On June 25, 2020, Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines and Emily Strayer renamed themselves The Chicks, dropping the word "Dixie" from their name because of its association with the American South during a time of slavery. Rather than issuing a lengthy statement about the decision, the trio simply released a protest song, "March, March," crediting it as being by The Chicks. The only explanation was a line on their website: "We want to meet this moment," a reference to the global Black Lives Matter protests.
Written by The Chicks with producer Jack Antonoff, Ross Golan, Ian Kirkpatrick and Dan Wilson
, the song shines a light on America's social plights while celebrating every person's individual power to make a difference. Maines sings on the hook:March, march to my own drum
Hey, hey, I'm an army of one
The verses take on a raft of issues in the trio's inimitable, uncompromising style, including arming teachers, women's rights, and climate change. They also big up the young activists who are putting the older generation to shame with their demands for gun control and environmental action.Standing with Emma and our sons and daughters
Watchin' our youth have to solve our problems
I'll follow them so who's comin' with me
The "Emma" referenced here is Emma González, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland, shooting massacre
at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. She went on to help lead a protest movement against gun violence in the United States.
The Chicks wrote the song after attending the student-led March For Our Lives demonstration in support of legislation to prevent gun violence. The event took place in Washington, DC, on March 24, 2018, a month after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Stayer explained to Music Week magazine: "We were talking about that in the session, and that's where the march idea came up... But we didn't want to write three verses all about gun control, so we started talking about other things we were passionate about."
Jack Antonoff, the man at the controls for Taylor Swift's Lover, produced the song with The Chicks. "March March" starts with a spare, sonar-like pinging beat that mirrors that "army of one" idea. Strayer's banjo and Maguire's fiddle arrive later, while Maines' father, multi-instrumentalist and producer Lloyd Maines, contributes the pedal steel.
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith lent his percussion skills to the track. "Proud to be playing on this," Smith said, calling it "powerful." He also played drums on Chicks' 2006 album Taking the Long Way.
The Chicks are no strangers to activism. During a March 2003 concert at London's Shepherds Bush Empire, Maines caused a stir when she shared her thoughts on then-President George W. Bush after he ordered an invasion of Iraq. "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas," she told the audience.
The statement led to a major backlash with the trio being benched by country radio and a dip in their record sales.