Ms Renata showed us this video in class to demonstrate a point about writing feature articles: how songs sometimes have a deeper history and meaning if you care to find out. It’s never just about the quality of music.

The Grammy award-winning song struck a chord in me. I’ve not come across something so fiery and tender at the same time in a while. I could feel the vocalist Maines wrestling with her pain, and the subtle tinges of anger and remorse as she asked:

“And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over.”

I relate. I relate deeply. What a costly mistake for the Dixie Chicks to openly criticize Bush about sending troops to Iraq when they performed Travelin’ Soldier. Their songs were banned from country radio stations, they received death threats, they just fell out of popularity because they voiced their opinion.

And how in the world can the words that I said, send somebody so over the edge.

It’s never easy, is it. To make strong statements, and yet do it with wisdom and grace. Sometimes you just don’t know how to say what you want to say and when to say it. One mistake, and you never know how much it will cost you and affect others, how wide and far the ripples spread.

What I love about the song, is that  despite their nervousness about it being “too preachy or too victimized or too nonchalant”, Not Ready to Make Nice turned out with a beautiful frail quality to it. Adamant, still a little angry, yes, but vulnerably so. They might have just made nice with that song, because their popularity soared once again.

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