by Aprille Hanson
When you want a badass, foot-stomping rockin’ hit country song, you go to Miranda Lambert. She carved a niche in the genre for herself that has opened the floodgates for other female artists to follow in her boot steps. Gretchen Wilson attempted it, but her redneck side was a little too overwhelming. What Lambert brought is the beauty of a Southern Belle with the wild attitude of a strong country woman. Her latest single “Little Red Wagon” is the perfect mix of her two worlds.
The song starts off a little slow, as she sings, “You only love me for my big sunglasses / and my Tony Lamas / and my Dodge Dart Classic / You said I’ll be Johnny and you be June / and I’ll ride with you to the moon,” pretty much explaining what these country boys are after. In a sea of songs about “getting some of that” and “lookin’ so hot” and “slide on over here, girl grab me another beer,” it’s a tough music world for female artists and females in general to be taken seriously.
But in true Lambert fashion, she packs a punch in the chorus, “But guess what? / You can’t ride in my little red wagon / the front seat’s broken and the axle’s draggin’ / no you can’t step to this backyard swagga / you know it ain’t my fault when I walk jaws drop like ooo, ahhh.”
While classic country critics might scoff at the premise of the song, thinking of it as nothing more than a girl power anthem, it’s really more of a battle cry because we’re sick of it. We’re sick of being referred to as objects in this subgenre of Bro-Country. It was a miracle when Maddie & Tae released, “Girl in a Country Song,” which outright pokes fun at the concept while also standing their ground. Lambert essentially is doing the same thing with this song, but in her subtle, ass-kicking style. Because of that, many might just miss the point. In the song, here’s this gorgeous girl strutting around, but she’s not sleeping around or being a doormat for any man. This is most evident in the bridge, as she goes back to the beginning, lines of the song, but jumping into a sultry, “I live in Oklahoma and I’ve got long … blonde … hair” then picks it up in an irate fashion, “And I play guitar / and I go on the road / and I do all the shit you want to do / and my dog does tricks / and I ain’t about drama y’all / I love my apron / but I ain’t your mama / so guess what!”
And the male backing vocals respond, “what?” and she explains again, “You can’t ride in my little red wagon.” On the surface, she’s referring to her Dodge Dart Classic, as she points out. But, it’s not a very far leap to consider that the “little red wagon” she’s between-the-lines referring to could be her vagina. However, the song is far from dirty. She can be gorgeous, successful and you can be mesmerized by her – but she’s not a play thing and not every good ol’ boy can hitch a ride in her little red wagon. Leave it to Lambert to say what we’re all thinking … to the backdrop of a ridiculously fun beat.