Tag Archives: Country music

Why country music helped me survive cancer

This posting is a tribute to Shania Twain

  • Reigning queen of country music
  • Sexiest female performer in the history of country music
  • Writer of astonishingly intimate songs telling men what women want sexually and otherwise
  • Mentor to a talented array of female country musicians with a strong feminist agenda

There is a video where Shania Twain sings out her instructions to men not to touch without asking, but if they ask.

If the answer is Yes: See the sexy video for what you get.


As a child, Wikipedia reports, Shania Twain lived in poverty in Canada.

“Twain had a hard childhood in Timmins. Her parents earned little and there was often a shortage of food in the household. [Twain] did not confide her situation to school authorities, fearing they might break up the family. In the remote, rugged community, she learned to hunt and to chop wood.

Twain started singing at bars at the age of eight to try to make ends meet, often earning twenty dollars between midnight and one in the morning performing for remaining customers after the bar had finished serving.

“Although she expressed a dislike for singing in those bars, Twain believes that this was her own kind of performing arts school on the road.”

Shania Twain has said of her childhood ordeal:

“‘My deepest passion was music and it helped.

“There were moments when I thought I hate this. I hated going into bars and being with drunks.

“I loved the music and so I survived.


To get a true understanding of Shania Twain’s significance as the most effective star-power communicator of What Women Want, we must of course first go to the United Nations. The year is 1975.

The occasion:

After worrying about everything else, the UN finally decided that the role of women in the world was important [surprise!].

1975 became the official United Nations International Women’s Year.

This was the UN authorized and official song of the International Women’s Year.

This is Helen Reddy performing I am Woman in 1975.

\Wikipedia contains the following Helen Reddy’s account of the significance of her first hit song:

“I couldn’t find any songs that said what I thought being a woman was about.“I thought about all these strong women in my family who had gotten through the Depression and world wars and drunken, abusive husbands.

“There was nothing in music that reflected that.

“The only songs were ‘I Feel Pretty’ or that dreadful song ‘Born A Woman.’ (The 1966 hit by Sandy Posey had observed that if you’re born a woman ‘you’re born to be stepped on, lied to, cheated on and treated like dirt….)

“These are not exactly empowering lyrics.

“I certainly never thought of myself as a songwriter, but it came down to having to do it.”


The accomplishments of the U.N. year was creation of Womenwatch.

Womenwatch,” defines itself as,  “the central gateway to information and resources on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women throughout the United Nations system, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Secretariat, regional commissions, funds, programmes, specialized agencies, and academic and research institutions.”


Despite the U.N.’s good intentions as I write today young women are being sold into slavery in Monaco and throughout northern Africa. Their illegal importation as inexpensive prostitutes in Spain has become so significant a problem that London’s Financial Times reports on it regularly.


Depending on one’s views on the relative effectiveness comparing international principles to music, Helen Reddy’s legacy has reaped astonishing results for all of us who have come to country music in large part because of the earthquake-like significance of Kris Kristopherson’s role as a country singer. Worth a trip to the library is a reading of an old New York Times Magzine profile of Kristopherson. The article reported that Kristopherson quit the Army Academy at West Point to sleep on the streets at Nashville only to discover to wide surprise:

There is a market for long long country music–for songs that have something to say.

Consider this recording of Sunday Morning a song that was an astonishment to have been recorded at all let alone become a best seller. (“Long songs don’t work here in Nashville, son.”)

There is, for example, Shania Twain singing: Honey I’m Home.”


It is getting late. I realize that I will not get to everything I want to say in this posting, especially the therapeutic effect of country music. Ever since Freud asked the question What do women want? the answer is not apparent to those of us who are men. My tribute to Shania Twain will end temporarily. Look for Shania Twain Tribute 2 coming on this site.

I hereby conclude by providing two music videos:


-Joel Solkoff

Copyright 2013 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.