Tim McGraw – “Southern Voice”

Jim Malec | September 14th, 2009

tim-mcgraw-southern-voiceSongwriters: Bob DiPiero and Tom Douglas

What do Hank Williams, “Number 3,” Chuck Berry, “Will” Faulkner, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Rosa Parks, “Scarlett O,” Hank Aaron, Michael Jordan, Pocahontas, Jack Daniels, Tom Petty, Dr. King, Bear Bryant, Billy Graham, the Allman Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Daniels all have in common?

They’re all Southern, of course. That, and the fact that they make up the bulk of the lyrics to Tim McGraw’s latest single, the title cut from his upcoming, long-awaited (and probably final Curb Records) album Southern Voice.

The song details what each of these people is famous for (singing, batting, driving), binding them together by claiming that each of these activities is actually a shining example of “Southern voice.”

If this song is indicative of the best McGraw’s album has to offer, the disc would have been better left on the Curb shelf, alongside the last several BOMSHEL records.

“Southern Voice” can be condensed down to the following statement: “The South has birthed a lot of awesome people.”

The problem, of course, is that lots of geographical regions have birthed a lot of awesome people, and McGraw’s song does nothing to explain how all of these individuals influenced, or were influenced by, their particular region. Michael Jordan’s basketball skills demonstrated no particularly Southern characteristics, for example, while Tom Petty’s music is more closely associated with Heartland and Midwestern themes than Southern themes.

What we have here is a song that serves as an example of the South’s superiority complex and it’s obsession with nostalgia. How would it sound to have a Northern singer release, “Northern Voice,” citing all the great accomplishments of Northerners?

Surely, the South has a unique regional identity–it is a region more interconnected, in terms of self-identity–than most. But the idea that the achievements of Southerners are especially notable purely because of their heritage does a disservice to those individual’s legacies, as many of them went on to transcend their upbringings, along the way influencing their respective national scenes to a greater extent than their Southern homes.

At the end of this song, we have no idea what the “Southern voice” is, how it related to each of these people, or why someone would bother to make a song about it. But that’s only because, to the audience this is intended for, the answers to those questions don’t matter. If you already believe that everything Southern is “better,” you’re going to hear this and holler “hell yeah” as you revel in your storied heritage. And maybe you’ll even raise your confederate flag, missing the irony that you’re doing so as you embrace a song that name-checks Rosa Parks and Dr. King.

“Southern Voice” will be an anthem for that audience. But by releasing pandering drivel like this, McGraw is doing his best to make certain he’s never named alongside the likes of those mentioned in this song

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Listen: Tim McGraw – “Southern Voice”

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  1. [...] The 9513 calls it pandering drivel ;  Roughstock says the chorus saves it [...]
  1. PaulaW
    September 14, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Songwriters: Bob DiPiero / Tom Douglas

  2. Jim Malec
    September 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks Paula!

  3. PaulaW
    September 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Oh goodness! I just went and read the lyrics. I’m not a McGraw fan anyway and I sure dont want to hear this one after reading this lyric. With those two strikes against it I dont think even the most kickass melody of all time could interest me in this one. And I’m a fan of a lot of Bob’s writing. Not this one.

  4. the pistolero
    September 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    What we have here is a song that serves as an example of the South’s superiority complex and it’s obsession with nostalgia.

    Wow, stereotype much? I haven’t heard the song much and don’t really care to, but as a Southerner without any kind of complex I found that comment rather offensive.

  5. Brady Vercher
    September 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I agree that song sucks, but it doesn’t really say anything about everything Southern being “better.” And was the Confederate flag line really necessary?

    It’s kinda funny that we already heard this song earlier this year from someone that people like to compare to McGraw: “It’s America” anyone?

  6. Jim Malec
    September 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    I think you will find a number of scholars who agree with me that the South, as an entity, has a superiority complex. Of course, there are some who also think it has an inferiority complex…

    As for the confederate flag line, yes–I think it is. Because the people who fly those flags are exactly the people this song is aimed at.

  7. stormy
    September 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Oregon has birthed Tanya Harding, Bob Packwood, Gary Ridgeway…..never mind.

