Monday, October 19, 2009

Spotlight: Country Music & Suicide

According to an article published back in 2007, a study shows a link between listening to country music and committing suicide. The article asserts, "Country music is hypothesized to nurture a suicidal mood through its concerns with problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, alcohol abuse, and alienation from work." I don't know about you, but while country music of today still talks about these issues, that sounds like the country music of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. The report goes on to say that "the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate." So basically if you listen to country music while on a road trip from Georgia to Florida, you'll probably want to commit suicide by the time you get down there? Or will it take a while to sink in, and by the time you get back home to Georgia, you'll want to commit suicide?

What I don't understand are the terms under which the study was conducted under. What kind of country music did the people in the metropolitan areas listen to? And for exactly hoe long? By which artists? Were they male or female? Does it matter if the particular song or songs were up tempo songs or ballads? I first started truly listening to country music when I was in the 4th grade. I listened to LeAnn Rimes, (I used to have her song "How Do I Live" on repeat while my sister on my way to gymnastics! I've always listened to her.) Rascal Flatts, Terri Clark, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney and other artists. While the thought of my immortality does cross my mind sometimes (who doesn't think about their dying day--presumably when they're old and gray? ) but I never thought about seriously ending my life prematurely. I still listen to country music, but not as much as I did back then. I do indulge in the sounds of LeAnn Rimes, Rascal Flatts, and Carrie Underwood more than other artists, and while their songs may deal with serious topics, they don't push me to think about ending my own life. Maybe it's because I listen to other genres of music as too. Who knows?

You can read the rest of the article here, although the entire report is unavailable because it seems to be out of date.

Source: The Monkey Cage