“Guitars, Cadillacs” by Dwight Yoakam
40 Days of Country – Song #30 – Lent 2016
Born in Kentucky, raised in Ohio, and made famous in California, Dwight Yoakam’s road to country music stardom was anything but traditional. Insisting on his own brand of honky-tonk (hillbilly) style in an early 80’s era where Nashville producers were veering towards pop-oriented, “urban cowboy” singers, it took Yoakam playing in the underground roots rock and punk rock venues of L.A. to make a name for himself. Upon amassing a dedicated following, Dwight Yoakam would go on to become one of the most successful country music acts in history, and still holds the honor as the most frequent guest on “The Tonight Show.”
In 1987, Dwight Yoakam earned his first of 15 Grammy Award nominations with the song, “Guitars, Cadillacs,” from the album of the same name. The song went onto make pop headlines when it was featured in the Hollywood smash-hit, “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” With a hook that sings, “Guitars, Cadillacs, hillbilly music,” the tune celebrates the lifestyle Yoakam was most accustomed to. In fact, his own humble upbringings in Kentucky in Ohio are chronicled against his decision to move to the bright lights of L.A., singing, “Another lesson ’bout a naive fool who came to Babylon and found out that the pie don’t taste so sweet.”
The Israelites in the Hebrew Bible had a similar experience with, “Babylon,” though it wasn’t by their own decision that they left their homeland. In the early 6th century BC, the people of Judah were forced to leave their homes and resettle in Babylonian Empire after a sound, military defeat. A psalmist lamented on their fate in Psalm 137:4, singing, “how could we possibly sing the Lord’s song on foreign soil?” For those of us who have ever left home, either on our own accord or due to circumstances beyond our control, the transition can be difficult, but we can also be comforted by the knowledge that our Lord goes with us, wherever we go.
Ever-Present God, we sometimes find ourselves in places where your presence is hard to realize. Open our eyes to the truth that you are always with us, wherever we may go. Amen.