  8. the pistolero
    September 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    You can find any number of scholars who will say anything you want them to say. I’m sure I could too. And I really don’t give a rat’s arse either way what the scholars say.

  9. PaulaW
    September 14, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I’m southern and proud of it. And I like my Alabama football and I think Bear Bryant is/was/ and should be a legend. I’m also not opposed to the Confederate flag as a part of our history and heritage but unfortunately a portion of our population have tainted that over the years and it is seen as a symbol of hatred rather than history. None of the specific references in this song are what make me dislike this song.

    It’s just a poorly written song. It’s even worse than the typical “list” song.

    (And let me go ahead and say I’m not going to debate “southern heritage / redneck / confederate” anything and you cant taunt me into it.)

  10. idlewildsouth
    September 14, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Stormy…Oregon also birthed Todd Snider, so that’s a plus.

  11. Tom
    September 14, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    i’m speechless.

  12. highwayman3
    September 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    It’s the awkward lyrics I can’t get by, I dont know if I get them, ‘Michael Jordan dunked it,’ what’s it? his Southern Voice, he dunked his Southern Voice? I will have to listen to it a few more times to understand it.
    And the gramatically incorrect word ‘Drunk’ as a past tense to ‘drink’ obviously they did it to rhyme it as opposed to ‘drank’

  13. Joe M.
    September 14, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I’d have to agree with Brady on the confederate flag line; it always annoys me when people automatically associate the flag with racism.

    Other than that the review is pretty accurate, though.

  14. Brady Vercher
    September 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    As for the confederate flag line, yes–I think it is. Because the people who fly those flags are exactly the people this song is aimed at.

    But that doesn’t make sense. The writers targeted an audience that you suggest might be opposed to mentions of MLK and Rosa Parks, but they threw them in there anyways. Isn’t that a little convoluted? Wouldn’t Robert E. Lee be more appropriate if that was their goal?

    That’s not to mention the ethnicity of Michael Jordan and Hank Aaron.

    Else the implication is that such an audience is too ignorant to realize who those figures are or what they stood for, which is just as convoluted.

    After that, there’s the implication tying Southern pride to Confederate flag waving individuals, which is a weak attempt at marginalization, no matter what I think of the song.

    The fact is that this song doesn’t make any statement as to Southern superiority and any inferences are easily dismissed as a Northerner’s inferiority complex. I don’t see anything substantive in regards to Southern pride here to suggest otherwise.

    I digress, though, and only jest to make a point. There is some good insight here, and such “controversial” statements are sure to garner more comments, but they do a disservice to the worthwhile points that you make and take the focus off the real substance.

    The fact that a Southern artist in a Southern art form would sing the praises of other Southerners isn’t all that conspiratorial–all inanity aside.

  15. JD
    September 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    I relocated from CT and spent several years south of the M/D line and found a lot to love about southern folks. One thing that was quickly apparent was that they’re a helluva lot more friendly than we yankees.

    The other thing I picked up on was the southern pride thing, which I suppose some could call a “superiority complex”. It amazed me how many intelligent people were still obsessed with re-fighting the civil war.

    As for McGraw’s song… nothing for Depiero or anyone else to be proud of.

  16. Jim Malec
    September 14, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    @Brady–

    But that doesn’t make sense. The writers targeted an audience that you suggest might be opposed to mentions of MLK and Rosa Parks, but they threw them in there anyways.

    I never said that there was any racism implied. People who fly the confederate flag will tell you that it’s “heritage, not hate.” And I think that for those people, that’s true based on their own self-determination. In most contemporary cases, the racial implication of the flag has been stripped from the symbolism of the flag. Now, we may find that a number of those people who fly the flag–perhaps a high proportion–are also racist (or that may be a stereotype), but that racism isn’t necessarily directly related to their use of the flag.

    Which ties in to the point I was making when I brought it up–the audience isn’t really paying attention to what’s being said, or to how what’s being said relates to real life or the world around it. The South in which this song exists is one where it’s possible to be proud of a flag that, to outsiders, stands as a symbol of racism, while, at the same time, being proud of those who fought against racism. That’s something the song could have built on—the idea that what it means to be a Southerner runs deeper than homogeneous stereotypes and misguided preconceptions.

