Here’s a song with the code of the trail running through its country western vibe. Continue reading below the lyrics for a few words about the meaning.
The same story told in three movements: we have great respect for women around these parts. And if you wanna ride with our posse, you’ll step up and do the same.
Up before sunrise…
Establishing the setting; horse ride to Abilene indicates the old American frontier.
She gonna take care of my business
His life partner stays behind and attends to family affairs; he couldn’t be so free to ride the range if she wasn’t there to run the ranch, and her leadership is equal to his own. She, too, has places to go, and when she does, he stays behind if they aren’t riding off together.
When you come in my house
Respect the one in the blouse
Ain’t no room for your sexism here. This woman is a pioneer on the western front, and she is worthy of your respect. We won’t tolerate no lookin’ down on her around these parts.
Don’t rise when she enters
She isn’t interested in your displays of chivalry. What you might consider to be a polite demonstration of respect, she would take as a suggestion she is the “weaker sex.” She don’t want none o’ that.
In vain compliment her
Again, you’re not so big that you need to prop up her feminine ego.
For better, for worse…
Indicates a strong marriage, with mighty vows to unite them.
We don’t know any better way to be
We don’t wanna know any better way to be
Yeah, yeah, yeah; we know all about your genteel customs. Well, you can shove ’em, because we like the way we fit just fine. And if you feel some compulsion to get her on the ladylike path, it’s probably because you’re uncomfortable with equality. Maybe you like it better when she seems subordinate, but she ain’t.
Come in from the trail
Our singer is a host to fellow riders on the range. You’re welcome to warm your boots, eat some grub, and sleep in our shelter from the weather.
But if you treat her like a less-than
And lessen her soul
We don’t cotton to your inflated sense of importance.
I reckon you’re about two steps from hell
Hell isn’t a destination here, it’s a thematic view of a person’s unwillingness to permit another to the full experience of life and liberty. This isn’t a godly way to behave, and it sure don’t belong around here. Again, if you don’t wanna treat my woman like she’s as good and important as me and you, then you can beat it.
Why is this song important?
This song affirms the equality of men and women, but also points to a broader view of equality among all humanity. There’s a lot of derision for people unlike us in this world, and it disrupts the human experience for every one of us.
We say “all men are created equal” and we understand that women and children share in the designation “men.” While some are rich and some are poor, some are healthy and some are sick, some are joyful and some are miserable, all persons deserve to be treated with respect. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- When you go out to dinner, don’t leave a big mess for the busser. Pick your children’s crayons and food scraps off the floor. Maybe even stack some of your plates and return the condiments to the caddy.
- When you’re on the road, don’t take advantage of merging lanes to cut off dozens of other drivers. Never use your vehicle as a weapon or a way to assert your superiority.
- In the workplace, don’t oppress or minimize those who report to you. Serve your coworkers and subordinates by affirming them with your words and showing grace in the direction and accountability you offer.
- In the home, he should be helping with the kids, the laundry, dinner, and the dishes. Your job is more than taking out the trash, mister. Other chores need doing, and she shouldn’t have to carry that weight alone.
- In our social structures, don’t ridicule, mock, or minimize those who are different than you. Diverse languages and cultures, when expressed in an otherwise homogeneous environment, bring enlightenment and new perspectives. And even if someone of another background is violating your own community’s standards of behavior and speech, their inclusion creates an opportunity for them to learn from you.
Pardon my scolding. I can’t make you do any of this, and I’m not creating a to do list. I’m only uplifting the kind of values we saw in the words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth, whose ministry is revered around the world, including in non-Christian religions. Let’s create a world of greater love and justice for all. Equality is where it’s at.
She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
when you come in my house
respect the one in the blouse