As emphasized by the fact that Ted Cruz claims that his love of country music developed after 9/11, its reputation over the last 14 years or so is of jingoism, guns, beer, trucks, and good ole’ boy Republicanism.
There’s no room in country music to have either your musical tastes or your views challenged and there’s certainly no room for being gay – at least that’s what the industry would have us believe.
Surprisingly, the latest country music controversy has even country music fans scratching their heads. Radio stations are banning one the latest hits, a song by Little Big Town called “Girl Crush.”
The song is sung by a woman. It’s fairly easy to imagine, if you just pay attention to the song title, that it’s about a woman having a crush on a girl. I’m pretty sure that would make the heads explode of the most conservative country fans (although there are an increasing number of LGBT country artists).
The song, though, isn’t even about a lesbian crush. It’s beautifully written (and trust me, I’m not a country music fan), it’s haunting, it’s emotional, but it’s not a song about lesbian love. It’s a song that’s pure country fare. It’s about a broken heart and jealousy.
“I want to taste her lips, yeah cause they taste like you / I want to drown myself in a bottle of her perfume,” vocalist Karen Fairchild sings. “I want her long blond hair, I want her magic touch / Yeah cause maybe then, you’d want me just as much. . . I got a girl crush.”
Give it a listen:
Did that song turn you gay? I didn’t think so, but a lot of country fans thought the message was of a “gay agenda,” and as a response, some radio stations have pulled the song.
In recent weeks, multiple radio stations from coast to coast have been inundated with similar complaints about “Girl Crush,” forcing several to take it out of a regular rotation. (Sample comments heard by a Texas program director: “You are just promoting the gay agenda on your station and I am changing the channel and never listening to you ever again!!”)
Source: Washington Post
That doesn’t mean that all country fans are turning away from the song. It’s number four on iTunes, which attracts younger listeners than the radio. Unfortunately, there’s still an underlying thread of homophobia. I can’t imagine Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” would even make it on country radio.
Of course, we’d likely be having a different conversation if the song actually were about a gay crush. Would it be number 4 on iTunes? Well, I downloaded it.
Featured image via YouTube video.