    The fact is that this song doesn’t make any statement as to Southern superiority and any inferences are easily dismissed as a Northerner’s inferiority complex. I don’t see anything substantive in regards to Southern pride here to suggest otherwise.

    We may just disagree on this, but I think the fact that the song exists in its stated form is a statement to Southern superiority. Because there’s no reason why a name-checking song that merely points out a series of achievements by various individuals should be seen as a valid or compelling artistic statement. The only justification for the song’s topic is that all of these people are Southern, and that, for some reason, that means something special. We’re never told what that special thing is, and that’s where we start to get into a problem. The audience is supposed to already know why being Southern is special. The fact that these people are Southern is supposed to speak for itself.

  17. Matt B.
    September 14, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Jim,

    We once again agree on something, at least that this song doesn’t say much and (hopefully) isn’t indacitive of what the rest of the Southern Voice album holds.

  18. Mike Wimmer
    September 14, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Yeah, I’m not crazy about this song at all. I really enjoyed “It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You” and I still have moderately high hopes the McGraw’s new album will be pretty solid, he will likely never put another collection of great material like he did on Live Like You Were Dying, but he is usually good for solid enough albums by in large, but this just isnt a really good song. It’s generic and boring lyrically and musically and even Tim sounds a little bored singing it.

  19. Stormy
    September 14, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Can I just say one thing: It was the CONFEDERATE states of America because they were a loose CONFEDERATION of states, not a single united country. There was no single Confederate Flag.

  20. Brady Vercher
    September 14, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    The South in which this song exists is one where it’s possible to be proud of a flag that, to outsiders, stands as a symbol of racism, while, at the same time, being proud of those who fought against racism. That’s something the song could have built on—the idea that what it means to be a Southerner runs deeper than homogeneous stereotypes and misguided preconceptions.

    I can see how your “ironical” comment could be conveyed to mean something along this line (and I would agree with that statement), but it took a lot brain-racking to get to that point. As it stands, it seems to suggest there is an ironical racist connection that the audience you addressed failed to comprehend. Thanks for clearing that up.

    I’m not denying the existence of any sort of Southern superiority complex, especially among some individuals, I just don’t think this song taps into that very well if that was its aim.

  21. Rick
    September 14, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    If Tim had been involved in the songwriting he would have included Billy Bob Clinton, whom Tim considered “the greatest president of all time”, although that was before the reign of Obama began.

    Ole Timbo just seems kind of fed up with and burned out on today’s mainstream country scene (well, I hope so anyway) and not just because of his hassles being stuck on the CURB label. Hopefully crappy singles like this will hasten his retirement from country music so he can go into politics full time. Faith Hill would make a great first lady of Tennessee!

    Paula, I have to disagree with you about Bob DiPiero. After hearing him perform on the Opry and seeing short, painful segments of that “Hit Men of Music Row” series I found him insufferable. Although Sarah Buxton likes him, so he can’t be all bad (in a commercial country kind of way).

    PS – I take exception to that jab at BOMSHEL! Well at least the original Buffy Lawson fronted version anyway…

  22. Leeann Ward
    September 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve noticed that there’s something funky about Tim’s voice on these two latest singles of his. It’s kind of like he’s not fully singing or something. I think his phrasing is more drawn out than usual.

  23. Drew
    September 14, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Absolutely terrible. I’m starting to see why Curb kept releasing singles from his last album… because this one looks like crap so far.

  24. Steve M.
    September 14, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    How do you have a song about Southern icons and not include Stonewall Jackson and the Drive-By Truckers? Given that this is his last album with the label, did he intentionally go out and try and find the worst songs he could to stick to them?

  25. Steve M.
    September 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    And oh, as another University of Alabama grad, I have to ask how you leave out Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

  26. Stormy
    September 14, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Because if you are Tim McGraw you hope your fans don’t know DBT exists.

  27. the pistolero
    September 14, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Oooooh, snap…

  28. James S.
    September 14, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Hey, I’m from Oregon too, but I guess that wouldn’t count….

    As for the song, big yawn. I liked “Business Doing Pleasure With You” better, but this dud lowers my expectations for the new album as well.

