Country music has a dark history of songs about killing your lover. Men want to kill their wives for cheating. Women want to kill their husbands for cheating. Usually, the other man or woman winds up dead too. Which is to say, artists have had a lot of fun playing with the murder ballad formula over the years. You’ve got your girl-power team-ups (see The Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl” and Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs”). You’ve got your twisty-turny murder mysteries (see Reba McEntire’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”). And then there’s “Jolene” — definitively not a murder ballad, but notable for how it sees the good in your man’s other woman and dispenses with the crime scene that would have been had it been written by anyone other than Dolly Parton.
Published as part of InRO Weekly — Volume 1, Issue 5.