Aw, do you hear that sniffling noise? That’s the sound of country bros everywhere crying because “Girl In A Country Song,” a song by Maddie & Tae that calls out the sexist tropes they love to sing about, just hit #1. Poor babies.
The chorus from their hit song laments the state of women in country songs today:
Bein’ the girl in a country song
How in the world did it go so wrong?
Like all we’re good for
Is looking good for you and your friends on the weekend
We used to get a little respect
Now we’re lucky if we even get
To climb up in your truck, keep my mouth shut and ride along
And be the girl in a country song
I’m not an expert on country music but I do love Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” in a very real way, and so I’m familiar with the girl in a country song that’s so often sung about these days. She wears a bikini top 24/7 and shows off her long tan legs (“Cruise”), she’s a “A little pretty thing. A little tan-legged Georgia dream. She’s a rockin’ them holey jeans (“My Kinda Party,” Jason Aldean). She also “likes to get her toes done bright red, she’s always reapplying her lipstick,” she’s “got the blue jeans painted on tight that everybody wants on a Saturday night” (“Whatever She’s Got,” David Nail).
Bro country, dubbed by music critic Jody Rosen, is considered to be “music by and of the tatted, gym-toned, party-hearty young American white dude.” It also speaks of women as mostly ornamental; pretty little things who just love to ride shotgun. Maddie & Tae call out these endless barrage of girl in a country song tropes with bite, and it’s delivered in an addictively catchy tune. They also use lyrics from these bro country songs in “Girl in A Country Song,” which is a #micdrop move if I ever did see one. Needless to say, some of the bros have their boxers in a twist over the whole thing, because as we’ve seen time and time again: men get all pissy when they think their fun is about to be taken away from them.
In August, Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley told the Chicago Tribune that he’d never heard of the song, and said “All I’m gonna say about that is, I don’t know one girl who doesn’t want to be a girl in a country song. That’s all I’m gonna say to you. That’s it.”
Er, okay dude. Calm down.
Emily Yahr at the Washington Post note that lots of bro country singers really f**king hate being labeled as such. Luke Bryan called it “aggravating and derogatory.” Funny, that might be what some women say about how they’re portrayed in bro country music. But then again what do I know, I’m just sitting here quietly painting jeans onto my body.
Of course, bros on twitter hate the song:
Girl in a Country Song may be the worst song I have ever heard and it comes on every day at work. Every. Day. I hate it. I hate it.
”” Matt Corte (@CallMeMattC) December 4, 2014
Listen here, being a girl in a country song is not something you should be whining about, just listen to conway. Hate that dam song.
”” Jared (@nohashtags1203) December 9, 2014
I hate “Girl In a Country Song” bc I feel like no girl would ever be mad if Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, or FGL ever sang a song about them ..
”” Kyle Self (@Kyle_Self1) October 1, 2014
It’s important to note that dudes of all musical genres love to sing about these magical, mythical women who want nothing more than to be gazed at and sung about. I’ve been listening to a lot of The 1975 lately – “You’ve got your tongue pierced anyway, you’re in your high tops any day, you’re in your skinny jeans anyway” – and my precious One Direction boys are always singing about girls who are “5 foot something with the skinny jeans.”
Maddie & Tae’s song may be directed at bro country, but every man in music should give it a listen.