  29. PaulaW
    September 14, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    @ Rick — I said I was a fan of a lot of Bob’s writing. I never said Bob was a good singer.

    Although Mel Tillis does say Bob is his favorite ex-son-in-law.

    ;-)

  30. Tara Seetharam
    September 14, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    “The South in which this song exists is one where it’s possible to be proud of a flag that, to outsiders, stands as a symbol of racism, while, at the same time, being proud of those who fought against racism. That’s something the song could have built on—the idea that what it means to be a Southerner runs deeper than homogeneous stereotypes and misguided preconceptions.”

    Was about to make this point, but you articulated it better than I was going to. I know Texas isn’t really considered the “south,” but being from a larger city in Texas that is more of a melting pot than anything, I see these complexities of what it means to be a Southerner every day. It would make for an interesting song.

    I’m convinced I’m never going to like post-90s Tim McGraw…

  31. Addie
    September 15, 2009 at 7:50 am

    I like this song a lot.

  32. Addie
    September 15, 2009 at 7:58 am

    And Texas is definitely considered the South.

  33. Jon
    September 15, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Um, it’s not just “outsiders” to whom the Confederate flag stands as a symbol of racism. Unless you’re not counting southern African-Americans as Southerners – an approach that the song, whatever its faults are, doesn’t take. And maybe that’s at least part of the point of the song.

  34. waynoe
    September 15, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Seems to me that this blogger has some bias! Also displays little knowledge of southern heritage. I will say that this review is more correct than not. McGraw coins catch phrases and weaves his hidden political commentary into the song like he does many others.

    And by the way, people have a right to raise a southern flag whether it hurts your little feelings or not. Grow up and get the chip off your shoulder.

  35. stormy
    September 15, 2009 at 8:52 am

    waynoe:
    What Southern flag? My ancestor Stonewall Jackson wouldn’t want that Stars and Bars crap over his grave.

  36. Addie
    September 15, 2009 at 8:53 am

    “Southern Voice” can be condensed down to the following statement: “The South has birthed a lot of awesome people.”

    Not getting that…Southern Voice is Home.

  37. Tom
    September 15, 2009 at 9:19 am

    if one sentence had said it all – i’d have gone for the statement.

  38. Drew
    September 15, 2009 at 9:41 am

    You said it Waynoe.

  39. Chris N.
    September 15, 2009 at 10:06 am

    The South has a long-held inferiority complex that has lately turned into a superiority complex. Innate in the constant drum-beating about the greatness of the South is an assumption that people outside the region don’t believe it already.

  40. Kelly
    September 15, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Is it possible that a southerner appreciates what his/her “ancenstors” sacrficed during the civil war so much that he/she is willing to fly the rebel flag while still truly appreciating the message and struggle of MLK at the same time? Possible, but if we are being honest, that person is the extreme exception and not the rule by any stretch of the imagination.

    McGraw’s song is suggesting that such a southerner is completely typical and sorry, thats not the case..

  41. Jon
    September 15, 2009 at 11:35 am

    “The South has a long-held inferiority complex that has lately turned into a superiority complex.”

    I dunno, Chris. Seems to me that these are two sides of the same coin, and both have been around for a long time.

  42. Callie
    September 15, 2009 at 11:45 am

    @Waynoe “McGraw coins catch phrases and weaves his hidden political commentary into the song like he does many others.”

    Could you give a few examples?

  43. Chris N.
    September 15, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    “I dunno, Chris. Seems to me that these are two sides of the same coin, and both have been around for a long time.”

    That they are. Maybe it’s more accurate just to say that the South tends to operate from a defensive posture. I know that as a kid I always felt that in order to do anything that would impress anyone elsewhere I would first have to get past their preconceptions about Southerners. In retrospect that fear may have been exaggerated on my part, but again — a defensive posture.

  44. Chris N.
    September 15, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    I would also love to hear how Tim has ever weaved that hidden political commentary into anything. It’s pretty damn well hidden, I’d say.

  45. Steve M.
    September 15, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Given that the SEC has won three of the last 4 national championships, I would say the South has a right to feel superior.

