The Dixie Chicks, Donald, Obama, and Me


I don’t know if it’s because us little, loud mouth liberals have to stick together or if it’s because her music got me through probably the hardest time of my life, but Natalie Maines still has my heart. If it hadn’t been for the Dixie Chicks, I don’t know that I would have made it through 19. 

I hear those songs ‘You Were Mine’ and ‘Once You’ve Loved Somebody’ and I’m back in the mountains of Knoxville and nothing will ever hurt me the way that year hurt. I learned what I was made of then — and who God was. What a year.

As I came to terms with the fact that I would never see the man who I considered my father — my uncle — again, and as I processed the unexpected five-year court battle that I found myself in, it was the Dixie Chicks that sang me home.

And again, through anger and heartbreak in adulthood with ‘Not Ready to Make Nice,’   they were there.  Everybody in this county saw me running through downtown with Natalie Maines blaring in my ears, nothing but sheer hate driving me on. Their “Wide Open Spaces” album is still one of my desert island discs and there will never be another crossover success so rooted in traditional country music.  And that’s been reflected every time I’ve seen them take the stage — where that banjo grabs hold and, like a fine whiskey, begins to soothe everything that ails.

That’s why it’s so incredibly insane to me now to look back at how they were shunned from an industry they were ruling and banned from country radio for a flippant remark about the President, right before bashing the president became a national sport. Don’t tell me that racism doesn’t exist or that race doesn’t have anything to do with it — because if you do, you’re just flat lying.

Or you’re blissfully in willful denial about not only your racist tendencies, but everybody else’s. Just check out “Obama t-shirts” on Amazon, you’ll see more hate than you do respect. It’s hard to read articles like the below and then explain that away. Unless you call it EXACTLY what it is, the history of our nation — racism.

Natalie, once again, you go on and sing us — Nashville — Home, girl. I think the world has long since seen how wrong they were. God knows it took long enough.  But I know, from one little strong willed woman to another, we’re always

Taking the Long Way.

Candice Mathis


Candi is a lifelong reader, writer, Democrat, kid keeper. She lives in Middle Tennessee and rants coast to coast.


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