The 2023 A-to-Z blogging challenge theme is resilience. Resilience is the ability to get back on our feet and keep going after life knocks us down and kicks sand in our faces. Resilience is how the psyche survives and copes, but resilience doesn’t necessarily wear a cape of positivity.
The 26 songs I’ve chosen show us, musically, what resilience looks (sounds?) like. I’ll offer a reflection of the resilience in each song. The songs are alphabetical by the artist’s first name or the group’s name, except for M, O, U, and X.
X is for The DiXie Chicks, before they dropped ‘Dixie’ and became The Chicks, and Goodbye, Earl.
Goodbye, Earl was written by Dennis Linde. The song is categorized in a niche genre called country murder ballad (aka ‘event song’ in which the event is murder).
A band called Sons of the Desert intended to record the song (c. 1999), but they didn’t. The then Dixie Chicks recorded and released it in 2000. Goodbye, Earl was the CD single “A” Side, and Tammy Wynette’s signature song Stand By Your Man was the “B” Side. The irony of those two songs on the same single CD absolutely delights my dark sense of humor. The Dixie Chicks’ version peaked at #13 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks (renamed Hot Country Songs).
For what this is worth and according to Wikipedia, in 2021, Rolling Stone Magazine listed Goodbye, Earl as No. 469 in the “Top 500 Best Songs of All Time”.
Goodbye, Earl generated a great deal of controversy when it was released. Several radio stations refused to play it, which brought about dual discussions:
1) regarding media/radio choosing to ban certain songs for fear of listener criticism, and
2) raising awareness of domestic violence issues. Some radio stations provided hotline numbers to call or information for the local domestic violence shelter after each time the song aired.
I offer this single comment about the resilience underlying the lyrics.
Goodbye, Earl is an example of human resilience at a dark and desperate level to survive, especially for anyone who experiences emotional, psychological, and/or physical abuse from someone in a position of power or greater physical force.
I purposely didn’t choose to show the Goodbye, Earl video. This is just the music and lyrics.
*Image of woman with hands out by RODNAE Productions and Pexels
Until next time
writing through history one romance upon a time