Is country music more approved than any other for a witness?

by wordlywife 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • wordlywife

    My husband has recently started listening almost exclusively to Country. Occasionally we would listen to it before, but every time I get in a car he has driven or we are riding he has it on, when before we always had classic rock on. I don't mind Country music, but this recent change of listening habits in light of his having commenting priveledges back again makes me wonder if listening to anything but country is frowned upon by WT ordinances? Any thoughts?? Anyone?? Bueller?


  • undercover

    When I was a kid and Rock n Roll was the music of a new rebellious generation, the WTS was continually harping on the evils of Rock music. Then it became Disco. Then Rap and Heavy Metal. All along Country and Western was hardly ever mentioned. C&W had been around for so long and was for a long time fairly conservative that it posed no real threats to make kids want to question authority or rebel.

    It wasn't really about the music, the beat or the lyrics. It was about the effect it had on people. RnR, Rap and other genres appealed to a younger generation and it caused them to question the establishment. This was unacceptable to the WTS. So talks on "debasing music" are given every so often to induce guilt upon anyone who listens to music feared by the WTS as dangerous to their authority.

    Of course, in reality, C&W can be every bit as "debasing" as any other type of music, along with Broadway and Opera. But since those genres did not inpsire rebellion or free thinking, they hardly ever get mentioned.

  • blondie

    *** w83 10/15 p. 13 Beware of Music That Debases! ***

    Of course, morally debased lyrics are not limited to rock and disco music. In many lands or localities there are forms of music that may be quite popular locally despite having a beat or using lyrics that true Christians may find quite objectionable. Concerning country music, an article in The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, states: "Honky tonk angels and cheatin? men have always played their part in country songs, but never in the history of the music have their illicit affairs been so graphically depicted as they are today." Alluding to another trend in popular but immoral music, The Spokesman-Review says: "Women are singing about sex in the night and sex on the dance floor and sex on the street corner." Can such songs be anything but debasing?


    g83 10/22 pp. 26-27 "Country Music?s in My Blood" ***

    The words of traditional country music at times gravitated to things like romance triangles. With the movement of melody toward rock, modern country music?s lyrics have become increasingly vulgar with more vivid descriptions of lewd conduct. This is often what is demanded by the public, especially in clubs.

    What would I do? My whole way of life hinged on my expressing myself through music. But the music that people wanted to hear was attacking everything I considered moral and decent!

  • jws

    My JW parents listened to country music and would be very critical about the rock music we liked. I don't think I've ever heard anything bad about country music from the platform, but definately bad stuff about rock and pop music.

    Yet when pushed into a corner, we challenged our parents. Country music is far from wholesome. Favorite subjects seem to be broken homes, broken hearts, cheating, drinking, partying, and patriotism. All things that JWs don't like. There are positive country songs too.

    I personally like very little country music - and not because of the reasons a JW might find. Most of it's just too depressing. Now that I have a daughter, I have a new perspective and I find a lot of it chauvenistic too. And a lot of it is written for a rural audience. I'm from a fairly good sized city and now live in an even bigger one and like it. I just can't identify with rural life.

  • El Kabong
    El Kabong

    The only music that is not frowned upon is the Kingdom Melodies. Any other music is considered worldly.

    I've actually been to JW parties as a teen where nothing but the Kingdom Melodies were played.

  • wordlywife

    El Kabong....

    That was all that as played?

    That must have been some rockin' party!

  • ValiantBoy

    I think this just depends on where you live. In my area, all music was frowned upon. I have also been to get togethers where only Kingdom Melodies were played...or spiritual songs that individual witnesses wrote.

    Of interest on that topic, one song that a sister claimed to have written herself and sang frquently at gatherings was called "jehovah-Jireh." My sister, who is now a non witness, was recently at a gospel singing at a baptist church. Guess what song she heard..thats right, the same version of Jehovah-Jireh.

  • undercover

    The times, they are a-changin'

    When I was in high school, Disco was banned. Disco led to dancing, which led to uncleanness, which led to fornication. Forget that Disco sucked as a muscial genre. It was evil and to not be played. Dancing was also frowned on. Not outright banned, but close dancing was limited to married people. Married people could not dance with other people mates. Singles had to be very careful about keeping the proper distance when close dancing. Of course since dancing was only approved at "Christian gatherings", Disco, Rock and Pop were never played. It was Big Band, waltzes and yes, Kingdom Melodies. The music at the gatherings had to be at decent decibals so that those not dancing could carry on a conversation.
    Going to Discos and clubs was verboten.

    Fast forward 30 years: Now at JW weddings old Disco hits are played along with some modern dance music and techno music(limited or no lyrics). Elders are dancing with the pioneer sisters and the singles are forming their own dance circle sharing dance partners and showing off their dance moves. Not only is the music blaring but disco balls along with strobe lights and spot lights are brought in to give a club atmosphere. Alcohol loosens up the fuddy-duddies enough so that everyone dances.
    Young single JWs get together in groups and go to clubs to dance and drink.

    If elders from 1975 went through a time portal and came out at a 2005 JW wedding party, they would be shocked. The WTS can talk a good story of how JWs remain seperate from the world but in my life history has shown that JWs are part of the world, just 20 to 30 years behind everybody else.

  • Euphemism
    The WTS can talk a good story of how JWs remain seperate from the world but in my life history has shown that JWs are part of the world, just 20 to 30 years behind everybody else.

    LOL @ undercover... that is right on!

    Ultimately, the WTS has criticized a lot of genres of music, but the only ones that are actually 'off limits' (you can't get into Bethel if you listen to them) are rap and heavy metal.

    There's a lot of local variation depending on each body of elders and local tradition, however. I have had friends in rural congregations where the elders frowned on anything other than country. I've also been in city congregations where people would probably laugh at you and call you a hick if you listened to country.

  • prophecor
    The only music that is not frowned upon is the Kingdom Melodies. Any other music is considered worldly.

    A Study article in JW literature," Are we being entertained by what Jehovah hates?" was a current theme among witness teaching, descrbing how we were to be wary of all forms of entertainment from movies to music and covered a wide spectrum of music catagories. Even classical music, which was thought to be safe at one time, when taking into consideration the debauched life of those who performed such was not to be taken for granted as being wholesome or upbuilding.

    In hindsight, however, I don't know how any of us could've viewed any type of entertainment as worthy of JW standards as Jehovah hates anyone or anything, not of his people or his earthly organization, leaving very little room for we as witnesses to be entertained by. Country, Classical, Classic Rock, Hip Hop, R&B, Pop & Soft Rock, Soul, Techno, Gospel, Disco, Indie,.......did I leave anybody out?

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