Many country fans who listen to the radio or stream their favorite songs may not understand how a song goes number one on the charts and their involvement in that process. For example, in order for a song to hit the top of the charts, it has to be played across streaming and radio, A LOT. If you are listening to a song on the radio and don’t change the channel, that helps a song move up on the charts. This week, Maren Morris has claimed the top spot on the country chart with the title track to her latest album, “GIRL”. This is only the second female artist this year to take the top spot on the charts, the last being Kelsea Ballerini with “Miss Me More” back in June. Prior to that, Ballerini topped the charts but back in February of 2018 with “Legends”. Three songs in a year and a half. “I don’t know what to say except thank you. I won’t even wipe my tears because I’m proud of them and what this song has done. @thehighwomen made their debut and GIRL is the number 1 song in the country. We did it.”
Songs like “Miss Me More” and “GIRL” being the two tracks to break through the macho-made glass ceiling says something about what women listening to country music want to hear. We are over listening to songs about girls getting ready for a date with their dream man or looking to get violent revenge on their cheating ex. With lyrics like “I forgot I had dreams, I forgot I had wings / Forgot who I was before I ever kissed you / Yeah, I thought I’d miss you, but I miss me more” and “Draw your comparisons, tryin’ to find who’s lesser than / I don’t wanna wear your crown, there’s enough to go around” Ballerini and Morris who were both co-writers on these smash hits are singing about loving themselves enough to introspectively stand up for themselves and other women. Morris opens her video for “GIRL” by saying “Um, I think it just comes down to, we don’t want more than anyone else, we want the same as everyone else”.
So why this piece now, when there is a number one song each week, why are we highlighting this week in particular? Well, besides showcasing the scarcity of females on the charts, we wanted to celebrate the fact that this past week, acclaimed and Grammy-nominated songwriter, Nicolle Galyon, announced a huge partnership with Big Loud Records to head an all-female label named Songs & Daughters. Galyon herself has hit the top spots on the charts with songs like “Tequila” for Dan + Shay and “Automatic” for Miranda Lambert.
Another incredible newsworthy item for females in this genre is The Highwomen making their debut. As if Morris didn’t have enough going on, she chose to join a band with Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby, record an entire album and release two of the songs this week and last. The supergroup’s name is a play on The Highwaymen which featured Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings. Their first two releases, “Redesigning Women” and “Crowded Table” are both anthems for women today, emphasizing inclusiveness and just how badass women are with lyrics like “A critical reason there’s a population / Raising our brows at a new generation / Rosie the Riveter with renovations / And always gets better with wine” and “I want a house with a crowded table / And a place by the fire for everyone / Let us take on the world while we’re young and able / And bring us back together when the day is done”.
If we can learn anything from “GIRL”, and the ladies in this music industry: There’s enough to go around and to continue to lift each other up, praise each other’s successes and hope that these little victories for women actually help to turn the tides in the right direction. Congratulations to Maren Morris on her number one!
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