March Editorial: The Fairytale of the Small Town Survivor
There once was a rooster, a dog, a cat, and a donkey. They were past their prime and the farm they resided on no longer found them to be useful. The only future on that farm would have resulted in abuse or death, so they left their owners and their home in search of an escape. The group of creatures team up and journey to the city of Bremen, Germany, a land known for its freedom. They run away to live without an owner, and to become musicians.
The stars of this Brothers Grimm fairy tale may not have easily made it to their destination, thanks to some pesky robbers whose asses they immediately kicked, but they did outline the great things that leaving in pursuit of music may do. Who doesn’t love a good small-town-kid/animal-making-it-in-the-big-city story? Sure, that tale may be a bit of a cliche, but in music, it’s one so many of us can relate to. A cliche is a cliche for a reason, after all.
From fairy tales to pop punk (which may be best known for songs of how bad they need to leave town) and everything in between, it is the dream for (almost) every musician to make it to the big city and adventure. Those who actually did it deserve acknowledgment and an extra pat on the back. It’s not easy to leave a place where you can rent an entire home for the same price you can rent a questionable studio apartment in the sketchy part of BK. And to do that while pursuing music? That, my friends, is a ballsy move.
Some of your favorite musicians survived the small town stigma and made it big in the competitive world of music. Perhaps the ultimate success story is that of B.B. King, who was born on a cotton plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, who then became a legend and the father of blues music. Father John Misty emerged from an Evangelical Christian household in Rockville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington DC, to become the strange ethereal angel with a voice that could make the numbers of pi sound like a philosophically significant hymn. Have you heard of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania? Me neither, but Taylor Swift is from there, so that’s something. Elle King not only survived being the daughter of Rob Schneider, she also got out of her Ohio hometowns, Wellston and Columbus, and has been nominated for three Grammy’s to date.
If you made it out of your small town and that was something you always dreamed of, congratulate yourself. Even during the times you can afford nothing but white bread and grape jelly for a month. You did it! If you want to stay in your small town, there’s a lot of merit to that too! You do you, homes.