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I love country music. Most of you who have read my past articles with the header “Musing on Music” are already aware of this. Perhaps you don't know that I love it for the funny, yet relatable songs like “Buy Me A Boat” or the more modern-style party songs like “Fix A Drink”, both of which are sung by Chris Janson. However, the most important reason that I love this genre is for the beautiful songs with important messages, like “Drunk Girl” [also] by Chris Janson.
“Couple of cover charge stamps got her hand looking like a rainbow/In and out of every bar on a whim just like the wind blows/She's either a bachelorette or coming off a breakup/Take a drunk girl home./She's bouncing like a pinball/Singing every word she never knew/Dancing with her eyes closed like she's the only one in the room/Her hairs a perfect mess, falling out of that dress/Take a drunk girl home.”
I heard it for the first time on the drive home from work about a month ago and it struck me so hard I almost had to pull over. This is a message that doesn't get heard a lot, especially amongst all the party songs of modern country, rock, and pop music. Consent is so important when it comes to sex, but not just when it comes to sex. If someone is falling-over drunk, they probably won't remember much the next day, so even taking a phone number isn't really okay—and it probably won't make you feel any better about yourself when you get a response text saying “Who is this?”
“Take a drunk girl home/Let her sleep all alone/Leave her keys on the counter your number by her phone/Pick up her life she threw on the floor/Leave the hall lights on walk out and lock the door/That's how she knows the difference between a boy and man/Take a drunk girl home.”
Here's another side of the coin: The same can be said for men. Just because they're the ones who society gives the most breaks, doesn't mean they're not susceptible to being taken advantage of, especially when under the influence. That doesn't mean you can't have fun when drunk, but there are levels of drunk. Friends is one of my favorite television shows, and a modern pop-culture classic, for a reason. *Spoiler Alert!* There is an episode where Monica and Chandler sleep together, but when she asks, he is wary about how much she's had to drink. She clarifies by saying “[I'm] drunk enough to know I want to do this, not so drunk that you should feel guilty about taking advantage.” It's funny, but it's important that he asked and that she was clear-headed enough to articulate what she wanted. This sexual assault/sexuality issue has been in the media very often recently, especially as it concerns the acting industry. In a much earlier episode of the same show, this issue was discussed through the character of broke, just starting actor Joey. He wants a part in a show that's on television, but it's made clear to him that he needs to have sex with the casting lady to get the part. He's upset by this, not because she isn't attractive, but because it's an affront to his pride and the work he's put into his profession of choice. His agent calls and ends up telling him he will have to sleep with her if he wants the part. Meanwhile, his best friend dismisses this as an issue because he should be happy he's getting the part and sex. Joey has to explain that he wants to get the part because he has talent on stage, not just in bed. While the show ends up making light of the issue, it does bring up the question for us to discuss. The fact is, men face the same issues with sexual assault that women do, just in slightly fewer numbers. Don't dismiss a man's discomfort out of hand just because men tend to have more power in sexual situations. It's not always the case and it doesn't get discussed often enough.
“You leave her drive for a dive/You get something bad to eat/They're singing closing time at that little bar across the street/Then two by two strangers and lovers headed for the covers hooking up/That TV in your two bedroom sounds turned off/Through the paper thin walls you can hear the neighbor's cigarette cough/ There are a million things you could be doing, but there's one thing you're damn sure glad you did./Take a drunk girl home/Let her sleep all alone/Leave her keys on the counter your number by the phone/Pick up her life she threw on the floor/Leave the hall lights on walk out and lock the door/That's how you know the difference in a boy and man/Take a drunk girl home.”
It's nice to know that despite the stereotype that modern mainstream music is all about parties, drugs, money, and superficial issues, that's not really the case. There are a lot of those songs, but there are also quite a few mainstream hit songs that cover important and relevant issues. If you get the chance, please check out this beautiful song.