Domestic Violence in Country Music

Domestic violence is a prominent theme in country music. Songs like "Goodbye, Earl", "Gunpowder and Lead", and "Independence Day" (to name just three) feature violent, deadly retribution from women onto the men who have abused them. But while "Independence Day" is a somewhat mournful song, the other two mentioned are upbeat tunes, almost party songs, and there are many others.

What is it about the country music demographic that makes these songs not only acceptable, but popular? Are the rates of domestic violence higher in the demographic that listens to country music, or lower? Since the popular versions of this song form promote retributive violence by a woman against her husband, is it possible to track the incidents of wife-on-husband violence w/in the demographic to see if it’s higher than average?

No other genre of music has a niche just for this kind of song. I’d like to see someone explore why.

  • It would certainly make sense that the "wife taking revenge on the husband" would be popular at least for political correctness since it's more stereotypical to assume that women are the ones abused in a relationship. And it would be especially so when that subject is set to the catchy upbeat tone that country music can acquire to make it marketable to listeners. In addition, rural areas of the United States where country music is indeed most popular have higher rates of domestic violence and children born out of wedlock so there is a strong influence for that image of the battered woman regardless of men being prone to suffering from domestic violence too. – dsoumilas 9 years ago

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