Thursday, February 18, 2021

Song Lyric of the Day (George Strait, Anticipating the Current Texas State of Mind)

“Amarillo by morning
Up from San Antone
Everything that I've got
Is just what I've got on.” —Country music singer George Strait, “Amarillo By Morning,” written by Terry Stafford and Paul Fraser, covered by Strait and released on his LP Strait from the Heart (1982)

Just before I wrote this, I googled current weather conditions in Texas and found it was 32 degrees in San Antonio and 10 degrees in San Antonio. And that’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius.

Over the last few weeks, my neck of the woods, in northern New Jersey, has been pelted with one snowstorm after another. (Come to think of it, that’s exactly what’s happening right now.) But Texas is another matter. Nobody expected what they’re getting now, so nobody prepared for it.

So yesterday, we had front-page headlines from both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal about the deep freeze that has massively disrupted the state’s electricity grid, forcing many out of their homes in search of a warm place to stay. The mayor of Colorado City in the Lone Star State has even felt the need to resign, after constituents took serious offense to his Facebook post disclaiming the local government’s responsibility to help in the emergency, climaxing with the Darwinian suggestion that “Only the strong will survive and the weak will parish (sic)."

In the 1970s, many state drivers, disdaining speed limits as a means of energy conservation, sported the bumper sticker, “Drive 80 and freeze a Yankee.” How many ever dreamed that they themselves might freeze?

So, I guess Strait, singing the above lyric by Terry Stafford and Paul Fraser, anticipated the privation and even desperation produced by the current crisis. There’s one thing he didn’t expect, however: in this auto-centric state, the man in his song might not even be able to get on the road with all the traffic accidents. Who would ever expect the Texas Department of Transportation to issue a winter storm advisory to stay off the roads?

It is hard not to read all the news articles and social media chatter without seriously worrying about what is going on down there. So pray for Texans—very much including those on the road from “San Antone” to Amarillo.

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