Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ Best Lyrics Roundup


Beyoncé’s long-awaited Act II: Cowboy Carter is here. At a whopping 27 songs, it’s not only an ambitious and intricate homage to country music, but a trove of new insights into motherhood, her Southern roots, and yes, her sex life with JAY-Z. If the length of the record daunts you, then read ahead for our TL;DR version of Act II: Cowboy Carter, as told through its lyrics.

Her 2016 Country Music Awards performance likely inspired Cowboy Carter

When Beyoncé revealed on Instagram that the idea for Cowboy Carter was conceived after “an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed,” the general assumption was that it was a reference to her 2016 CMAs performance of “Daddy Lessons” with the Dixie Chicks. While she still doesn’t confirm it on the album, she seemingly alludes to the situation on the opening track “Ameriican Requiem,” as she recounts what it was like “singing her song” and being met with backlash, “my old friend.”

For things to say the same, they have to change again/ Hello, my old friend/ You change your name but not the ways you play pretend” — “Ameriican Requiem”

It’s a lot of talkin’ goin’ on/ While I sing my song” — “Ameriican Requiem”

“Oh, a lot of takin’ up space/ Salty tears beyond my gaze/ Can you stand me?” — “Ameriican Requiem”

They used to say I spoke, “Too country”/ Then the rejection came, said I wasn’t, “Country enough”/ Said I wouldn’t saddle up, but/ If that ain’t country, tell me, what is?/ Tread my bare feet on solid ground for years/ They don’t, don’t know how hard I had to fight for this/ When I sing my song” – “Ameriican Requiem”

She’s not over Becky with the good hair …

Or maybe she just knows it’s good songwriting fodder. Either way, the “hussy with the good hair,” as Dolly Parton puts it in an intro, is back on Bey’s mind for “Jolene,” her cover of the Parton classic. Alas, it doesn’t shed much new light on an old situation; instead, the singer is just going off — as she should.

We been deep in love for twenty years/ I raised that man, I raised his kids/ I know my man better than he knows himself (Hah, wait)” — “Jolene”

I can easily understand why you’re attracted to my man/ But you don’t want this smoke, so shoot your shot for someone else (You heard me)” — “Jolene”

I had to have this talk with you’/ Cause I hate to have to act the fool/ Your peace depends on how you move, Jolene” — “Jolene”

I sleep good happy, ’cause you can’t dig up our planted seeds/ I know my man’s gon’ stand by me breathing in my gentle breeze” — “Jolene”

She’s embracing motherhood

Although we’d hoped Cowboy Carter would offer more of an inside look into Beyoncé’s life, it’s regrettably skimp on personal details. But one window the album does have is into Bey’s growing relationship to motherhood, which she’s tracked from her 2013 self-titled record to now. The latest chapter of that journey is learning to let go as Blue Ivy, Rumi, and Sir grow up, which she movingly sings about on “Protector.”

And I will lead you down that road if you lose your way/ Born to be a protector, mm” — “Protector”

I first saw your face in your father’s gaze/ There’s a long line of hands carryin’ your name/ Liftin’ you up, so you will be raised” — “Protector”

Even though I know some day you’re gonna shine on your own/ I will be your projector, yeah, yeah” — “Protector”

She’s back to her (lesser-known) Louisiana roots

Casual fans know Beyoncé claims Texas. More dedicated fans know she also Alabama — and Louisiana. Cowboy Carter is primed to even the knowledge playing field as Bey goes hard on the Pelican State references, with mentions of Creole and Zydeco.

“Got Mo-Town, Galveston, rooted in Louisiana” — “American Requiem”

I’m still a Creole banjee bitch from Louisiana (Don’t try me)” — “Jolene”

“And I come home tomorrow/ To Louisiana” — “Oh Louisiana”

“On the trail ride to the zydeco, I’m coming home” — Sweet Honey Buckin

She and Jay-Z are (still) doing it in cars

A decade after Beyoncé purred for the driver to “roll up the partition, please,” she’s making it clear that the car is still the hottest place for this married couple. Good for them.

So sweet, I give you kisses in the backseat/ I whisper secrets in the back beat” — “Bodyguard”

I’ll be your backseat baby, drivin’ you crazy/ Anytime you like” — “Just For Fun”

Put on a show and make it nasty/ Desert Eagle in the backseat” — “Desert Eagle”

My feet on the dashboard, now go really fast boy” — “II Hands II Heaven”

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