We’ve dealt with a global pandemic that’s put the entire world on hold and caused immeasurable suffering, protests and riots surrounding issues of racial justice, and a contentious election cycle that’s left our country more divided than ever. To say that it’s been exhausting is an understatement.
But through it all, we’ve had country music.
So in honor of the shitshow that has been 2020, let’s take a look back at the year and summarize what we’ve all been through – using country songs, of course.
January: “Here for the Party” – Gretchen Wilson
New year, baby! It was finally 2020 and we were all here for the party. It was the start of a new decade, and everybody’s hopes for a great year were sky high.
February: “Wish I Didn’t Know Now” – Toby Keith
We were all cruising along in February, going to sporting events and concerts, blissfully unaware of the hell that was waiting for us next month. Oh, how I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know back in February…
March: “I Saw a Tiger” – Joe Exotic
As the Coronavirus started to rage, businesses started to close and lockdowns started to be implemented across the country, one man managed to hold this country together: Joe Exotic. Sure, we were all locked in our homes and the bars were closed, but somehow hating Carole Baskin brought us all together like never before.
And this whole Coronavirus thing wasn’t gonna last long anyways… right?
April: “I Hate Everything” – George Strait
By April, it started to become clear that this pandemic wasn’t going to be over any time soon. Bars and restaurants were still shut down, and concerts and festivals were basically all canceled through the end of the year. Eric Church even predicted that it would be summer or fall of 2021 before we started to see concerts as we knew them start to come back.
And in the midst of all this, we lost two legends in the country music world: Joe Diffie and John Prine.
Yep, it’s official: I hate everything.
May: “Six Feet Apart” – Luke Combs
In May we were going into our second months of lockdowns and social distancing. Families and friends weren’t able to get together, musicians weren’t able to tour, and even the sports world had come to a sudden halt. Livestream concerts were the big thing for artists, which was cool at first, but started to get pretty old pretty quick.
When would things go back to normal? When would we NOT have to be six feet apart?
June: “Black Like Me” – Mickey Guyton
Police brutality and racial justice were at the forefront of the headlines in June after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police. And nobody in the country music community spoke more powerfully than Mickey Guyton with her gut-wrenching ballad, “Black Like Me.”
July: “Mr. Mom” – Lonestar
With the kids out of school, vacations put on hold and parents stuck working from home full time, it’s safe to say that there were quite a few dads who suddenly found themselves playing Mr. Mom.
August: “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” – Merle Haggard
Summer 2020 just seemed like…kind of a waste. Vacations and road trips had to be cancelled, festivals didn’t happen, and we weren’t even sure if we were going to have football to look forward to in the fall. At this point there really wasn’t anything to do but just stay here and drink.
September: “The Boys of Fall” – Kenny Chesney
Against all odds, and despite the fact that it wasn’t looking good there when conferences were cancelling their seasons left and right, we ended up getting a football season after all. Sure, it looks a little different with either no fans in the stands or small, socially-distanced crowds, and you never know from one day to the next whether a game is actually going to happen, but dammit it’s fall and we have football.
October: “I Will Always Love You” – Dolly Parton
If there’s anybody who deserves credit for helping us get through 2020, it’s Dolly Parton. In fact, she may be the only person who’s still universally loved left in the country at this point. Whether it was trying to get into Playboy for her 75th birthday or bringing Stephen Colbert to tears with just her voice, 2020 was the year of Dolly Parton.
Oh, and not to mention the fact that she donated $1 million towards finding a vaccine to get us out of this pandemic. In a year where not much good happened, we could at least find comfort in the fact that Dolly Parton will always love us.
November: “The Snake” – Eric Church
As if everything else going on wasn’t enough, we also had an election to deal with this year. And in November, voters went to the polls to choose between the rattlesnake or the copperhead to represent them for the next four years.
December: “If We Make It Through December” – Merle Haggard
So that brings us to today… and a year feels like it’s been a decade long.
We’ve almost made it through a year of social distancing, no concerts, wearing masks, racial justice protests and riots, and an absolutely brutal election cycle. But there’s good news – a little glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a vaccine for the coronavirus that has upended all of our lives for the last year. If we can just make it through December.