Bad Song from 2011:If I Die Young by The Band Perry
This song clocked in at number 35 on the Billboard charts in 2011. It’s one of the pop country songs that have become so popular over the past few years, though it’s a bit more depressing than your average Taylor Swift ditty. It is sung by the female vocalist who basically sings her last will and testament—“If I die young, bury me in satin, lay me down in a bed of roses.” That’s creepy enough, but then there’s these lines.
And I’ll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom
I’m as green as the ring on my little cold finger
I’ve never known the loving of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand.
So that’s about dying a virgin and going to Heaven. And I’m fairly certain that the second line here references a purity ring, which is not surprising but still pretty gross. I understand that the very religious idea of women only staying pure through their virginity has really caught fire over the past few years, especially in younger people who would be listening to this kind of country-pop music, but this is blatant. Even more blatant than in Lady Antebellum’s “Just A Kiss” or in “Don’t You Wanna Stay”, a duet between Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean. These are both songs with both male and female voices who talk about how they want to wait to have sex because this could be true love and they don’t want to ruin it (from the latter song, “I don’t wanna just make love, I wanna make love last”). Apparently this is becoming a trend.
One thing that i find alarming that wasn’t talked about in the commentary, is the glamorization of early death. This song came out right around the time that someone that I graduated from high school with passed away. It wasn’t something that people just accepted as something that just happened; it was something that people were really really upset about . I feel like the song is saying that it will stink if she dies young, but at least she’ll be a virgin. Its just weird how accepting she is of the fact that she might die young and that her biggest concern is her virginity.