Follow Your Arrow

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“Follow Your Arrow”
Kacey Musgraves

If you save yourself for marriage
You’re a bore
If you don’t save yourself for marriage
You’re a horr…ible person
If you won’t have a drink
Then you’re a prude
But they’ll call you a drunk
As soon as you down the first one

If you can’t lose the weight
Then you’re just fat
But if you lose too much
Then you’re on crack
You’re damned if you do
And you’re damned if you don’t
So you might as well just do
Whatever you want
So

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

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

So 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

Say what you think
Love who you love
‘Cause you just get
So many trips ’round the sun
Yeah, you only
Only live once

So make lots of noise
Kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that’s what you’re into
When the straight and narrow
Gets a little too straight
Roll up a joint, I would
And follow your arrow
Wherever it points, yeah
Follow your arrow
Wherever it points

Sometimes a song really resonates with me, and as I think music should be, it is also beautiful poetry. I came across this song as a free download from my Starbucks app. One listen, and I was hooked. After listening to “Follow Your Arrow” from Musgraves’ Same Trailer Different Park!, the Nashville-based singer-songwriter’s first album for Mercury Records, it’s clear that this is a girl who has something to say. A true language artist, Kacey nimbly spins webs of words to create the quirky puns, shrewd metaphors, and steely ironies that fill the record. She is also the recipient of the 2013 CMA New Artist of the Year award, the 2014 Grammy for Best Country Album and Best Countey Song for “Merry Go ‘Round,” and the 2014 ACM Album of the Year.

On “Follow Your Arrow,” she points out the hypocrisies that society imposes on even the most conservative among us (If you save yourself for marriage you’re a bore/If you don’t save yourself for marriage you’re a horr…ible person) which she balances with a chorus that preaches throwing caution and propriety to the wind: (Make lots of noise/Kiss lots of boys/Or kiss lots of girls if that’s something your into/When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight/Roll up a joint/Or don’t/Follow your arrow wherever it points.) Her message is clear: Be yourself and be happy.

Musgraves’ first two singles, “Merry Go ‘Round” and “Blowin’ Smoke,” struck a chord with country fans because of Musgraves’ outspoken lyrics. Her third single, “Follow Your Arrow,” was released to radio this week and turns the real talk up to ten. In it she discusses a few controversial topics, including one mainstream country rarely — if ever — tackles: homosexuality. “Kiss lots of boys/Or kiss lots of girls if that’s something you’re into,” she sings.

“Well I hope it gets attention because I think it’s definitely time for those issues to be accepted in country music — I mean it’s 2013,” she said. “Regardless of your political beliefs, everybody should be able to love who they want to love and live how they want to live. We’re all driven by the same emotions; we all want to be loved and want to feel the same things. So, hopefully people will put aside their personal, political agenda and just agree with that fact.”

I am particularly excited because I am going to see Kacey Misgrave in concert on Saturday. She will be opening along with Kip Moore for Lady Antebellum. Besides being a fan of Musgrave and being very excited to see her, I am also excited to see Lady Antebellum, because Charles Kelley is one of the sexiest men in country music.

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About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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