Multiple award winning group Little Big Town is making some serious waves with their new song Girl Crush. Country music station 104.3 FM in Boise, Idaho, played the song and got an overwhelming response from callers, but surprisingly, the calls were mostly negative. This seems to be a typical response as the song hit airwaves nationwide and as a result, several program directors are pulling the song from their playlists.
When Little Big Town first released Girl Crush it was an instant hit on iTunes. Fans have made it number 4 on the country charts according to the Washington Post, but it is falling way behind in the radio rankings, coming in at a very dismal number 33. The huge difference in what country fans are buying, and what is currently popular on country radio, raises the issue of exactly how progressive today’s country music really is.
The lyrics in Little Big Town’s controversial song includes a passage that some people are claiming has a gay connotation.
“I want to taste her lips, yeah cause they taste like you / I want to drown myself in a bottle of her perfume. 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.”
Compared to what seems to be the new style of country music, most people wouldn’t think twice about these lyrics. Other country music superstars have sung about things that have explicit sex lyrics, occasional marijuana use, partying and heavy drinking. None of those songs have received as much of a backlash as Girl Crush has, so this has to lead you to the question, is country music really as progressive as it claims to be?
Touch Of Country reports that Bobby Bones, who hosts the most popular show on country radio, decided to tackle the controversial topic head on when Little Big Town stopped by his station for an interview.
“Is it frustrating to you that here is your song — that is one of the Top 10 sellers for weeks and weeks and weeks — and people on the radio are still afraid to play it because they think it’s a ‘lesbian song?'” he asked them. “It would drive me insane!”
Little Big Town singer, Karen Fairchild responded to Bones question by saying, “Just the fact that we’re still discussing that, number one, there’s so many problems with that whole issue.”
To try and clear up what Little Big Town feels is just a misinterpretation of the lyrics, the band shot a small commercial to explain what they were trying to say with the lyrics in Girl Crush. Fairchild says that the song is intended to be about a man who leaves his girlfriend for another woman, and his ex-girlfriend becomes jealous of his new “girl crush.” The one particular lyric in the song that Fairchild thinks may be the source of all the attention is “taste her lips,” but she still does not understand why people would automatically think that those words would imply a lesbian type relationship.
The real issue seems to be that even if those words were implying something in a gay relationship, why would that even matter? Some people in country music are coming forward to support the band, and pointing out that people need to have a more open mind when they listen to lyrics of songs. A program director from Texas, who has remained anonymous, wrote a blog about the song.
“Country music fans, please try to have an open mind about songs you are hearing on the radio today and if you don’t like them, that’s fine. But don’t not like them for the wrong close-minded reasons.”
Despite some of the negative attention Little Big Town seems to be getting right now, the popular group still appears to be climbing the charts with their new song, even with the lack of airplay it is currently receiving.
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