Though this song has the lyrics that mention and depict emotions on Vietnam, it was actually written towards the Iraq war. Ironic, right? Two wars that seemingly went nowhere for the United States and gained about the same amount of popular opinion. When asked if he recalls how he came about writing the song, original songwriter Bruce Robison responds, “A friend of mine that I was working with in a kitchen in Austin was getting called up in the reserves for the first Iraq War. And generally that was the situation that started me thinking about that. I set the song in Vietnam, but those were the things that I was thinking about. If you’ll recall, it took a long time for us to send all the people over, and there was months of amassing our forces over in Kuwait in the first Gulf War. Those were the thoughts going through my head” (MacIntosh). This song was made even more famous by the country group, the Dixie Chicks, especially in 2003.
On March 10th, 2003 the Dixie Chicks stood on a London stage, in the beginnings of the Iraq war, and stated proudly before their performance, “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas” (Hiatt). Many people in the world believed the band should be tried for treason. But were they wrong? Did people really agree with Bush and his decision to go to war in Iraq?
Soon after this concert, country music radio stations refused to play any of the bands songs. People all over the world threw out their CDs (Pareles). During this time, the first amendment right was tested, do the people of the United States really have freedom of speech?
Despite the problems the band faces in the 2003 Grammys the band was nominated for four awards and came home with 3, such as “Best Country Album” (“List”).
This lead to many different songs throughout the years depicting the idea that the women were not ready to let go and forgive, such as one of their more popular songs of today, “Not Ready to Make Nice”.
Stay Tuned for the next post, where you’ll learn more about the DIxie Chicks and their Anti War reputation!
MacIntosh, Dan. “Bruce Robison : Songwriter Interviews.” Bruce Robison : Songwriter Interviews. May 20, 2013. Accessed September 11, 2014. http://www.songfacts.com/blog/interviews/bruce_robison/.
Hiatt, Brian. “Natalie Maines: A Dixie Chick Declares War on Nashville.” RollingStone. May 30, 2013. Accessed September 12, 2014. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/natalie-maines-a-dixie-chick-declares-war-on-nashville-20130530.
Pareles, Jon. “Down-Home and Defiant Again.” The New York Times. June 22, 2003. Accessed September 16, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/23/arts/pop-review-down-home-and-defiant-again.html.
“List of Awards and Nominations Received by the Dixie Chicks.” Wikipedia. February 2, 2011. Accessed September 16, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_and_nominations_received_by_Dixie_Chicks#Grammy_Awards.
“Not Ready To Make Nice~Dixie Chicks (Lyrics).” YouTube. January 11, 2009. Accessed September 16, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-ounk0FNdY.