our country

October 23, 2023

I’ve been listening to some Don Williams lately thanks to an Uber driver who played his songs all the way home from my daughter’s riding class last week. Ruby Tuesday, You’re My Best Friend; I know the songs, I’ve just never connected them to a person. I learned that Williams was especially popular in Africa, where he had enthusiastic fans in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast. “He was my Dad’s favourite singer,” he said. “Africa loves country music.” It makes sense that it’s a genre that resonates with people all over the world, with anyone struggling to make ends meet, feed a family, put kids through school. Anyone who feels let down by their government. “He loved Dolly Parton, too.” Kamel told us how his dad was strict, how he held him back from playing professional football. “I listen to the way you talk to your daughter, my Dad never talked to me like that.” I told him how I used to ride in the backseat of my Dad’s car every Sunday night listening to Neil Diamond, how Diamond is my Williams. It’s funny how music weaves its way into a soul, how twenty, fourty years later, we listen to the music from our childhoods and remember.


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