  46. Cybrus
    September 16, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I am a huge Tim McGraw fan. I own all his CDs and will be purchasing “Southern Voice” on its release date. I can talk for hours about his catalog of music, arranging multiple lists depending on category topic. And I have, on more than several occasions, listened to nothing but Tim McGraw songs on my IPOD at work.

    That said, I absolutely hate the song “Southern Voice”. It’s just “name drop. name drop. name drop. chorus. name drop. name drop. name drop. chorus”. Not a good song at all. Big thumbs down from this diehard McGraw fan.

    I’ve only heard 5 songs from this new CD: “It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You”, “Southern Voice”, “Still”, “You Had To Be There”, and “Good Girls”. “Still” is the best song that I’ve hard so far (although the live version sounds better to me than the album version that billboard.com sampled). I wish he would have released “Still” as a single instead.

  47. Jackie
    September 16, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Southern Voice is a great song! WHY do people always try to bring up negative group enthic, whether its- south, north, etc. Foe GOD sakes!

  48. Lydia
    September 24, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    It’s a Southern thing, Y’all wouldn’t understand!

  49. hendrix
    September 30, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    It’s hi yall, Did ya eat — come on in, sure glad to know ya ( you ). If that aint SOUTHERN i’ll kiss your ass !!!

    TIM MCGRAW — THE BOSS — ROCKS !!!

  50. Destiny
    October 3, 2009 at 2:21 am

    “Number 3″ is Dale Earnhardt.
    “Will” Faulkner is actually getting dizzy as writer, but the real name is William.
    “Scarlett O” is Scarlett O’Hara, who played Vivien Leigh from the 1939 movie “Gone with the Wind.”
    Jack Daniel has whiskey and its like a founder and it’s called “Jack Daniel’s”.
    Dr. King is Martin Luther King.

    “Sweet Iced Tea and Jerry Lee,” great sense. I love this song.

  51. Colt
    October 5, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Isn’t Chuck Berry from St Louis? What definition of the “south” are we using here? Just curious. Would Oklahoma count? Delaware? Or are we drawing a line through the country and half is and half isn’t? What about southern Indiana? Kentucky? New Brunswick?

  52. stormy
    October 5, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Destiny: Actually Scarlett O’Hara was played BY Brit Vivian Leigh in the movie BASED ON THE BOOK. The book in which she had a son that both the movie and the sequel completely forget about.

  53. TB2359
    October 5, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Everyone on here cracks me up. I was only looking up info on his new cd when i stumbled on this craphole of a comment site…. I am not saying that Tim is the best artist of all time, and I really don’t like that he doesn’t write songs much if ever, even if I do like his music and willingness to be different from the “average” country singer… but to dissect every word an artist says on a song you claim to not even like seems silly to me. And to sit there and start talking about geographic errors and specifics is even more rediculous. All these sorry rappers sit and brag about being from queens and brooklyn and probably are from upstate somewhere but they are considered heroes of their city, but when someone talks about pride in the south they are inbred or rednecks or have a “superiority” complex or anything else people want to call them. I live in Florida which oddly enough is the southernmost state in the US (counting the Keys) and we are not even considered the South… So I don’t even consider myself linked to this song, but I think it is just talking about some great people who either were born in the “south” or made there fame there… God you people really have nothing good to do or say… every artist out there has songs that don’t match up perfectly with what they are meaning to say, but people come in droves to buy the crap they put out as “music”.
    And the confederate flag…. just because a select group of hateful biggots claim that as their flag, now everyone who flies it is a racist??? I am a christian and I know for a fact that there are people who have raped and murdered in the “name of God” but I don’t consider them in my same belief group… I’m saying you can’t just generalize a group of people because of a state flag and what a group of idiots incorrectly used it for….. use your brains people… don’t be a sheep

  54. stormy
    October 5, 2009 at 10:37 am

    The thing is, he is pretty much a John Mellencamp cover artist with out the working class edge. Which makes him the same as all the other country singers out there right now.

    And once again, THERE IS NO CONFEDERATE FLAG. THE CONFEDERATE STATES FOUGHT UNDER MANY DIFFERENT FLAGS. Figure out which batilion your ancestors fought in and you will know which flag to fly. Also, consider, in the ante-bellum era, you family was likly a poor family that lived in some form or another of indentured servitude. Do you really want that to rise again?

