Defending the Raven

Bisexual. Married. Man. Open. Read On.

I Dig Chicks

Ok, so after this I will declare Dixie Chicks week over and those of you who are mocking me in private for being into country music can have some piece. However, if you do mock you are missing out on some of the greatest music out there today. As I mentioned before we went to the Dixie Chicks concert on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. It’s so refreshing to see a modern band perform live without the crazy production value and who are singing live and it sounds just like the album. Plus I have to admit I have a crush on lead singer Natalie Maines. She’s cute and sexy. Plus I imagine she’s as likely to beat the crap out of you for being a dumb-ass man or make slow love to you for being a real man.

What really makes me love the Dixie Chicks is their songs. They are all smart and poignant. There newsest album (you can listen to the whole album online here) is especially personal. I already shared my favorite song from the album earlier in the week. One of the other great songs on it is “So Hard,” which is a song about infertility. However, if you listen to the words it can be much more universal than that. It’s really a song about how life can be difficult and your inability to control how things work out is something you have to deal with. And that sometimes no matter how much we want something to be, sometimes it just can’t:

Back when we started
We didn’t know how hard it was
Living on nothing
But what the wind would bring to us
Now we’ve got something
I can imagine fighting for
So why is fighting all that we’re good at anymore

And sometimes I don’t have the energy
To prove everybody wrong
And I try my best to be strong
But you know it’s so hard
It’s so hard

It’s so hard when it doesn’t come easy
It’s so hard when it doesn’t come fast
It’s so hard when it doesn’t come easy
It’s so hard

It felt like a given
Something a woman’s born to do
A natural ambition
To see a reflection of me and you

And I’d feel so guilty
If that was a gift I couldn’t give
And could you be happy
If life wasn’t how we pictured it

And sometimes I just want to wait it out
To prove everybody wrong
And I need your help to move on
Cause you know it’s so hard
It’s so hard

It’s so hard when it doesn’t come easy
It’s so hard when it doesn’t come fast
It’s so hard when it doesn’t come easy
So hard

I can live for the moment
When all these clouds open up for me to see
And show me a vision
Of you and me swimming peacefully

Last night you told me
That you can’t remember
How to feel free

It’s so hard when it doesn’t come easy
It’s so hard when it doesn’t come fast
It’s so hard when it doesn’t come easy, easy

It’s so hard

One of the most heart-wrenching songs on their latest album is “Voice Inside My Head.” I share it here because I think it might really hit some people who read this blog right to the core. What I also love is that it’s a pretty complex song. She’s pretty much questioning whether someone she loved previously wasn’t the right person for her. However, what strikes me is that never does she imply that she’s unhappy in her current situation. The lyric that comes closest is “Every time I’m feeling down, I wonder/What would it be like with you around.” But that’s not very strong. Maybe the song is saying that it’s possible for us to have many different loves in our life. It’s a really bittersweet song.

I was only a kid
When I said goodbye to you
Ten summers ago
But it feels like yesterday
Lost, scared and alone
Nothing I could give to you
I tried, I really did
But I couldn’t find another way

And I want and I need
Somehow to believe
In the choice I made
Am I better off this way

I can hear the voice inside my head
Saying you should be with me instead
Every time I’m feeling down, I wonder
What would it be like with you around

So I, I made my way
Cold and roaming in the wild
I’m forever changed
By someone I never knew
Now I’ve, I’ve got a place
I’ve got a husband and a child
But I’ll never forget
What I’ve given up in you

And I want, I need
Somehow to believe
In the choice I made
Am I better off this way

I can hear the voice inside my head
Saying you should be with me instead
Every time I’m feeling down, I wonder
What would it be like with you around

And I want, I need
Somehow to believe
In the choice I made
Am I better off this way

The final song on the album, and one that they were supposed to play at the concert, but didn’t is “I Hope.” Written about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina it’s a fantastic social commentary without being loud about it. But deeper than that is the chorus, which is really a great sentiment for everyone.

Sunday morning, I heard the preacher say
Thou shall not kill
I don’t wanna hear nothing else about killing
And that it’s God’s will

‘Cause our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They’re gonna be like us
So let’s learn from our history
And do it differently

I hope, for more love, more joy and laughter
I hope, we’ll have more than we’ll ever need
I hope, we’ll have more happy ever after
I hope, we can all live more fearlessly
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

Oh, Rosie, her man he gets too rough
That’s all she can say, is he’s a good man
He don’t mean no harm
He was just brought up that way

But our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They’re gonna be like us
It’s okay for us to disagree
We can work it out lovingly

I hope, for more love, more joy and laughter
I hope, we’ll have more than we’ll ever need
I hope, we’ll have more happy ever after
I hope, we can all live more fearlessly
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

There must be a way to change what’s going on
No I don’t have all the answers

I hope, for more love, more joy and laughter
I hope, we’ll have more than we’ll ever need
I hope, we’ll have more happy ever after
I hope, we can all live more fearlessly
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

I hope, I hope, I hope

Reading the lyrics doesn’t nearly do justice to the songs because it’s the music and the delivery that is perfect every time. The songs are intensely personal and just resonate with me. Sure there is lots of politics and crap surrounding the Dixie Chicks, but screw that. They are amazing artists and blow most other current music acts out of the water. Get rid of your bias to country music and check ’em out if you haven’t already.

And if you’re laughing at me for going on so long and think my choice in music sucks — “I’m embarassed that you’re from America. Oh, and fuck you!” 😉

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August 5, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

5 Comments »

  1. hit to the core…you ain’t kidding..

    Comment by Anonymous | August 5, 2006 | Reply

  2. Dixie Chicks music: not so much.
    Dixie Chicks politics: HELL YEAH!

    Comment by Polt | August 7, 2006 | Reply

  3. hey, shoot me an mp3! 🙂

    Comment by P/O | August 8, 2006 | Reply

  4. Hi,
    Just stumbled across your blog (wanted to say “Came across your blog” but it sounded unsavoury!).
    I’m really liking what I’m reading. I’ll be back for more.

    Anyway, don’t feel you have to defend your tastes in music… we are all entitled to our own joys!

    I’m just trying to justify my own crappy tastes… 😉

    Comment by Banana Boy | August 9, 2006 | Reply

  5. Hi,Mark,you seem so like me it is scary…Like the same things I do,etc.I went to see the Chicks and they are great.’Voice Inside My Head’ is a story song about a woman who had an abortion 10 years ago.Just like So Hard is about trying to get pregnant.Voice is ,in my opinion one of their very best songs.The clue to the Real story in Voice is this lyric:’I’m forever changed
    By someone I never knew’

    Comment by Anonymous | August 30, 2006 | Reply


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