Sunday Songs-One For The 4th of July

Choosing a song for this occasion was difficult.

I wanted to avoid all of the clichés in my choice to celebrate our country’s independence, and find one that not only upholds the very essence of freedom of speech, but does so in a way that makes one think. 

Some of you may remember a country band called The Dixie Chicks. They are still together and have been since 1989. 

They fell out of favor with many in the USA in 2003 after this:


Now, I’m not going to get into a political debate here or encourage anyone to choose a side. My goal on this weekend, which means so much to me as an American, is to share a song written in response to the backlash The Dixie Chicks received for simply speaking out and sharing an opinion.

As many know, Mary Chapin Carpenter is my favorite female singer-songwriter. 

In this song she firmly and deftly points out that those “three little stars in a great big sky” had a right to say what they said, and there was no crime as they were exercising their freedom of speech. 

The crime lay in the hateful–yes, the angry, demoralizing, degrading, sexist, and elitist–treatment of The Dixie Chicks, and anyone like them who speak against the privileged powers that be.

Take a listen, even if you don’t care for the inspiration for MCC’s song. She is a warrior with a guitar and a killer voice, and one who knows how to call people out on their own bullshit.

On With The Song by Mary Chapin Carpenter

“On With The Song”
This isn’t for the ones who blindly follow

Jingoistic bumper stickers tellin’ you

To love it or leave it and you’d better love Jesus

And get out of the way of the Red, White, and Blue
This isn’t for the ones who buy their six-packs

At the 7-Eleven where the clerk makes change

Whose accent makes clear (he) sure ain’t from here

They call him a camel jockey instead of his name

No, this is for the ones who stand their ground

When the lines in the sand get deeper

When the whole world seems to be upside down

And (the) shots bein’ taken get cheaper, cheaper
This isn’t for the ones who would gladly swallow

Everything their leader would have them know

Bowing and kissin’ while the truth goes missin’

“Bring it on,” he crows, puttin’ on his big show
This isn’t for the man who can’t count the bodies

Can’t comfort the families, can’t say when he’s wrong

Playin’ “I’m the decider,” like some sort of Messiah

While another day passes and a hundred souls gone
This is for the ones that I see above me

Three little stars in a great big sky

Light for the world and hope for the weary

They try
This isn’t for the ones with their radio signal

Callin’ for bonfires and boycotts, they rave

Exhorting their listeners to spit on the sinners

While countin’ the bucks of advertising, they’ll save
[Tag Chorus:]

This isn’t for you and you know who you are

Just do what you want ’cause I know that you can

But I gotta be true to myself and to you

So on with the song, I don’t give a damn

“On With The Song” by Mary Chapin Carpenter, from the album The Calling (2007, Zoë Records, Copyright Mary Chapin Carpenter)


  1. I love this. I love what the Dixie Chicks did and I LOVE Mary Chapin Carpenter! This song kicks ass! And is sooo damn true. We need to stand up for what we think is right no matter what others say or do! Great post!


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