Friday, January 19, 2007

Don't Mess With Texas

Alright, the self-pity is over, and never to be spoken of again. I am back in the game. There are errands to be run, books to be read, tasks to be realized, new dissertation chapters to be wrought.

But first a request in the comments to my previous self-pitying post, from the lovely chelsea girl. She asks, in the context of pairing poems with pop songs for an English lit class, if there are any good songs in which a woman kills her husband. Another commenter has already suggested Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun," which is an interesting choice. I had always assumed it was about a child abuse victim killing her father, but re-listening to it I realize that it is unclear who Janie actually kills--it could very well be that her abused childhood causes her to kill some (slightly) more innocent victim.

My first offhand suggestion? The Dixie Chick's classic "Goodbye Earl," with its fabulous chorus:
Goodbye Earl
Those black-eyed peas
They tasted all right to me Earl
You're feeling weak
Why don't you lay down
and sleep Earl
Ain't it dark
Wrapped up in that tarp Earl

Off topic: I first heard this song in college, and it was played to me by my partner's aunt. This lady is a very nice woman, but has quite conservative politics--she certainly would be proud to say that Bush is from her state, if he was, which he isn't. And I think she would reject the label feminist as well. But man, she loved this song, and the message of empowerment it gave. When Natalie Maines gets to the point where snarls, "Earl had to die!" she would sing along at the top of her lungs, and smirk at her husband.

But does anybody else have any suggestions for woman-on-man uxoricide in popular music?


chelsea girl said...

Thanks, another friend suggested the same song. Interestingly, however, "uxoricide" specifically means a man killing a wife, or a man who does. I can't find the antithesis, almost as if the opposite term doesn't exist.

Now I'm on another hunt. Thank you for your help.

chelsea girl

Violet Vixen said...

It's not exactly pop, but "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago is what came to mind for me. Susan Cook has an interesting chapter on gender and murder ballads in Cecelia Reclaimed