Dixie Chicks. Emily Robison, Natalie Maines, Martie Seidel. Houston Chronicle (chron.com)

Penned by one of the band’s members, Martie Seidel, and Marcus Hummon“Cowboy Take Me Away” was first recorded by American group Dixie Chicks. Released in November 1999, it was the second single from their album, Fly.

Derived from a commercial slogan, the song title, “Cowboy, Take Me Away,” was based on “Calgon, Take Me Away.” Calgon is a brand registered trademark of water softener, and bath and beauty products.

Martie Siedel (now Martie McGuire) wrote this song about her bandmate Emily Robison‘s boyfriend, Charlie. In an interview, she stated,

“[Emily] had been dating a bunch of guys I didn’t approve of, and then she met Charlie and I sort of pictured him whisking her off into the sunset.”

Eventually, Emily and Charlie got married and are living together until now.

Song’s Chart Performance

“Cowboy Take Me Away” has penetrated the charts in 1999-2000. It reached no. 1 on the RPM Canada Country Tracks and peaked at no. 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100. On the other hand, the song achieved the 4th position on the Billboard US Country Songs and 95th on the Billboard US Hot 100.

In February 2000, “Cowboy Take Me Away” peaked at no. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart. With Martie playing the violin, Emily playing the banjo, and Natalie’s redolent voice, their astounding performance made an impact on the country music fans. To note, “Cowboy Take Me Away” rapidly became one of Dixie Chicks signature songs.

Lyrical Interpretation

The lyrics talks about a mixture of yearning for greater tranquility:

I wanna walk and not run, I wanna skip and not fall
I wanna look at the horizon, and not see a building standing tall

with plaintive desire for emotional, romantic connection, and simple joyous acceptance against a minor chord turning into major:

Oh it sounds good to me, yeah it sounds so good to me
Cowboy, take me away …

The Dixie Chicks channeled their vocal prowess into this song. From the amazing violin breaks of Martie Seidel to the exuberant banjo playing skills of Emily Robison, and the heartfelt voice of Natalie Maines, there’s no arguing that this is one of their contenders that skyrocketed their career.

Watch the official video of the Dixie Chicks’ “Cowboy Take Me Away.”

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