This is the Coming Apart Song: I’ve been tuning in to country stations after ignoring them for years, and I’m hearing a lot of songs like this one (from 2012):

I wake up, put a dip in, crack a cold one
Put my boots and my overalls on
This is the country boy song
I like to gig frogs
I like to gut hogs

Chew it up, spit it out
Crack a cold one and tilt it back
I’m tired of these city boys runnin’ their mouths
If their truck gets stuck I ain’t pullin’ them out …

I keep a twelve gauge by my water bed
Cause the next trailer over lives a meth head, uh huh
And that ain’t biscuits he’s cookin’ …

Gettin’ country drunk in the back of my truck
The night is young I’ma gonna get messed up

Didn’t commercial, play-on-the-radio country songs used to reflect a confidence in down-home values (faith, work, marriage, cheating) that formed the sturdy foundation for the country? Now songs reflect a partly bitter, insular, defensive subculture that worries it may no longer be the foundation for the country, and reacts by getting drunk and … well, screw you. I hadn’t realize the full extent to which the music reflects these real trends. It’s Charles Murray in three chords, I tell you. Also Trump, of course. If he could turn the bitterness into something positive, that would be a considerable accomplishment. …