Follow Your Arrow

Follow Your Arrow
Songwriters: Shane L. Mcanally / Kacey Musgraves / Brandy Lynn Clark

If you save yourself for marriage
You’re a bore
You don’t save yourself for marriage
You’re a horrible 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 (hey)
Kiss lots of boys (yup)
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 losin’
You’ll just disappoint ’em
Just ’cause you can’t beat ’em
Don’t mean you should join ’em

So, make lots of noise (hey)
Kiss lots of boys (yup)
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 (Say what you think)
Love who you love (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 (hey)
Kiss lots of boys (yup)
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

Kacey Musgraves’ single, ‘Follow Your Arrow,’ caused some controversy in the often non-accepting country music industry when it came out. But according to the up-and-coming singer, the song started out as a simple gesture to a close friend. Musgraves said, “It started off as a poem, honestly, for this friend who was going off to Paris for four months studying and she was leaving everything she knew behind, going to a foreign country [and] didn’t know the language. I gave her this little arrow necklace and I wrote a little poem and it had ‘follow your arrow’ in it, ‘kiss lots of boys,’ and it kind of started there, but it turned into a bigger idea.”

The song is about self-acceptance, imploring listeners to not worry too much about whether others judge their life choices. The song’s live and let live lyrics regarding gay people came just three years after Chely Wright made headlines by being the first country star of her caliber to come out of the closet. Although some potential fans surely write off Musgraves as too liberal, the song didn’t halt Musgraves success. Either Wright and other openly gay country singers, like Billy Gillman, made a significant enough impact on changing listeners’ minds in a short span of years, or Musgraves’ ageless messages of loving your neighbor and minding your own business overshadowed socio-political divisiveness enough for her not to get banished from country music.

 I thought I’d do a Musical March for my poetry posts this month. Some of the greatest songs either began as poems like “Follow Your Arrow” did or they are poetry within themselves.

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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