Inspired by Kenny Chesney’s ‘Wild Child’

By Mallory McDonald

I said I wanted to be the redheaded girl in a country song. Little did I know that I already am in many of them, but I’ll narrow it done to just one. Kenny Chesney’s latest album is redefining women in music.

In an interview for Billboard, Chesney said, “Over the last several years, it seems like anytime anybody sings about a woman, she’s in cutoff jeans, drinking and on a tailgate- they objectify the hell out of them,” he said. “Twenty years ago, I might have written a song like that- I probably did. But I’m at a point where I want to say something different about women.”

He does just that in “Wild Child.” He sings of a strong, intelligent and independent woman. And I can’t help but feel like I am the kind of woman he sings of.

“A kaleidoscope of colors in her mind child/A touch of crazy hides behind her wild smile/So simple yet experimental/Innocent but still a little wild child.”

As my time at SMU comes to a close (sadly a year early), my parents and I have spent many hours discussing—and sometimes fighting—about what I should do next.

On the one hand, my parents want me to be the next Megyn Kelley—a journalist on TV with an impressive and successful career.

On the other hand, they want me to move back to small-town Illinois, live near them, teach Catholic school, marry this one particular boy (they already have him picked out), and be a mom. They want me to have a life just like theirs.

Both are beautiful lives—neither one better than the other.

But, once again, Kenny gets me. He says what I want better than I can.

“She’s a wild child/Got a rebel soul with a whole lot of gypsy wild style/She can’t be tied down but for a while/I’ll be falling free and so alive/Might break my heart but God she drives me wild child.”

I don’t want to break hearts, but I probably will.

I love traveling, visiting new cities, interviewing different people, writing diverse stories, being crazy, having stupid, sometimes immature nights. But most importantly, I love putting my career first and accomplishing as much as I can.

But, I can’t do any of that living in someone else’s pocket. I can’t be truly and genuinely myself without a little fire—without a little wild.

I haven’t decided where I’ll hitch my wagon, but I’m okay with that. Because I’m not ready too.

“She’ll be here until she runs/Some just have to chase the sun.”

I want to take on the world. And I want it to look different—better—when I’m done.

If someone wants to join me in my mission, then sure, come on. But if not, I’m perfectly happy—and fulfilled—singing to country songs, dancing alone, and chasing the sun.

After I walk across the stage of Moody Coliseum, my diploma in hand, that’s exactly what I’m doing next—chase the sun.

And I won’t stop until I’m done.

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