White Liar

Today is a big day for me. I’m going to tell you about a song that I really don’t like. I’m going to smash it to pieces. And it makes me a little nervous to be putting my unfavorable opinions out into cyberspace, because I think that there is too much dislike and hate in the world. So I want to make something clear. I don’t dislike the person who sings and co-wrote this song (just look at my previous post). I just really dislike this song.

Yesterday I turned on the radio and heard the opening strains of “White Liar” by Miranda Lambert. I quickly changed the channel. A couple months ago, when that song first came out, it seemed like I couldn’t even drive down the block without hearing it. It was on all the time. And I’ll admit, at first I didn’t think it was so bad. I didn’t love it, but I could handle it. But after hearing it about 50 times in three days, my mere indifference quickly turned to something much stronger. Something more akin to hatred.

So, like I suggested in my previous post about Lambert’s “The House That Built Me”, I tried to give this song a second chance by listening to the lyrics. However, when I did, I discovered that the song doesn’t even make any sense! Consider the refrain:

Hey white liar
the truth comes out a little at a time
and it spreads just like a fire
slips off of your tongue like turpentine
and I don´t know why
white liar

Supposedly this song is about a woman who discovers that her boyfriend/lover/husband has been lying to her about where he’s been, with the suggestion that he’s been spending time with another woman. Sounds familiar – a large portion of country songs are about relationships – especially cheating. The surprise twist at the end is that the singer admits that she’s been lying too.

Overall, it’s not a bad premise for a song. It’s worked before, and hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But when you look at the lyrics, they talk about a white liar. Not a dirty rotten scoundrel liar, which is the category in which I would place a cheating boyfriend. And if there’s anything I can’t stand, it is the misuse of words. Semantics are important.

A white lie, as I was taught when I was five, is a relatively harmless lie that you tell when your best friend’s mom cuts her bangs too short and you want to reassure her that it doesn’t look that bad, even if it does. According to that definition, lying about cheating on a loved one does not constitute a white lie – not by a long shot.

So, I guess I’m just thankful that the popularity of this song has died down considerably, because it definitely did not deserve the attention or positive reviews that it received.

~J

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