This Thanksgiving is a special one for me because my daughter is coming home from college. It is her first trip back to the Midwest since moving to South Carolina more than three months ago.
Surely that was enough time to meet some nice Carolina guys, right? “I just can’t get past the Southern thing,” she told me when I asked. “Like the pickup trucks, the plaid shirts and how they talk.” She basically described the perfect man, and yet, it sounded like she doesn’t have quite the same reverence for Southern men that I might. Where did I go wrong?
In my mind, I’ve been celebrating those traits — their trucks, twangs, pearl snaps, chew, manners, boots, haylofts, salt-cured hams, ’shine, and camouflage britches — for decades. But I think the problem is that girl singers have not been celebrating them enough. Men do it plenty, with songs like Blake Shelton’s backwoods “Boys ’Round Here,” Trace Adkins’ “Ladies Love Country Boys” and Luke Bryan’s “Country Man.”
But I think rejoicing in all things masculine would sound completely different if it came from a woman. More believable, at least.
God knows, the country guys have perfected the art and science of singing about the Southern opposite sex. Now is it too much to ask for the girl in the cherry lip gloss and cut offs with the jug of sweet tea to move over to make room for songs about a litany of good things about the guys?
There was a song on the Pistol Annies’ debut album called “Boys From the South,” but it was never released to radio. And then there was Trisha Yearwood’s “Cowboys Are My Weakness,” but come on. That one is from a 6-year-old album, and it was never a single.
This is my plea to every Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves, Sara Evans, Kellie Pickler, Hillary Scott, The Band Perry, Lauren Alaina , Ashley Monroe, Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman out there: Please, please, please write a song that puts Southern boys on a pedestal.
It’s time, girls. Do us proud.