I think we can all agree that the women in country music are pretty badass. Always have been and always will be. But what’s funny to observe though, is how female country cheating/revenge songs have evolved through out the years.
Jumping back in time and listening to the greats like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, it’s interesting listening to their perspective. Loretta released “Fist City” in 1968, and the title says it all… she literally threatens to punch this woman in the face if she keeps coming after her beau. Then you have Dolly, a couple years later, who straight up begs Jolene not to take her man. There is no thought that “hmm, maybe the man in my life could be in the wrong?” Nope… just the other woman.
Then in the ’80s and early ’90s, Reba McEntire comes out with some cheating ballads. In “Whoever’s in New England,” Reba acknowledges that her husband has someone else out East, but expresses how she will still be there for him when things end with the mistress. (Side note, Cody Johnson released an acoustic cover of the ballad that’s phenomenal.) Flash forward a couple more years, Reba does it again with a cheating ballad featuring Linda Davis called “Does He Love You.”
Listening to the melancholic melody, the two woman go back and forth on whether the man loves the other like he loves them. This song is accompanied with an epic music video that comes with ALL the ’90s angst. If the video wasn’t dramatic enough, it ends with the wife blowing up the boat her husband and mistress are on… CLASSIC.
I think Reba’s music video started a trend because by the late ’90s and early 2000s, our radios were given revenge songs like Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” and The Chicks’ “Earl Had to Die.” Both songs were about no good, abusive men that the women had enough of and killed them… by fire or black eyed peas.
Cue Miranda and Carrie… the two blonde bombshells who both came out with revenge-packed bangers.
For one, I don’t think anyone would ever want to cross Miranda Lambert. In 2005 she released “Kerosene” in which were taught that if someone cheats on you, just burn their stuff…
“Light ’em up and watch them burn, teach them what they need to learn.”
Two years later, we were given “Gunpowder & Lead,”
“His fist is big, but my gun’s bigger… He’ll find out when I pull the trigger.”
Because do you know what’s worse than actually killing a man for cheating? Destroying his prized pick up truck, of course. And then of course she followed that up with “Two Black Cadillacs.”
Presently, I think Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope” is the real revenge getter, and really shows the evolution of female country revenge song.
Is Barrett going to confront the side chick? No. Is she just going to stay in the relationship? Nada. Is she going to kill and/or destroy his property? Nope… she actually wishes the cheater well. She hopes the side chick makes him feel as happy as he once made her…. and then hopes he experiences it all crashing down by getting cheated on, like what happened to her… pretty savage.
If one thing has been learned through out the years…. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.