I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know the words to “Country Roads.” Being from West Virginia, it is a bit of a requirement, and a source of pride. I’m pretty sure if I’ve always known the song, I must have learned it from my parents (though I guess we could have all learned it by indoctrination in elementary school music class, which is where I know I learned to sing “The West Virginia Hills” and “American the Beautiful.”)
Anyhow, I can’t really think of a song about a state that so many people know who aren’t from that state. How many people reading this right now could get through a fair amount of the song if it came on the radio? And how many aren’t from West Virginia? See!
I remember being in Samoa as a Peace Corps Volunteer and saying where I was from in America and people saying, “Oh, country roads,” or just bursting into song. I remember my brother and I were backpacking through Ireland and we were in this crazy dance club on the way, way outskirts of Galway. A Euro-techno version of the song came on and the empty dance floor was flooded like it was an Irish rally call. And something similar has happened to me in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and on and on and on.
All this is to say, I was sooooo excited to find that the jukebox at my mom’s home has “Country Roads” on it, and even more excited I was able to get a video of her singing it.
The “take me home ” part was a bit sad for me to watch, but what was good is that I thought her voice sounded like the old Kathy when she sang this song – not the newer voice she seems to have acquired. Maybe this song has such meaning and is so ingrained that it revives a piece of her that is not completely lost.
John Denver would be proud!