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Red Rag Top

Posted by Ryan Morgan on November 07, 2014 at 8:00 AM

As a country music fan, it should come as no surprise that I have heard and can sing along to many Tim McGraw songs. One of my favorites is Red Rag Top - the first single off of his 2002 album Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors

According to Wikipedia,

The song's narrator recalls a past lover. He reflects on bittersweet memories from a youthful relationship, including a surprise pregnancy and the decision to get an abortion. Rick Cohoon of Allmusic reviewed the song favorably, saying that the song is "wistful enough to have you tearing up right along with him." Cohoon goes on to say that "a simple and memorable chorus surrounded by innovative lyrics make this a recipe for success."

It is a surprising topic to feature in a country music song.

I love the simplicity of the melody, the intermingle of the fiddle, and the bouncy nature of the tune. Obviously, the fact that Tim McGraw is singing makes this a great song.

But what I love most about it is the story, and the ease in which the narrator recalls his experience in deciding what is best for his future (alongside the young woman he's seeing). It is matter-of-fact.

Well the very first time her mother met me
Her green-eyed girl had been a mother-to-be
For two weeks
I was out of job and she was in school
And life was fast and the world was cruel
We were young and wild
We decided not to have the child
So we did what we did and we tried to forget
And we swore up and down there would be no regrets
In the morning light

When it debuted, Red Rag Top caused a bit of controversy for highlighting the decision to have an abortion. Some radio stations pulled the song and refused to air it, while others said that it wasn't their place. Mcgraw's manager, Scott Siman, issued a statement that read

Tim, when he heard the song, recognized that it was a real song about real issues and things people have to deal with. He views it as truly a slice of life.

Thank you, Tim McGraw, for helping to show that decisions about family planning are common, and go on in relationships across the country. I appreciate that country music, like all art, can help individuals confront their own perspectives and help move them towards empathy and understanding.


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