Dixie Chicks: The Bitter Backlash

Banner at the 2003 Super Bowl was a true honor for Natalie Mines and all members of the Dixie Chicks. Their faces glittered with excitement, knowing that most American’s were watching their tribute to our Nation. The Dixie Chicks consisted of two sisters and a good friend, creating a unity of sisterhood. Weeks after their heartfelt performance in March 2003 the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks Natalie Maines, a mother, a wife, a citizen, and a liberal, blurted out at a concert in London, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.

Natalie knew our country was just about ready to invade Iraq. She was very expressive of our nation’s leader criticizing him in such a time launched a huge debate in our Nation. Little did Natalie know the impact of her well publicized comment would have on her and the Dixie Chicks musical career. People burned their CD’s and banned the trio from radio play on most country stations, especially in the southern states.

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The Dixie Chicks received death threats and were boycotted so badly even their most supportive fans lost their commitment to The Dixie Chicks.The album The Long Way Home released in 2006, was three years in the making. The girls poured their heart and soul into their come back album, they concentrated more on setting the record straight, than their record sales. The album defends their right to their opinion about President Bush and expresses their anger toward the cruelty of many people that considered them unpatriotic just because they didn’t necessarily stand behind Bush in this debatable war.

The album makes it well known to the world that the band is patriotic and supports the troops even though they didn’t believe in the mission set forth by our President. Not Ready to Make Nice”, was a song of redemption. This song was telling the people who treated the band so harshly, that they were not about to forgive them for their actions. The music in the new album, Taking the long way home, shows the raw emotions of what the group has gone through because of Natalie feeling the need to express her opinion of President Bush. The song “Not Ready to Make Nice” has bold and explicit lyrics that express the group’s pure frustration on how the world turned on them. 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’d better shut up and sing, or my life would be over”, reflects on the sense of fear and anger toward the death threat Natalie received during the controversy. The women held strong swearing this album would be them, a reflection every single band member. Natalie sings every word in this song with pure rage and explodes her feelings of the disconnection between the band and the world during the boycott.

Forgive sounds good, forget I’m not sure I could, they say time heals everything, but I’m still waiting” reveals that the band especially Natalie really to try to put the past behind them and in hopes that all this goes away, but not knowing how long it will take to forget and they will never forgive. The song promotes the bands feeling but in no way wanting to feel victimized or pitied. The Video of “Not Ready to Make Nice”, is bold and meaningful. In the beginning of the video the three beautiful women stand so pure in their white gowns with a priest and nuns and then all hell breaks loose.

The women now are dressed in black and white ball gowns, splashing and smearing black paint all over themselves. There is a scene that is actively comparing the trio to the infamous Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts. The true reality is portrayed in the video. The black and white video symbolizes the persecution of innocence towards the Dixie Chicks. All the tracks on the album are one of the first albums the group co wrote together.

The events that lead to this song really came out in the lyrics of “Not Ready to Make Nice. This album has the sound effects of a new age sound for the Dixie Chicks. The group tried to concentrate on new fans and a new genre in their music steering away from their well known county, bluegrass type of music. Texas being a huge connection of country music and a very patriotic state was refusing any performances by the Dixie Chicks and so many big country singers were very opinionated about the Dixie Chicks. So the band wanted to display their music to a different type of music the tried to focus to more of a pop kind of music.At the Grammy in 2007 the Dixie Chicks were invited to perform, the girls jumped at the chance to prove to our nation that nothing was going to hold them back from being heard. As the lights brighten in the background and lighting the stage Natalie stands there at her microphone. Natalie calmly starts out with their prideful song, “Forgive sounds good, forget not sure I could, they say time heals everything, But I’m still waiting” the crowd stats roaring and cheering.

As she proceeds with the song she closes her eyes and bolts of the words. She holds her microphone so firmly and shakes her head, with each new line she opens her eyes.She looks as though when she opens and closes her eyes she trying not to tear up because this song is so personable and this moment is so prideful. As the line “It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her daughter, that she outta hate a perfect stranger” the instruments get so loud and the mood is full of energy.

She explodes with body language. Seeing Natalie perform this you can tell this song means so much to her and her band mates because of their experience of persecution. Our first amendment says freedom of speech and that’s what Natalie was using, her right to speak.It raised many eyebrows and choked up many people. The Song, “ Not Ready to Make Nice” shows the true meaning on how our world can be so judgmental of people’s beliefs and their freedom to say whatever they want. The Dixie Chicks lashed back with an amazing, heart compelling song that is such a huge reference to their controversy.

The Dixie Chicks are proud to be who they are and they carry themselves with the capability to overcome anything, even when the entire county is staring at them right in their face and pointing at them as if they were a disgrace.

Author: Lee Lyons


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