I stand by my earlier post that I don’t care what celebrities think about most issues.
I like Toby Keith and I like the Dixie Chicks. I like their music. I don’t care about their politics. Why would anyone get upset over their views? They’re entitled to their opinions. But their not experts in the fields of war and politics, so those opinions don’t mean any more than yours or mine. To get upset over statements by Keith or Natalie Maines grants them some type of authority they do not deserve.
If we’re deciding whether to go to war, we shouldn’t ask the Dixie Chicks. They’re not authorities. If the issue is music, you couldn’t ask for a better authority. I won’t allow their opinions to rob me of the pleasure of their music.
This weekend, I saw the video for Not Ready to Make Nice. Then I saw a CNN story about the song. It claimed you have to “read between the lines” to hear their response to the controversy over their comments about President Bush.
Whoever wrote that obviously did not listen to the song. What begins as a very good song becomes a spectacular song in the second verse. The lyrics and the music break from the structure of the rest of the song. It starts with well-chosen lyrics and powerful instrumentation. You may not agree with what Maines sings, but the way she sings it is moving.
“It’s a sad, sad story when a mother will teach her
daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world can the words that I said
send somebody so over the edge
that they’d write me a letter, say that I’d better
shut up and sing or my life will be over.”
The message is not between the lines. It’s very clear.
It’s also clear that this song joins a long list of songs you can appreciate without completely agreeing with the singer’s point of view. I don’t want to imagine there’s no heaven, but John Lennon’s Imagine is a beautiful song. I might have sung Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman in the car a time or two. It doesn’t mean I want to be a woman. I appreciate the songs purely for the sake of the music and the musicians without adopting their philosophy as part of my life.
Not Ready to Make Nice is a musical masterpiece.