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Mary Chapin Carpenter Delivers A Message Of Female Empowerment In “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her”

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In 1993, Mary Chapin Carpenter released one of her biggest hits, “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” as the sixth single off her album Come On Come On. The song became Carpenter’s sixth top ten hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, where it spent twenty incredible weeks – peaking at No. 2.

It also earned various nominations, such as the Grammy Award for Record of The Year as well as Song of the Year and Single of the Year from the Country Music Association.

Mary Chapin Carpenter Standing Up For All The Neglected Housewife

Written by Mary Chapin Carpenter along with country music songwriting stalwart Don Schlitz, “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” tells the story of a wife living the usual, dreary life devoted to her family. She makes her husband’s coffee, keeps him fed, she does the laundry – at the same time attending to everything their three children need. 

For fifteen years, she has done a job that’s barely appreciated.

The song truly gives light to the maddening life of a neglected housewife. It was inspired by a Geritol TV commercial that aired in the 1970s but has since been regarded as extremely sexist and demeaning. In the short ad, a husband alluded to his wife’s many attributes and accomplishments – with that in mind, he concluded, “My wife…I think I’ll keep her.”

In a two-hour CBS special in 1993, called The Women of Country, Carpenter made women empowerment the center of interest as she performed “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” with some of the biggest female artists in country music history, such as Emmylou Harris, Trisha Yearwood, and Patty Loveless, among others.

Make sure to listen to “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” by Mary Chapin Carpenter in the video below.

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