  55. Chris N.
    October 5, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Got to remember “this craphole of a comment site.”

  56. Jon
    October 5, 2009 at 11:35 am

    “And once again, THERE IS NO CONFEDERATE FLAG. THE CONFEDERATE STATES FOUGHT UNDER MANY DIFFERENT FLAGS.”

    You can put that in caps if you want, but it still ain’t true. The Confederate States of America had a flag, regimental, battalion or even state flags notwithstanding. In case it had escaped your attention, Stormy, we still have state flags in the US – along with a national flag. Same with the Confederacy.

  57. Big Dawg
    October 6, 2009 at 2:00 am

    “You Had To Be There” alone is worth buying this CD,,,

  58. Cybrus
    October 11, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Earlier, I commented that while I am a huge Tim McGraw fan that I did not like “Southern Voice”. After hearing the song a few times, it has grown on me. Still feels like a name-drop song, but I like it well enough now. Really look forward to this CD coming out in a couple of weeks. It’s the most anticipated CD of the year for me. :)

  59. Emgee
    October 17, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    “As for the confederate flag line, yes–I think it is. Because the people who fly those flags are exactly the people this song is aimed at.”

    Jim Malec shows his usual idiocy with this line. Yes, the song is aimed at Confederate flag fliers while praising MLK.

    Good job Jim, you’ve just climbed even higher on the “stupid meter.”

  60. Jim King
    October 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    But Jim, what did you think of the song before the red mist about the South covered your ears?

    I think this might be a number one song, the first for Tim in a while.

  61. Sarah
    October 25, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Well this article just goes to show everyone’s opinion is different. As a songwriter myself, I can tell you a great song DOES NOT have to tell you everything…a strong hook and imagination is what makes music so relatable. A great song does not have to spell it out for you, it creates a feeling that explains it all. I’d bet money, that Mr.Malec is not even from the south and probably doesn’t even like country music. You take a great hook and a great melody and a singer that can carry it all and you got gold my friend. I’ve heard the entire album…and other tracks like “Still,” and “I Didn’t Know It at the Time,” are absolutely great little tunes. Those of us who can appreciate talent, the trials and tribulations of life and the relatability of a song might enjoy those. However, Mr. Article writer…that might not include you.

  62. Jacky7777
    October 29, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Tim’s new album- Southern Voice is – AWESOME!! So many songs on this album is GREAT. Southern Voice is a down country to fooyball field- tapping dancing song, giving us a little bit of history. I saw Tim in concert at The M Resort in Las Vegas- it was awesome. Tim put his heart and soul into it for his fans. The Coyote Country Radio put a pre-party on for Tim and the DJ’s were great, Tim came out on stage in the Ravello Lounge to talk with them and his fans, he presented his autograph guitar to a lucky woman. I love to watch Tim’s interaction with his Dance Hall Doctors- it’s so geniune. I’m still reliving the whole day in my head- THANK YOU TIM and COYOTE COUNTRY!! FOREVER A FAN.

  63. myshihtzu00
    October 29, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Tim’s new album- Southern Voice is – AWESOME!! So many songs on this album is GREAT. Southern Voice is a down country to fooyball field- tapping dancing song, giving us a little bit of history. I saw Tim in concert at The M Resort in Las Vegas- it was awesome. Tim put his heart and soul into it for his fans. The Coyote Country Radio put a pre-party on for Tim and the DJ’s were great, Tim came out on stage in the Ravello Lounge to talk with them and his fans, he presented his autograph guitar to a lucky woman. I love to watch Tim’s interaction with his Dance Hall Doctors- it’s so geniune. I’m still reliving the whole day in my head. THANK YOU and COYOTE COUNTRY. FOREVER A FAN.

  64. Andrew
    December 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Man, many of you people are over-analyzing a song meant for entertainment way too much!

    I realize that things such as Jordan dunking has nothing to do with a Southern voice, or having a Southern identity. But I also very much enjoy this song for entertainment and the sentiments expressed in the song. And by the way, I’m a Yankee from Midwest. :)

    Try to be less cerebral, and just enjoy the sentimentality of the song even if all the connections made in the song are not technically accurate.

