Written by Esther Harper
‘Tis the season for lists – the best of this, the worst of that. We humans love to make sense of the year gone by with our categorisations of the trivial and important. We like to remind ourselves of what to remember, and perhaps tell others of what they missed. Perhaps you’re a compulsive list-maker in your everyday life, or perhaps you like to trawl these best-of lists to discover music that might have passed you by. If you are the latter and seeking the top ten country songs of the year, then I’m afraid you’re out of luck here. There is no list. There is only one song: Humble and Kind, by Lori McKenna.
I came across it quite by accident, like most of us did, I imagine, in the first few days of January this year. It’s breathtaking and timeless. Attempting to write about how perfect it is feels like trivializing its genius. Listening to this song makes almost any day better. Its lyrics are words I shall try to live by. They are words I shall pass on to others. I hope you will too.
“Hold the door, say please, say thank you. Don’t steal, don’t cheat and don’t lie. I know you’ve got mountains to climb, but always stay humble and kind. When those dreams that you’re dreaming come to you, when the work you put in is realized, let yourself feel the pride but always stay humble and kind. When it’s hot eat a root beer popsicle. Shut off the AC and roll the windows down. Let that summer sun shine. Always stay humble and kind. Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you. When you get where you’re going, turn right back around and help the next one in line. Always stay humble and kind.”
‘Humble and Kind’ also appears on Tim McGraw’s new album ‘Damn Country Music’, but we’re a little biased to Lori’s version.
Get Lori McKenna tickets here.