Friday, December 7, 2007

Blog#5: Music Jenny Walton

WS 200: BLOG #5
Jenny Walton
“Goodbye Earl”: written by Dennis Lynde, performed by “Dixie Chicks”, 2000.

Mary Anne and Wanda were the best of friends
All through their high school days
Both members of the 4H club
Both active in the FFA
After graduation Mary Anne went out lookin'
for a bright new world
Wanda looked all around this town
And all she found was Earl

Well it wasn't two weeks
After she got married that
Wanda started gettin' abused
She put on dark glasses and long sleeved blouses
And make up to cover a bruise
Well she finally got the nerve to file for divorce
She let the law take it from there
But Earl walked right through that restraining order
And put her in intensive care
Right away Mary Anne flew in from Atlanta
On a red eye midnight flight
She held Wanda's hand as they
Worked out a plan
And it didn't take 'em long to decide
That Earl had to die

Goodbye Earl
Those black-eyed peas
They tasted all right to me Earl
You're feelin' weak
Why don't you lay down
And sleep Earl
Ain't it dark
Wrapped up in that tarp Earl

The cops came by to bring Earl in They searched the house
High and low
Then they tipped their hats
And said "thank you ladies if you hear from him let us know"
Well the weeks went by and
Spring turned to Summer
And Summer faded into Fall
And it turns out he was a missing person
Who nobody missed at all
So the girls bought some land
And a roadside stand
Out on Highway 109
They sell Tennessee ham
And strawberry jam
And they don't
Lose any sleep at night 'cause
Earl had to die

Goodbye Earl
We need a break
Let's go out to the lake Earl
We'll pack a lunch
And stuff you in the trunk Earl
Well is that all right
Good Let's go for a ride
Earl Hey


This song, “Goodbye Earl”, stands out to me as one of the best to address the issue of spouse abuse. Although I don’t agree with the outcome of Wanda and Mary Anne killing Earl, the fact that they stood up to Earl (when the law couldn’t do more than they had), and took care of the problem by removing him from the picture together, is a social problem often overlooked. In the lyrics, the girls’ lives are stereotyped as in what they do in high school as in 4H and FFA. These are clubs to be in for many rural kids, which makes this song appealing to high-school age kids. Mary Ann left their hometown, went off to find herself and was more independent. Wanda was more traditional and got married, not looking far, for “all she found was Earl”, and was abused after they were married. It seems that Wanda had a spark of independence for she filed for divorce and had a restraining order on Earl. I have personal experience with this issue and to be able to stand up and be heard is very difficult to do. Many women world-wide are killed by their spouse when restraining orders are issued and/or divorces are initiated. Mary Ann came back to Wanda’s rescue as a good friend would do and helped her find a solution that would work since the law didn’t. It seems that Earl wasn’t well-liked because the town didn’t miss him after all and the girls went on with their lives, remaining friends. This song, although as I have stated that I don’t like the outcome (would have rather seen him rot in prison), shows what solidarity between women can accomplish. The “Dixie Chicks” are well-known to be a controversial band and they have taken political stands against wars, spousal abuse and issues such as the need for all people to be independent and true to themselves, not just what society expects.

No comments: