Jesus Did Not Take The Wheel In Carrie Underwood's Music Video
Oftentimes I get sucker punched by the nostalgia of songs and ballads from my early youth. Songs that made me feel a tremendous rush of emotion and inspired numerous awful piano covers my parents were forced to listen to.
In 2005 I was 9 years old and Carrie Underwood released a euphoric ballad titled Jesus Take the Wheel. At the time I listened to that song from beginning to end an estimated 4-5 times a day. Not entirely by choice. I was subject to a strict religious upbringing and my mother happened to be a devout fan of Praise 106.5. If I wasn’t at school, it was on the radio. If it wasn’t on the radio my sister or my mother were singing it.
I should’ve hated the song due to the excessive repetition I had experienced as a child, but I did not. I rather enjoyed the song and watched the music video over and over. Fascinated by Carrie’s make-up and perfect blow out.
Now it is 2017 and at 11:00 on a Wednesday night I decided to take a break from my homework and indulge my nostalgic urges by watching the music video for Carrie Underwood’s breakout hit.
If I didn’t hate the record then, I most definitely do now.
I could rave about the shitty lyrics, but this song is heavily influenced by the country genre; so that is actually not what is surprising to me at all. What bothers me is that on top of the illogical and uncreative lyrics is an even more illogical music video.
It opens with Carrie sitting on a chair just serving looks into dead space as a fan blows her hair around. During the first verse about a young woman driving with her baby, a scene opens portraying a very young mother coddling a crying baby in a living room. Beyond the existence of a random woman in possession of an infant, any further relevance to the lyrics being sung about driving in the snow is unaccounted for. Although I guess if this was some sort of cryptic visual advisory against the misfortune of teen pregnancy then okay, wonderful. Message received.
As the song continues, viewers remain subject to whoever the hell directed the video’s visual inspiration (or lack thereof). We are served with Carrie Underwood in a confusing pair of rhinestone boot cut jeans accompanied by some sort of frosty makeup look, Carrie holding out her hands and doing that stupid half squat thing country artists do when they sing powerful bars, and….an old man feeding his wife and crying?
Don’t get me wrong. This man’s wife is most likely very ill, which is a sad and tragic storyline. I am a strong believer of “there is a time and place for everything” (shout out to Ecclesiastics) and I am positive in the gargantuan sphere of musical and cinematic arts there is a place for the story of an elderly man spoon feeding his wife. This particular record however, is simply just not that place.
The only way I can think to justify this, is if there is actually a darker tone to these lyrics. Perhaps the music video illustrates a sort of extended plot where the mother and her child actually die in the car accident. Perhaps her parents celebrating Christmas in Cincinnati were unable to cope with the tragic deaths forcing the mother, over time, to gradually become more and more mentally unstable to the result of physical illness; subjecting her grieving husband to lose not just his daughter and granddaughter, but his wife to some degree as well.
Personally, I think that theory is a bit fucked.
I would rather believe that country music is simply a stupid genre with even stupider music videos and when country bleeds into praise music you get shit like this. I lose a lot less sleep this way.
See for yourself: