What Matt Lewis Said About Kacey Musgraves And How He’s Completely Wrong

Anybody who knows me, knows I am not a fan of country music as a whole. I respect the talent behind the music very much. I’ve been watching the HBO series ‘Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways’ and they’ve had four episodes in four cities thus far: Chicago, Washington DC, Nashville and Austin.

My favorite so far, by far, was Nashville. In it, Dave Grohl spent the bulk of the time talking about country music and talking to country musicians including Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris (who looks amazing BTW), Zac Brown and others.

I do actually like Zac Brown and I also like Kacey Musgraves. I wouldn’t even know who she was, were it not for my friend Tom McFarlin who told me to give her a listen. So I went to Spotify and started to listen to ‘Same Trailer, Different Park’ and was surprised to find I really liked it. It’s not traditional country as I had come to know it and it’s certainly better than the shit Florida/Georgia Line produces.

While my favorite track personally is ‘Back On The Map’, the song Musgraves just won a CMA award for is ‘Follow Your Arrow.’ It’s a catchy song and some debate has stirred about exactly what the song means. The latest is Matt Lewis who has weighed in. With a ridiculous title, “Is This Country Star The New Wendy Davis?’, Matt opines:

With liberal darlings Wendy Davis and Sandra Fluke hitting the skids on Tuesday, and “Girls” star Lena Dunham canceling public appearances and threatening to sue conservative outlets, it is perhaps time for another liberal savior to rise. And that’s where Kacey Musgraves, who took home Song of the Year for “Follow Your Arrow” at the CMA’s on Wednesday, comes in.

The song has been labeled controversial and progressive—and has been celebrated in such outlets as Rolling Stone and Slate. And you might be surprised to hear me say that, as a music fan, there is something about it I like.

He goes on:

Actually, they are misrepresenting the tune. Or, at least, it’s not that simple. One could just as easily argue that this song is a defense of traditional American values like chastity and sobriety and regular church attendance, inasmuch as those alternatives are presented as equally valid.

No, the real problem with this song is not that it promotes anything so much as that it promotes everything. Or maybe that, in so doing, it promotes nothing. Now, I’m sure that to young country fans living in the heartland—kids who have been inundated with hideous “bro country” songs about drinking and riding in trucks for a decade now—the notion that one should “do whatever you want” and “follow your arrow” might sound like an original, non-conformist, and daresay intellectual, concept. The fact that it makes your parents uncomfortable when it comes on the radio is an added bonus.

But, in fact, the message advocated here is nothing more than a twangy, catchy, and admittedly sexier, recycling of the pernicious “If it feels good do it” lie that led so many of the 60s generation into the darkness.

Actually, Matt misses the point of the song entirely. 

There is a tendency to focus on the chorus where Musgraves says:

Make lots of noise
Kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that’s something you’re into
When the straight and narrow
Gets a little too straight
Roll up a joint, or don’t
Just follow your arrow
Wherever it points, yeah
Follow your arrow
Wherever it points

Now, reading that one could come away with the impression that Musgraves is saying, “Hey if it feels good, do it.” But it goes further than that. In fact, Musgraves is speaking more about individualism and non-conformity than anything having to do with  “promoting” anything. That’s evident in the verses:

If you don’t go to church
You’ll go to hell
If you’re the first one
On the front row
You’re self-righteous
Son of a-
Can’t win for losing
You’ll just disappoint ‘em
Just ’cause you can’t beat ‘em
Don’t mean you should join ‘em

Emphasis mine. Those last three lines are key. She’s saying no matter what you do, there will be people who are going to have something negative to say. Therefore, don’t conform. Be you own person. Be an individual. 

That mindset is about as far from Wendy Davis as one can get. 

The left have become experts at politicizing everything. And you’d better be damned sure they’re going to call you out for it — whatever “it” may be. Where you shop. What music you listen to. What sports teams you like. The books you read. The comic books you read. The video games you play.

The list can go on for awhile.

Musgraves song is a complete rejection of groupthink which has so permeated the left these days that it is insulting to liberalism to call them “liberals.”

Carry on Kacey. You’re no Wendy Davis.