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Redneck Woman by Gretchen Wilson

Album: Here for the PartyReleased: 2004Charted:
  • Gretchen Wilson's signature song has a surprising inspiration - one Faith Hill. Wilson revealed to Taste of Country the story of the tune, which she co-wrote with Big & Rich's John Rich.

    "The day that we wrote 'Redneck Woman' was a day that John and I were sitting around watching country music videos and Faith Hill's 'Breathe' was on," she said. "She's gorgeous. She looks like a supermodel. She's rolling around in satin sheets. And that was the inspiration behind 'Redneck Woman.' I looked at John and said, 'This is probably never gonna happen for me because I'll never look like that, and I'll never be that. That is just not the kind of woman I am.'"

    Wilson continued: "He looked at me [and asked], 'Well, what kind of woman are you then?' And I said, 'I'm a redneck woman.' Then he said, 'What's the matter with that?' We, at that moment, decided to be as authentic as we could about that kind of a woman, and I felt like it was a responsibility almost at that point to speak to those girls who felt like me."
  • The song topped the country chart for five weeks. It was a gamechanger for the singer who went from an unknown former bartender from Illinois to a country superstar.

    "The reason why I became successful in the first place is I think women - and maybe some men - they accepted me because I was a voice that was speaking to them about them," said Wilson. "For a long time, I feel like in country music, women had gotten so slick and soft and pretty. So being authentic and being real, that is what got me to this dance."
  • Wilson earned a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the song in 2005.
  • A "redneck" is a disparaging term used in the US to describe a rural white person from the South, who typically has a working-class job, and reactionary political views. The first use of “redneck” appears to refer to the Scottish Covenanters of the 17th century, who were a Scottish Presbyterian movement.

    In 1637 King Charles I of England demanded that his Scottish subjects abandon their Presbyterian church in favor of the Church of England. The Covenanters responded with the National Covenant, in which they declared their allegiance to their religion over the King of England. They signed the oath in blood, and to symbolize their pledge, wore blood-red bandannas around their necks.

    These dissenters, as they were perceived by the overruling English, eventually migrated to Ireland, and from there to the American colonies, where they made their way south in search of open land. Many Southerners today trace their ancestry back to these migrants who brought not only their culture of rough and ready individualism, but also the term "redneck."
  • Other songs titled after this term for a rural white working class person from the South include:

    "Redneck Friend" by Jackson Browne

    "Redneck Side" by Justin Moore

    "Redneck Paradise" by Kid Rock

    "Redneck Crazy" by Tyler Farr

    Among the many other redneck anthems recorded by country stars are Blake Shelton's "Boys 'Round Here" with its "Red red red red red red red red red red redneck" chant and Jason Aldean's celebration of country life "Hicktown," which was also co-penned by John Rich.
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