I called my cousin Bob to see how he was handling his stay-at-home sentence. He said “I’ve been cooped up so long, I’m getting lonely for people I don’t even like.” Could it possibly get worse?
Yes, it could get worse. Bob could have been singing “Hello Walls.” (“How’d things go for you today ... but lonely walls, I’ll keep you company.” Later in the song, he talks to the window.)
We’ve always known that no man is an island and that we all need a certain amount of human contact. People are even adopting pets in record numbers because there is no punishment more painful than solitary confinement.
I did a survey today of the 25 saddest lonely songs: all country. You’d be surprised at all the reasons for writing a sad song. Lost love and broken hearts are number one of course, but car accidents, child abuse, friends dying of cancer, deaths in the family, including a grandfather, graveside scenes, and one “I Love Your Truck” about envy for another guy’s pickup with a dog in it.
Probably the all-time classic hit is Hank Williams singing “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” And Johnny Cash will break your heart singing “I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel."
All this leads me to a prediction. I predict we will soon have a new batch of lonely songs arising out of the coronavirus pandemic. But we don’t have Hank Williams and Johnny Cash anymore, so we’ll have to count on a younger star like Willie Nelson to sing “It Was Always In My Beard"; Vince Gill to sing “Nobody Answers When I Call Your Name"; Garth Brooks to sing “Can’t Hug You Six Feet Away"; Taylor Swift to sing “Just Put Your Hand on the Window"; Kris Kristofferson to sing “Why Me Lord"; Dolly Parton to sing “What’s That On Your Breath"; LeAnn Rimes to sing “Not Until You’re Tested, Tested, Tested"; Keith Urban to sing “Nobody At My Concert"; Reba McEntire to sing “That Mask Isn’t Wide Enough To Cover My Smile"; George Strait to sing “COVID-19 Blues"; Blake Shelton to sing “Oklahoma Is Open For Business Again"; Tim McGraw to sing “You Can Get A Haircut In Louisiana"; Carrie Underwood to sing “I’d Like To Sit Closer To You"; Martina McBride to sing “Gloomy"; and Ricky Skaggs to sing “I Can’t Mask My Feelings For You.”
And finally, my cousin Bob singing “There’s A Tear In My Beer Because Even The People I Don’t Like Aren’t Calling.” But it could be worse Bob, you could be alone on a little island with no walls to talk to, no puppy, and no soap to wash your hands.