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Tyler Farr’s song “Redneck Crazy” has been flying up the charts, been in the top 3 songs in the billboard rankings, and has been ranked in the top 50 for 31 weeks. As a therapist, I listen to songs with a little different perspective and especially since I have worked to help raise money and gain awareness for programs that help those affected by domestic violence like Safeplace. This song particularly gets my attention as the lyrics seem to promote domestic violence.
I’m gonna aim my headlights into your bedroom windows
Throw empty beer cans at both of your shadows
I didn’t come here to start a fight, but I’m up for anything tonight
You know you broke the wrong heart baby, and drove me redneck crazy
These lyrics don’t just support domestic violence, they seem to push it as a norm for anyone who listens to country. 1 in 4 women are affected by domestic violence and past societal norms kept them from talking about it or seeking help. This norming leads to 1,300 deaths per year and more than 2 million injuries per year.
The lyrics continue with:
Did you think I’d wish you both the best, endless love and happiness
You know that’s just not the kind of man I am
I’m the kind that shows up at your house at 3am
Country music has gone mainstream in the last 20 years and really grown in some wonderful ways. Examples of positive messaging and philanthropy are very strong in their community. Willie Nelson helped start Farm Aid to help family farms by directly connecting them to consumers. Chely Wright has raised over a million dollars to help promote music education through her charity Reading, Writing and Rhythm Foundation. I am curious what Martina McBride would have to say about the success of this song given her own efforts to curb domestic violence. Her song ‘Independence Day’, was about a woman in an abusive situation and brought her into the spotlight as a philanthropist with the YWCA Celebrity Auction.
The cost of domestic violence is extensive as healthcare related costs alone are in excess of $5.8 billion. More than 8 million days of work are lost each year due to domestic violence. This is the equivalent of 32,000 jobs. 33% of all police calls are regarding domestic violence.
What I am proposing is simple. Tyler Farr has an opportunity to use his celebrity to help those affected by domestic violence through donating a percentage of each ticket sold on his tour to help agencies that help those affected by domestic violence. This will hopefully help to remind people that it’s NOT okay to go redneck crazy.