Lubbock Or Leave It

Album: Taking The Long Way (2006)

Songfacts®:

  • The Dixie Chicks wrote this with Mike Campbell, who is the guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Campbell co-wrote many of Petty's hits, as well as "The Boys of Summer" and "The Heart Of The Matter" with Don Henley.
  • Lubbock is a town in Texas. In a publicity release, the band spoke about the song:
    Emily Robison: "We'd seen a documentary called The Education of Shelby Knox, which was about a girl - she was 16 at the time, very religious - trying to get Lubbock to teach sex education in the schools. And Lubbock has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STDs in the US, so it really showed what happens when you keep this information away from people. Lubbock is also one of the last hold-out radio stations that still won't play us, and of course Natalie is from Lubbock, so she has personal experience with the box that a small town can keep you in."

    Natalie Maines: "It's not just about Lubbock, but about any small, hypocritical town. Mike was asking me for all the details - the stores, streets and I came up with this long list of names. We talked about the irony of having a big painting of Buddy Holly at the airport -that his face is the last thing you see before getting on a plane! I do feel bad for my family who's still there and has to defend me - after everything they already went through, to have to do it again."

Comments: 2

  • Ika from Tucson, AzCall it a hunch but being from Lubbock myself, my guess is Natalie probably felt that way about the city all along and just never let it come out until after 'Europe-gate'. (You'd have to ask her to know for sure). Any 'artistic type' is going to feel a little outside things in a conservative Bible belt town. The subsequent backlash probably served as a reminder of how small a small city can be - that you're free to say what you want - as long as its congruent with public opinion. Free speech is not free either way. Her mistake wasn't in what she said but more about WHERE she said it. Making the Bush comments on foreign ground made her look like a traitor. Fact is, a lot of folks concurred but couldn't say so because THEY didn't want the backlash.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxFunny how Lubbock only looked bad to them after the backlash they got for shooting their mouths off in Europe. Free speech runs both ways, chickies.
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