Nashville with You (or Aligning Your Goals to Your Dreams: Part II)

I am writing this post with a strong sense of déjà vu – once again I find myself on an airplane on the way to Music City USA with my daughter, Samantha. I last wrote a post on the topic of Samantha aligning her goals to her dreams back in November of last year.

That post had a lot of unanswered questions. Well, the first of them has been answered. Samantha has been accepted to the B.B.A. in Music Business program at Belmont University in Nashville. We are currently in transit for a two-day orientation session. This is the last time – at least for a while – that we will head down together and she will come back with me.

So, why “Nashville with You?”

Since Samantha has made the decision to go to Belmont, the lyrics to Nashville Without You (recorded by Tim McGraw and written by Kyle Jacobs, Joe Leathers, and Ruston Kelly) really resonate with me.

It’d be just another river town
Streets would have a different sound
There’d be no honky-tonks with whiskey rounds
No dreamers chasin’ dreams down

No tourists takin’ in the sights
No Stetsons under Broadway lights
No pickers playin’ for pocket change
No rhinestone boots on an old church stage

Hey Blue Eyes, Cryin’ In The Rain
Hey Fire, Burnin’ Round The Ring
Hey Crazy, you know it’s true
That Nashville, wouldn’t be Nashville, without you

No ghost of the man in black
No long white Cadillac
No woman standin’ by her man
In the place where it all began

Hey Good Lookin’, hey Momma Tried
Hey Gambler, hey Country Boy Can Survive
Hey Jolene, you know it’s true
That Nashville, wouldn’t be Nashville, without you

Hey Georgia, hey Smokey Mountain Rain
Hey Galveston, He Stopped Loving Her Today
Hey Fancy, you know it’s true
That Nashville, wouldn’t have
Blue Eyes, Cryin’ In The Rain
Hey Fire, Burnin’ Round The Ring
Hey Crazy, you know it’s true
That Nashville, wouldn’t be Nashville, without you

It does an amazing job of stressing the titles of the great country songs of all time – over the artists who recorded them. The message – to me at least – is that it took a lot more than the artist to make those songs and create the mystic of Nashville in country music – turning it into more than “just another river town.” To make a great song takes musicians, writers, producers, engineers, managers, production companies, marketing and promotion, road crews, and so many more hard-working, committed people.

My favourite line in the song is, “No dreamers chasing dreams down.” I can’t hear that line without smiling and thinking of Samantha waking up every day and chasing down her dream.

For a brief moment, I did consider calling this post, “Ottawa without You,” but this shouldn’t be a sad story in any way. I have always held the belief that the most flattering thing kids can do for their parents upon graduating high school is to get on with setting goals and chasing down their dreams.

Does this mean Samantha won’t be missed? Hardly! I can’t even begin to imagine how much I will miss her every second of every day. But, I really hope I can stay true to both of us and smile and think, “Imagine how the world would be different if everyone focused on doing what they loved doing instead of working towards the expectations others put on them?”

What I really like to think about is … someone Sam signs as an artist years from now re-recording “Nashville Without You” and making it a major hit – maybe even changing up some of the song titles to those recorded by other artists she helps make successful.

I have no doubt that someday Nashville won’t be Nashville without you, honey.

‘til next time … Kirk, out!

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