She may look sweet (not to mention, she is sweet), but Carrie Underwood isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers, either. She made that crystal clear when she dropped her latest single, “Little Toy Guns,” today.
And, let’s be clear, I like that about her. No, I love that about her. It’s one of the many reasons she is one of my favorite entertainers — she stands for something.
In a society where people seem to have a whole lot to say about absolutely nothing, Underwood is a breath of fresh air. She has substance. She isn’t afraid to fight for the things she believes in.
And she isn’t afraid to make people uncomfortable if it’ll make them think twice about their actions.
The latest track is no different. The video, which Underwood premiered on her Facebook page earlier today, starts with a little girl hiding in her closet as her mother screams at her father just outside of the girl’s bedroom door.
“What do you have to say for yourself? Do you even care? It makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t believe I married you,” the mother berates the father as the little girl’s heart visibly sinks.
Of the meaning behind the song, Underwood explained in a radio interview, “It’s about words. It’s about hearing her parents fighting. Even at a young age, she realizes how much they hurt. And she wishes they were plastic and fake, like toys, and they didn’t actually cause any damage.”
To be honest, the song does give me pause.
“I wish words were like little toy guns / no sting, no hurt no one, just a bang bang / Rolling off your tongue / Yeah, no smoke, no bullets / No kick from the trigger when you pull it, no pain, no damage done.”
Granted, my husband and I don’t argue like that, but the song really makes me consider the way in which we talk around our children and to our children.
While I consider us to be good, loving parents, “Little Toy Guns” tasks me with digging deeper. Words can be weapons — are we leaving psychological wounds with the ones we choose?
I know that in my three and a half years as a mother, I’ve made mistakes. A ton, actually, and certainly some of them have centered around my words.
I’ve let the occasional curse word slip out around my kids, sure — there’s just something about a well-timed “Shit!” that seems to make a stubbed toe hurt less — so it is possible I’ve let more damaging words tumble out, too?
Leave it to Underwood, a gutsy Southern gal, to use her platform as one of country music’s biggest stars to serve up a bit of much-needed introspection! And it isn’t the first time, either.
With 2005’s “Jesus Take the Wheel,” she reminded me to let go and let God, as it were. With 2007’s “Just a Dream,” she made me appreciate the heartbreaking sacrifice so many of our country’s military families must make. With 2012’s “Blown Away,” she called attention to domestic abuse.
And with her last single, “Something in the Water,” she sang about the redemptive and restorative power of baptism — not to mention that Underwood refused to back down when haters criticized the openly Christian song.
A woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and who inspires others to look inward, too? I’d happily take a few more role models like that in Hollywood.