Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where is the Blacklash for "Gunpowder & Lead"?

At the height of the country music career the Dixie Chicks release a song called “Goodbye Earl” which detail how an abused wife and her best friend poisoned her abusive husband. The song was controversial with many country radio stations not playing while others played it then ran a public service announcement about where abused women could get help.

“Goodbye Earl” was condemned by groups who help battered women; because they felt it signaled an inappropriate way to the situation. They deplored the violence begets violence nature of the song. The song peak at #12 on the country charts and quickly disappeared though it remained popular at Dixie Chick concerts.

Now Miranda Lambert, a personal favorite of mine, has released “Gunpowder and Lead”, a song about an abused woman waiting with a loaded shot gun for her abusive man to come home so she can basically shot, if not kill, him. I have been waiting for a similar backlash to what the Dixie Chicks have gotten to appear. It has not.

The question is why? Is it that Miranda is known for her feisty songs and people expect this and therefore accept this from her? Or did the Dixie Chicks kick in the door, take the heat, and then make it acceptable for this kind of song to now be played?

Hard to say, but I lean toward the latter. The first person or group to do something controversial usually has to take more heat then the next. They also get more credit if it turns out alright.

Miranda has never been a chart maven, but as “G& L” has now become her first top ten, one has to figure she owes the Dixie Chicks for allowing “G & L” to get the chance to be heard.