Monday, November 27, 2006

When I jumped into this book, this song by Gretchen Wilson immediately came to mind:

Well I ain't never
Been the barbie doll type
No I can't swig that sweet champagne
I'd rather drink beer all night
In a tavern or in a honky tonk
Or on a 4 wheel drive tailgate
I've got posters on my wall of Skynard, Kid and Strait
Some people look down on me
But I don't give a rip
I'll stand barefooted in my own front yard with a baby on my hip

Cause I'm a redneck woman
And I ain't no high class broad
I'm just a product of my raisin'
And I say "hey y'all" and "Yee Haw"
And I keep my Christmas lights on, on my front porch all year long
And I know all the words to every Charlie Daniels song
So here's to all my sisters out there keepin' it country
Let me get a big "Hell Yeah" from the redneck girls like me
Hell Yeah
Hell Yeah

Victoria's Secret
Well their stuff's real nice
Oh but I can buy the same damn thing on a Wal*Mart shelf half price
And still look sexy
Just as sexy
As those models on TV
No I don't need no designer tag to make my man want me
You might think I'm trashy
A little too hard core
But get in my neck of the woods
I'm just the girl next door

Hey I'm redneck woman
And I ain't no high class broad
I'm just a product of my raisin'
And I say "hey y'all" and "Yee Haw"
And I keep my Christmas lights on, on my front porch all year long
And I know all the words to every Tanya Tucker song
So here's to all my sisters out there keeping it country
Let me get a big "Hell Yeah" from the redneck girls like me
Hell Yeah
Hell Yeah

I said Hell Yeah


This song just strikes me, as it does many other people, as it is one of the most requested songs of recent history. It's in your face trash, embracing coming from rags. Gretchen Wilson's story shows how she is no stranger to victimhood (just like in Frank's Book).

I struggle with this personally. I am from rural America and can relate, not rednecks, but "hicks" rather. I know all about the huntin, fishin, snowmobilin, counrty music beltin, beer drinkin, working class, gossipin, people who attend christian church every sunday and are racist, sexist, and homophobic, but more just ignorant because of lack of exposure. This all rings a familar bell. My instinct has been to leave- go to school, visit for the fair, and plan to move to a city of some sort, maybe even abroad.

Braindrain or human capital flight is mostly talked about referring to countries like India or the Phillipines, but it is happening all over rural America. These places without much wealth, but a lot of people willing to vote against their economic interests exist even in Wisconsin. Well it's hard as hell going back home to people who call you things as if they had been on a strict diet of Ann Colture. Why would people go back to face fatter and less educated Ann Colture's? (When you put it like that...)

My future does not necessarily involve moving back home, but I do find an incredible amount of honor in re-spreading populism in rural America one potluck and discussion over beers at a time.

2 Comments:

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Alexander said...

I really enjoyed this post. It did make me smile a little bit when you spelled it, fishin. I just thought of some "hick" saying that. Believe it or not, people use to call me a "hick"

But i do agree with issues brought up in here. I think that "hicks" just need more experince with interacting with people who are different. But that cant happen untill people of difference move to those small town areas.

great blog and love the song!

 
At 10:11 PM, Blogger Pat McMenimen said...

I liked the comment Professor Tofias about the irony of these lyrics. What I think he was refering to was the mode in which this song became popular and made it possible for many people to relate to. The mode was the large corporate record lables that syphon the money out of the areas this song is written about. It reminded me of the Pink Floyd album "Animals." The idea of the album is very similar to George Orwell's "Animal Farm." There are three main parts to the album, titled Dogs, Pigs, and Sheep. Dogs symolize business owner's, Pigs symbolize businessmen and Sheep symbolize the proletariet. The basic concept of the album is a revolt of the sheep on the dogs. In last song Roger Waters writes "Now that I've found somewhere safe to bury my bone, And any fool knows, a dog needs a home, A shelter, from pigs on the wing." Here he calls himself a dog, or the business owner. It's ironic in the same way Red Neck Woman is. I think this helps us understand some of the issues we have talked about in class recently.

 

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