  65. theprez98
    December 10, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Why do all songs have to be over-analyzed for the “correct” story in the lyrics?

    How about just enjoying the song because it’s fun to sing along to?

  66. sam (sam)
    December 10, 2009 at 6:26 am

    Theprez98 says, “How about just enjoying the song because it’s fun to sing along to?”

    Ultimately because I find thinking about the song and analyzing it to be extremely rewarding. I enjoy music most when I am “over-analyzing” (your words, not mine!) it.

  67. Millie
    December 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I am from the South. Grew up here. Yes we do have an inferiority/superiority thing going on. We feel that we are better because we think our food and our way of life are better. i.e. using words like y’all, foods, manners, etc etc. AND we also know that everyone else seems to look down on us, so we tend to turn that around into bragging rights. And as far as I could see in my 40 plus years it has been that way. Now, with all that said, I think it is a bit of a corny song, but nevertheless, the target audience/goal is to make Southerners feel emotional about being proud of being from the South. And it does achieve that goal. If you aren’t from the South, then you won’t get it. I have to hand it to him for actually caring enough to include African American folks because many people wouldn’t even have cared enough to do that. But again, as others have said, it wasn’t the most well written song in the world. But probably will accomplish it’s goal. In case y’all haven’t noticed, many “national air play country songs” don’t have the quality you would find with such gems as DBT or Todd Snider as mentioned above. (He may have been born in Portland, but he was pretty young when he moved to TX and then Memphis, so I think we can take credit for some of what is Todd Snider today.) And by the way, most people do consider TX part of the South and don’t consider Florida to be. Not so sure about the logic of all of that, but just my observations…(And when I say we- just referring to the observations of life, not to say I always agree 100%)

  68. Jon-o
    January 6, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    It is a great song for only one reason- it references Apalachicola in the chorus. That just gets me every time

  69. Jon-o
    January 6, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    And… I have lived all over and the South is the best by far, the people the friendliest, most interesting, the culture is awesome and neighbors and activities and a feeling you can’t even begin to describe. Just thinking about back east yankees RUDE and midwest sensibility BLUNTNESS and west coast DETACHMENT all makes me happy to be part of something anybody outside of cannot possibly understand and the fact that y’all sneer at it only confirms it. The South. Yes.

  70. Mdog
    January 7, 2010 at 8:07 am

    The north has their share of boastful songs as well, how about New YOrk, New YOrk or Jay-Z’s newest hit Empire State of Mind? These both imply that New York city is the center of the universe. Yet when a country singer makes a song about his/her home we claim they are close minded. DO your research next time.

  71. Jeff
    January 7, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I hate to read too much into a song and certainly the depth of the lyrics don’t necessarily translate into popularity.

    After hearing this song many times, because it has become popular, I think southern voice was a perfect phrase. For some there tends to be a tendency to pre-judge the intelligence and capability of a person by the way they speak. They may otherwise seem like “everyone else” until they speak and demonstrate that southern drawl too often associated with a dull wit.
    The song points out the number of people at the top of their profession who have a “southern voice”.

    P.S. Malec’s reference to the confederate flag seems to be nothing more than a controversial bomb to add flavor to a strained over-analysis of… yes Jim, a darned popular song even here in the North. This review belongs in a college newspaper not a website for country music.

  72. Michael
    January 8, 2010 at 11:06 am

    To the reviewer-
    You claim that the target audience are the type to fly the confederate flag as a symbol of southern superiority. I think this is a great song, and I proudly stand under the stars and stripes.

    “I think you will find a number of scholars who agree with me that the South, as an entity, has a superiority complex. Of course, there are some who also think it has an inferiority complex…” I think you will find that many “scholars” will say whatever you want for the right amount
    Please keep your own bias out of the reviews.

  73. Kenny Wayne
    January 14, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    A) Just because one has a superiority complex (Southerners) doesn’t mean that they are NOT superior!

    B) Just because one has an inferiority complex (Mr. Malec and his fellow non-Southerners) does not mean that they are NOT inferior!

    Methinks thou dost protest too much, Mr. Malec.

