By: Alyssa Trybus

Not Ready to Make Nice” was released in 2006. The song directly relates the relationship between the personal experiences of Dixie Chicks lead singer, Natalie Maines, and the wider social context of the time period. The song is in direct response to the reaction that came from fans when Maines spoke negatively about the president at the time, George W. Bush. 2006 was a time of terrorism and war. The fear of September 11, 2001 still had it’s hold on our country, leaving a long-term impact. We declared war on Iraq in 2003, so violence was the reality of this period. President Bush was head of the governing body to make these serious decisions for our country, and was also an easy person to blame during a time of hardship and destruction.

Maines spoke her opinions regarding America’s state, like many others were doing at the time. Her comments were documented as she is a star under the spotlight, and fans placed a greater emphasis on her remarks than they would have if a non-celeb spoke them. Maines said, “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” This was a strong statement that is a clear insult to the president, insinuating that she was opposed to the President and his decision to declare war on Iraq. This was not received well by Dixie Chicks fans, which prompted the song “Not Ready to Make Nice.”


The song explains that Maines is not sorry for what she said and that she meant it. The lyrics contain the line, “It’s too late to make it right, I probably wouldn’t if I could.” This verifies that Maines feels that her words were justified and she stands behind them. It also describes that it’s too late to clear up the controversy she started, controversy that was amplified by the conservative politics of her audience and sparked by the President of the time. She also sings, “They say time heals everything, But I’m still waiting”. This directly refers to the hateful reaction she received for speaking out politically. She is waiting for the conflict to blow over and to feel at peace again. I think that this parallels the events going on in society as well as relating specifically to Maines. Time will surely help in healing the damage caused by the recent trauma of 9/11 and the Iraq War that would continue for many years to come, but it will never completely wipe the slate clean of it. I think that this is what Maines is trying to communicate within the social context while clearly expressing it about her personal situation.