Kayla Keeney English 131 Ms. Jones 20 Feb. 2013 “Not Ready To Make Nice” Rhetorical Analysis “Not Ready To Make Nice,” a song released in 2006 by the Dixie Chicks is a controversial song written after Natalie Maines commented that she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas” (Tyrangie), in between songs at a concert in Britain in 2003. The comment resulted in The Dixie Chicks being dropped from playlists at many radio stations across the south (Tyrangie). This song is about how Maines is not willing to forgive all of the negative remarks and actions made towards the band, some which include death threats.
One rhetorical tool used by the Dixie Chicks is pathos. The first verse, “Forgive sounds good/ Forget I’m not sure I could/ They say time heals everything/but I’m still waiting,”opens the song showing forgiveness, anger and sadness (Dixie Chicks). They are letting it be known that they would like to forgive all of the people that have hurt Natalie, and the rest of the band, due to her comment, but some of the actions taken towards them were so extreme that they are not sure that they could ever forget them.
The next verse includes the lines “I’m through with doubt/There’s nothing left for me to figure out/ I’ve paid a price and I’ll keep paying” (Dixie Chicks). When this, and the lines “It turned my whole world around and I kind of like it” are sung, Maines is making it clear that she does not have any regret about her comment towards President Bush and she is done doubting herself because of it. She is letting it be known that she may have had to pay a price of the Dixie Chicks music no longer being on the radio, but she is no longer going to doubt herself or regret her comment because she is entitled to freedom of speech.
This brings a bitter sweet emotion into play, because she realizes many other people probably feel the same way; she just voiced her opinion publicly and is not ashamed of it. Pathos is used in that verse when she is talking about the price they will keep paying. Music is their career and it got taken away by one band member’s comment. That verse brings heartbreak to not only the song, but the band members who are so passionate about their music and career choice, along with the listeners that loved the Dixie Chicks music. Joy and peace is brought into the song when “I made my bed and I sleep like a baby. With no regrets… ” is said.
Natalie is saying she is content with what she said and all the trouble she got herself and her band into. She has no regrets. “It’s a sad, sad story when a mother will teach her daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger, and how in the world can the words that I said send somebody so over the edge that they’d write me a letter sayin’ that I better shut up and sing or my life will be over” (Dixie Chicks), brings a confused emotion. In the song when this verse is sung, it sounds like Natalie is going on a rant about how sad our world is today, and an angry tone of voice is used to really show her anger about the situation.
She sounds scared, sad, and mad all at the same time. She is confused at society. All of the pathos used already throughout the song, bittersweet, heart break, joy, peace, and confused, is revisited again in the chorus, which states “I’m not ready to make nice/ I’m not ready to back down/ I’m still mad as hell and I don’t have time to go round and round and round/ It’s too late to make it right/ I probably wouldn’t if I could/ ‘cause I’m mad as hell can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should” (Dixie Chicks).
Ethos is also a rhetorical tool the Dixie Chicks used throughout the song. The Dixie Chicks have credibility writing and singing this song, because it goes a long with a life event of theirs. If another singer or band would have published “Not Ready To Make Nice,” it would not have had as much meaning or emotion, and it would not have been expressed as it was by Maines, unless they had a similar experience. After Maines was asked if she was sorry about her London comments, she said no and responded with “Sorry about what? Sorry about what?
Sorry about not wanting to go to war? And not wanting people to die? “(Schorn) Many people felt the same way as Natalie Maines did, but did not voice their opinion in such a way as she did. She has every right to do so though. It is common for people to not like the idea of going to war. Americans have the right of freedom of speech, in other words, “the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint. ” Natalie Maines should be able to voice her opinion as she pleases, due to the first amendment, which brings logos into play.
Maines Logos in “Not Ready To Make Nice” includes the comment itself, that was made and freedom of speech. Since the first amendment exists the Dixie Chicks should not have been punished like they were. Knowledge about the comment, and some background about the Dixie Chicks lives afterwards, is needed to make sense of the song and the meaning behind it. After finding out about the death threats made towards the band, and the banning of their songs on the radio, there is more of an understanding as to why there is so much pathos throughout.
It is logical to think that the Dixie Chicks wrote this song as feedback towards country music listeners and southerners, to voice how they feel about the actions done towards them; it is their way of expressing their feelings publically a couple of years later. Through pathos, ethos, and logos, the Dixie Chicks are able to speak out publically to let the world know how Maines’ comment has affected them. Though Maines states she does not regret what she said, she makes it clear that her life has changed forever, along with the Emily and Martie’s, the other band members.
This song is a way for Maines to stand behind her comment and to stand up to President Bush. Behind the words is passion. The Dixie Chicks are passionate about the meaning they are trying to get across to listeners. They want listeners to feel what this song means to them and they want us to feel their emotions that they have poured into writing this song. “Not Ready To Make Nice” is a way for them to show courage, by telling the world they are at peace with what was said back in 2003. Works Cited
Chicks, Dixie. “Not Ready To Make Nice. ” Cowboy Lyrics. cowboylyrics. com. Web. 19 Mar 2013. <http://www. cowboylyrics. com/lyrics/dixie-chicks/not-ready-to-make-nice-16996. html>. “freedom of speech. ” Dictionary. com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 19 Mar. 2013. <Dictionary. com http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/freedom of speech>. Schorn, Daniel . “Dixie Chicks: Not Ready to Make Nice. ” http://www. cbsnews. com/8301-18560_162-1611424. html. CBS, 11 February 2009.
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