  74. Anonomous
    January 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I think that this is an incredibly biased article! The song does not say in there anywhere that the south is better than the north. I think they are both the same anyways. Both have their strong points and weak points. Just because one person writes about the south does not mean that he is against everyone else. I think you should go back and re-read the lyrics and not fill them in between the lines. Only the song writer himself could tell you what he personally feels about the north. It sounds a little bit to me like you may be biased against the south. Don’t really know that for sure, but I do think people in general really should stop jumping to conclusions without getting all sides of the story.

  75. Sharon
    January 22, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Mr. Malec.

    This is a song not a book about southern heritage. There is only so much one can say in a song.
    Most of us who like this song do not even own a Confederate flag. We also do not think we are superior to the north or anyone else but that doesn’t mean we can’t be proud of who we are. I have seen a lot of proud New Yorkers, Wisconsin cheese heads, etc. Pride is something people in this country could use a little more of instead of focusing on all that is bad.
    I do know it’s hard to understand a culture that you are not a part of but it doesn’t mean you have to put it down.
    Once again this is just s song !

  76. Gooch T
    January 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    You idiots are reading too much into it – sounds good to me! I like it.

  77. Kenny Wayne
    January 29, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I just saw the video again, and I’ve got to say that I like it more and more. And I GET IT!
    Maybe ’cause I’m a Son of the South, but I like it and, moreover, understand it. And agree with it. Mainly, that we refuse to be stereotyped any longer, for the modern Southern Man is proud of a great variety of things Southern. Something the haters refuse to see.
    Maybe it’s a Southern thang. Maybe we “get it” for the same reason that we treasure tradition and culture and manners and our military heritage — (from the heroes of the Revolution (mostly Southerners) to the heroes in Western Asia today.)
    As for the lyrics, I guess the fact that dumb hillbillies like me can hear abstract strings of words and understand the meaning behind them in their poetic context sorta’ gives the lie to the myth that we down here are just a bunch of concrete-thinking, Neanderthal, inbred Cretins.
    I just can’t believe that all those smart intellectuals elsewhere have such a hard time unless it’s spelled out in subject-predicate syntax. Guess that Haiku would be out of the question for them.
    That said, don’t disparage the ones (including Mr. McGraw and the songwriters)that do “get it” just because the message is over your head, intellectually.

  78. Laurie
    January 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    It’s pretty bad when you have to google song lyrics in hopes of finding out what they mean!
    Tim McGraw’s songs leave me wondering, …what?

    Never understood what the song “When the Stars go Blue”. His songs just miss the mark for me.

  79. Scott
    February 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    WOW,the comments I’ve read sure are “deep.” Really everyone, it’s just a song. Enjoy it, take whatever you will from it, but I really doubt it was intended as a political statment. Raised in the South, there are things I am proud of and things I’m not, just as with anyone from another place, but in the end, there are things it reminded me of from my youth that made me smile.

  80. Michelle
    February 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Hmm, MY name wasn’t mentioned at all in Southern Voice. It could have went something like this, “Michelle jumped it.” In reference to the times I had to jump my car off! Yeah, I don’t like that song anymore either! Now I’m a little ticked off. Jason Aldeans song, “She’s Country” mentions a ragin cajun, a juicy Georgia peach, a Kansas princess and so on. Hmm, no mention of Texas? I would have settled for “she’s a trashy ol’ Texan” or something like that. Yeah, I don’t like that one anymore either. Remember California Girls? It’s meaningless to me and no female should like it unless you live or have lived in California. Okay, I’m definately ticked off!! And the countless number of songs about women with BLUE eyes. Hey, “MY eyes are hazel!” Sounds a little racist, too, considering most ethnic women don’t have blue eyes. Now, I’m steaming!!! I will NEVER listen to music again!!!!

  81. John
    February 11, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I re-read the lyrics 5 times and I can’t see any reference to the Confederate flag. Can somebody point me in the right direction? I think it’s a cool song, regardless of the goofy lyrics. I turn the radio up when it comes on.

  82. Good Grief
    February 2, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I think you missed it, by a long shot.

    Stop being biased and you may catch the meaning better.

  83. Paul W Dennis
    February 2, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I don’t know that it’s fair to include Tim McGraw and Bomshell in the same sentence. It is denigrates Tim and exaults Bomshell to a status they don’t deserve

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