But really, no, I’ve never felt suicidal although I’m no stranger to despair. I like plenty of country, although it’s probably the smallest genre in my collection.
    Too much of it is downright sad. A lot of it repetitive. And really, anything tooooo twangy just about kills my nerves. I feel as someone wrote above, I get edgy and ornery and agitated by much of it. I’ll say for me it’s better than the less popular metal sub-genres. Oy.
    That song grated on my nerves and I cut her off at 2:06 when I felt certain she was done with the singin. Skeeter, Girl, you need to leave. Skeeter and a whole pile of women and men…
    The comments here were fab.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was 1955. We forget just how far we’ve come as a culture since 1955. Skeeter loves him and she can’t understand why he’s always drunk, in part because she won’t admit that she’s part of the problem. Hubby is the one whose ill but Skeeter is the designated victim, struggling to find a solution to a problem that she frames as a moral issue. We have a word for that now: co-dependent, kind of like the way our whole country is to the man who acts like a raging drunk and who somehow became the President elect.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Classic country will always have a place in my heart just as bluegrass gospel because they often reverberate through certain memories of my youth…but I do have to be in the nostalgic mood. I enjoy the newer country with Blake Shelton and others like him.

    But back to the question, I think it is just too subjective to someone’s personal experiences. I think that sometimes these correlations are just too narrow and aloof.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I may have written this somewhere before but my Dad wanted me to sing C&W because I could make my voice vibrate. I spent hours listening to Hank Williams while practicing in front of a full length mirror. Classic Country is great American music. Country today sounds too much like stadium rock.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. We moved west, I met fans of country music. I was not one of them. I complained that all of their classic songs were about “Oh, my man, he done me wrong.” I was told, and I quote…”Well, if you don’t get that stuff right, the rest doesn’t really matter, does it?” I stopped the criticism. And attended an Outlaws concert in the late 1970’s…Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jon Paul Glaser, etc. It was a learning experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes, country music affects me, but it doesn’t invoke depression. Instead, I become agitated, irritable, ornery, more along those lines. And contemporary country triggers that more than some of the stuff I grew up with, like Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t like the new stuff because it seems disingenuous. I just don’t believe that people are innocently enmeshed in alcoholic relationships anymore. The same goes for those themes in rock.

      When I hear Hank Williams sing ‘Your Cheating Heart’ I know I’m listening to a heartbroken genius who
      is hopelessly in love with a bad women.

      When Hank Williams Jr. Sings ‘Family Tradition’ I hear talent and a bemused sense of tragic destiny as he
      reflects on the mixed genetic endowment bequeathed to him by his father.

      When Hank Williams 3 sing ‘If you don’t like Hank Williams you can kiss my ass’ I hear a spoiled brat who is too rich and worldly to be that arrogant.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. This song makes me think about my son…and no, it doesn’t make me want to kill myself…but it makes me want to kill the person who proudly passed on the alcoholic gene to my little boy.
    I don’t listen to country music…it’s not really country music any more…at least the twangy, my wife left me and took my dog….LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I hear this song, I remember a 4th grade social studies class at Ben
      Tillman Elementary School in Charleston, South Carolina.

      The teacher said that she ‘had’ to discuss problems with ‘the drink’.

      She said that ‘some people’ described
      this ‘problem’ as a ‘disease’ called ‘alcoholism’.

      She said it like this: Alkee-hole-ism

      She went on to say that, ‘some’ people say we should feel sorry for ‘alkee-holics’ but no one ‘forces a bottle to their lips!’

      ‘They ain’t livin’ as God has planned’.

      So when I hear this song I think about the kind of moral judgments that makes everything worse for the person being judged.

      It is bad enough to find yourself trapped in a confusing disease that causes you to behave self destructively, but how much worse it feels to have people tell you that you have been abandoned by God.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I struggled for a while with the idea that it was a disease. My middle daughter did too . She would say (about her brother) “if he loves us, why can’t he stop drinking?”
        I now know it’s a disease and saying that “it ain’t living as God planned” is so ridiculous I don’t even have an answer. I wonder if all the people who have died from “other” illnesses WERE living as God planned. They go to Heaven? And the alcoholics go to Hell?

        Liked by 1 person

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