With finger-pointing lyrics, the singer asserts that “it’s time for you to let them cowgirls in.” At the same time, putting the genuineness of their country lifestyle into question, singing:
“Just because you got a little dust under your boots doesn’t mean you walked a country mile. You never hopped a train, and your back roads are going outta style. Listen to the radio and sing along. You’re not saying anything. Well, you never laid a railroad tie or watched a lonesome cowboy die or listened to the bells of freedom ring.”
Carlile also made a sly reference to Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” as popularized by Johnny Cash, which she contrasts to new boys who came in allegedly by pretending to be outlaws. Then she dropped the potentially controversial line that always led to thunderous applause from concertgoers, “Yeah, get ’em while they last. The NRA can kiss my country ass.”
Indeed, Carlile never holds back when it comes to sharing her opinion. “I’m not afraid to say that. I’m not afraid of who it alienates,” she said. “To not squander the opportunity I’ve been given is an evolution. If somebody believes I’m wrong, I want them to say it so we can engage. Big inclusive sentiments are a salve. They’re not appropriate.”
Promoting Gender Equality In Country Music
Brandi Carlile has a substantial history of standing up for the causes that matter the most to her, including elevating all women and giving “our girls those country music heroes that we all had.”
This led to the formation of the supergroup, The Highwomen, in 2016 – which also features talented singers Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby. The Highwomen’s founding principles include promoting gender equality in country music and beyond.
“I noticed recently that country music is having this weird issue that’s kind of countercultural and strange with the times, that there’s just not that many female country singers,” Carlile said. Though she admits that female country singers today, like Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris, are great – Carlile believes there’s just not enough of them.
“And so the Highwomen have come to try to open that door up. If we can get it open a little bit and just get our foot in there,” Carlile added. “This isn’t a Highwomen song, but I wrote this song about this…This isn’t a Highwomen song, but I wrote this (as) kind of a tongue-in-cheek song to the boys in the country music industry.”
You can listen to “Cowgirls” in the video below.