Why, oh why, oh why why why do we so rarely hear country music at Spring Fling?
Amidst the uproar caused by the controversial lyrics in Spring Fling 2018’s current line up, I think that we have forgotten to ask a very important question: Where has all the country music gone? As a proud member of the under-represented group of people who really do like a little country music every now and again, I am truly saddened by its obvious absence in this year’s lineup. I was truly saddened last year too, when I received a nasty shock towards the end of the evening: I was head-bobbing along, awkwardly, to some indiscernible lyrics and some hefty bass when my friend — one who shares some, though not all of my tastes in music — informed me that this was the final song and that there would be, after all was said and done, no country music.
I knew then that I would dance no more.
This was no small concession to make. You see, for me, to stop dancing was to stop moving. My night, as any melodramatic main character in any cliché movie might have yowled, was ruined. Once I knew that “You look like I need a drink” by Justin Moore wouldn’t be played — which was, incidentally, the theme song of my first year — I was done. No more for me was the after-party, no more for me the post-Fling celebration; no more for me the sweet sweet taste of the anticipation of Elysium.
Throughout the day, I had been waiting for just one song. I didn’t particularly care which song, just a song. A special sort of song. A song that would rock my soul in the finely tuned arms of a beloved guitar. Maybe for some the hard pounding of rap or trap — or maybe ASAP? — could do that. Maybe some other genre of music or lack-of-genre music could make their hearts flutter with love for the notes in the air. But as for me — and I am not alone — country music was meant to be the key. It was the key that would finally unlock the potential of Spring Fling.
Saying that makes me wonder what the true potential of Spring Fling actually is. Supposedly, it brings together the Yale community, uniting us all with the beauty of the language we all have in common: music. Supposedly, we will all dance away the afternoon and in doing so somehow feel closer. This works, literally. I definitely became much better acquainted with the swath of unidentifiable bodies — I am short — gyrating to the left of me, gyrating to the right of me, as the music, in Tennyson’s surprisingly apt words, “volleyed and thundered”. I don’t, however, think that that brought me meaningfully closer to any member of the Yale community.
Maybe I am alone in this, but I have learnt, since being at Yale, that it is important to speak up and speak out, because maybe there is someone out there who feels the same as I do. If swear words and sexual innuendos in a song are what make you happy, then I am glad, for your sake, because you have a community — or at least, at Spring Fling, you will find people who might understand you.
But I like blue jeans and daydreams and a little bit of swing. And, right at the heart of the music festival that has the potential to bring us together in a way fireside chats never could, I stand alone. Last year I tried to join in, I tried to make sense of the world of heavy metal and breathy notes; this year, I shall not.
In the name of inclusivity, in the spirit of diversity, for all those who dare not proclaim their love for a little lilt, I beg you to consider my gentle plea: Is one country song too much to ask?
Sarah Geach is a sophomore in Pauli Murray College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .