I still have a tendency to think of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” as “The Louisville Slugger Song,” because for a while that was the only lyric I really listened to. If you had told me it was a song about baseball, I probably would have believed you. But no, it’s about a jilted lover smashing up the car of the guy what did her wrong. Or did he? With the constant repetition of “probably,” I have to wonder if our unreliable narrator is jumping to conclusions, and you’d think someone would want to be pretty damned sure before committing property damage, wouldn’t you? Especially if you’re going to carve your name into the seats, hence making it obvious who did it. I also love the line about how the girl the dude is cheating with is probably drinking “some fruity little drink ’cause she can’t shoot whiskey.” Yeah, screw those wusses who can’t handle hard liquor! Oh, wait. I’m one of them.
It’s also amusing to examine this song in context. While I’m not an expert on Ms. Underwood’s body of work, wasn’t her last big hit before this one “Jesus, Take the Wheel”? Is smashing up someone’s car what Jesus would do? Well, maybe if it belonged to a money-changer, but he was generally pretty big on forgiveness, right? Now, I’m the last person who thinks an artist’s songs all have to be consistent with each other, but the drastic shift in tone is still funny. Hey, maybe Jesus is the guy who’s cheating on her! He DID say he loved all mankind, after all. Now I’m thinking jilted ex-lover of Jesus songs need to be a new genre, but I know they’d never get play on Clear Channel stations.