When I was growing up one of my favourite country music artists were the Dixie Chicks. Over the years I have spent a lot of time listening to their music. I was also able to see them perform live a few years back on their 2016 World Tour and have the blue-ray video and CD collection from the show. So here is my breakdown for my top 10 Dixie Chicks songs.
10: Aunt Mattie’s Quilt – Little Ol’ Cowgirl 1992
Maybe a strange choice to make the top 10. A throwback to a more simpler time in the band’s history. Long before the commercial success and going back to there bluegrass routes. The song tells the story of a girl called Mattie. Starting from when she was 8 years old and covering her life’s work as she makes the quilt. The song has some nice violin instrumentals which are my favorite parts. Unfortunately, Mattie dies upon completing the work but this hidden gem from the early days remains for us to enjoy.
9: Don’t Waste Your Heart – Fly 1999
Another personal choice that you won’t find on many songs lists. Don’t Waste Your Heart is from the Album Fly which in my opinion is the Dixie Chicks strongest album. The subject of the song is about someone who is massively in love but that love isn’t something that’s returned. I love the chorus of this song, which has the following lyrics “And don’t waste your heart on a wild thing, She’s got a soul that won’t settle on one thing, Whoa this bird can’t sing when you’ve tied its wings, Don’t waste your heart on me” It’s so simple but affected in delivering the message of the song. I will certainly waste my heart on loving this song from one of my favorite albums.
8: Ready to Run – Fly 1999
One of the most famous Dixie Chicks songs that featured on the file soundtrack for the Runaway Bride. This song is just fun to listen to. The song starts with a great bit of violin work by Martie, that I adore. Before breaking into the lyrics. The song is about someone that isn’t ready to settle down and as the lyrics state. “All I’m ready to do is have some fun, What’s all this talk about love” And while not ranking the highest on this list it certainly left an impression on myself and millions of Dixie Chicks fans across the world.
7: Not Ready to Make Nice – Taking the Long Way 2006
There is a lot of history around this song. As many fans will know after comments made about President George W Bush about the Iraq War in 2003 the band got blacklist, with many country music radio stations banning their music. While on tour the band received death threats. Not Ready to Make Nice is in many ways to Dixie Chicks fightback song. Sticking up for the freedom of speech that we all enjoy. With Not Ready to Make Nice they channel all that emotion and hurt and form it into an emotional song about their experiences. The song went on to win three Grammy awards including song of the year. Certainly well deserved for such an emotional song.
6: You Were Mine – Wide Open Space 1998
Next, we go to 1998 Wide Open Spaces and the song You Were Mine. This is a sad song about a broken household. The song is sung from the female perspective about a husband who has left to be with someone else and how she is still holding on hoping he returns. The most impactful part of this song for me is the final verse with the following lines. “I can give you two good reasons, To show you love’s not blind, He’s two and she’s four and you know, They adore you, So how can I tell them you’ve changed your mind” I can’t imagine the heartbreak of having to tell your kids that their father no longer wants to be with you and explain separation to someone who is so young. It’s an emotional song and one of my all-time favourites.
5: Goodbye Earl – Fly 1999
Breaking in at number 5 is Goodbye Earl. The Story of two best friends and how they committed murder. While one of the friends left town Wanda stayed and married Earl who shortly after started to abuse her until she filed for divorce. Earl not taking this well put Wanda in intensive care and shortly after the friends decided that he had to die. The two friends ended up poisoning him before taking him out to the lake and getting rid of the body. Earl became a missing person that nobody missed at all and the Dixie Chicks gave us this incredibly addictive and fun song.
4: Cowboy Take Me Away- Fly 1999
I can’t explain how happy I am when this song starts to play. The intro and then, much like Ready to Run a great bit of Violin work by Martie. Is very much a song about being swept away. It’s a feel-good song that I am sure a lot of women would have related to. Great lyrics and some good instrumentals, displays everything that makes the Dixie Chicks such a fantastic band.
3: Landslide – Home 2002
Rounding out the top three is Landslide. A cover of the Fleetwood Mac. A song about changing, growing up and aging. The Dixie Chicks don’t disappoint with their versions. The vocals especially the group harmonies are very impressive to listen to. This has been one of my favourite song of theirs for a long time.
2: Travelin Soldier – Home 2002
Taking the silver medal is Travelin Soldiers also from the album Home. Travelin Soldier is a love story about a soldier and a girl he meets and starts sending letters to. Soon enough the soldier is sent away to Vietnam where he continues to write to his girlfriend back home. He mentions it’s getting rough and that he won’t be able to write back for a while. The final verse of the song explains what happens to the soldier. His name is read out among a list of local Vietnam dead. The girl is left heartbroken at the lost and we are left with this fantastic song.
1: Wide Open Space – Wide Open Spaces 1998
Taking the top spot on the list is Wide Open Space, from the 1998 album of the same name. This is a coming of age song about moving away and stepping out on one’s own. Chasing their own dream and starting their own life. It’s a song that everyone can relate to because at some stage everyone has had to step out from beneath their parents. Everyone has had to stand on their own two feet. It delivers great music, impressive vocals and everything you would want in a Dixie Chicks song as is well deserving of the number one top on this list.