Religion is a Country Music Trope.

Tuesday March 3rd, 2015 was a monumental day for Carrie Underwood. Carrie and husband Mike Fisher gave birth to a baby boy, Isaiah Michael Fisher. Carrie could be said to be the most popular female country artist of the decade. Underwood started with a solid fan base after winning American Idol. This is possibly why she was so successful on the Billboard Top 100 in addition to country music charts. Carrie is one of my favorite artists but not solely because of her music. She has great style, values, and holds herself with grace. I may not know her personally but I think she just has just a wonderful presence that surrounds her. Now in class there has been discussion about whether or not religion is a trope of country music. I believe that in Underwood’s case it is a very big part of her and her music. Her newest single “Something in the Water” has to do with how a person’s life changes after they have been baptized. The song also includes lyrics from “Amazing Grace”. Another attribute of the song is that it is not only on the Top Charts for the Billboard Top 100 but also is on the Hot Christian Songs Chart.

In addition to “Something in the Water”, a good portion of Underwood’s older songs also contains some references of religion. Another example would be “Jesus Take the Wheel”. “Jesus Take the Wheel” was released on Underwood’s debut album Some Hearts in 2005. This was Underwood’s first Christian-Country crossover hit and could be said to be her most successful single thus far. “Jesus Take the Wheel” won numerous awards, including two Grammy’s and an Academy of Country Music.

Others like “Inside Your Heaven” and “Just a Dream” are two other songs that religion is a theme. Both Underwood and the runner-up of American Idol, Bo Bice, released “Inside Your Heaven”. Underwood’s version of the song excelled with approximately double the amount of copies sold than Bice’s. “Just a Dream” is a song about loss and heartbreak. This song is sad in depressing but it clearly illustrates the emotion of denial after one finds out a love one has passed.

Religion does not take place in all of Underwood’s songs though. But seeing as how a number of her songs have religion in it, you can tell it is something she values. Also, if we look back at the birth of her son this past week we can tell she values religion in her life. Underwood and Fisher named their son Isaiah, which is a biblical name.


Filed under Country Pop, Music Videos, Song Analysis, USA, Women

8 Responses to Religion is a Country Music Trope.

  1. Daniella

    I have to agree with you that Carrie Underwood is also one of my favorite female country artists, next to Miranda Lambert. I think the first song that I ever heard by Carrie Underwood was “Jesus Take the Wheel.” Although I had no previous knowledge of Carrie Underwood (I never watched American Idol), I remember immediately liking the song and looked forward to more of her music. For my album analysis I chose to do Josh Turner’s Your Man album and after listening to it as well as some of his older music, I also agree that religion is a trope in country music.

  2. Courtney Gonzalez

    There are quite a few Carrie Underwood songs that have the religion as a theme. I think you are right that Carrie Underwood has strong religious values and I also think is courageous that she stands up for what she believes in. However I always remember the emotions that she sings each song with more so than the theme. She sings them as if she is personally connected with each song and has felt everything she is singing about. Carrie Underwood is one of a few artists that can give me goose bumps when I sit down and listen to her songs.

  3. Gabrielle Hernandez

    Like yourself, I love Carrie Underwood. You mentioned that she “holds herself with grace” and I completely agree. She seems to keep her values at the base of her career. They keep her on track and have seemed to keep her out of the way of any type of controversy. She knows herself and is not afraid to let her music reflect that. As a person of faith, I love that she mentions religious figures in her songs. They relate to a large amount of people. In a time when people would rather abandon morals in order to appeal to a wider audience, Carrie Underwood has stayed true to her beliefs. I see that as a major strength to her career.

  4. Julianne Staine

    I definitely agree that religion is used in country music a lot, specifically Christianity. I feel like in Hollywood it’s really rare for people to publicly declare themselves Christians but in the country music world it’s almost more ostracizing to declare yourself not a Christian. I think Carrie Underwood is one of the more vocal artists about her faith and I do think it helps her appeal to a pretty wide demographic in the country scene. I think it’s really cool she has continued that even as she has gotten more famous.

  5. Abby Wills

    I completely agree that religion is used in country music very often. I think that is something that makes country music so unique. I feel like with the current country hits right now that religion isn’t as important. However, Carrie Underwood does not care what other artists are releasing. She is an artist that is not afraid to voice her values and her beliefs. Something that is so great about writing songs that discuss religious values is that many people can relate. I really like how you related the birth of her new son and his biblical name to the topic you discussed in this blog post. It was very creative and flowed really well.

  6. Marissa Gallardo

    I have to also agree that Carrie Underwood is a phenomenal artist. I believe that her unconventional rise to country stardom also has helped her in the long run, allowing her to have name-face recognition as well as her appealing to a variety of audiences. Religion is not a trope of country music; Christianity is. I personally have never heard a country music song that incorporates a religion other than Christianity. Although the discussion of religious Christian values connects with many country music fans, songs that include Christianity are not inclusive to people with other religions. Christianity as a trope of country music works well for a specific demographic; however, it is not inclusive in a broader religious sense, as country music rarely, if ever, highlights religions other than Christianity.

  7. Abby Shamis

    I think that although she does incorporate Christianity in to her music, as many country artists do, I think that the themes she sings about encompass a lot of tropes people can identify with aside from just religion. Even though Christianity is a common trope in country music, I don’t think it is something that every country music fan has to identify with. I am a big fan of Carrie Underwood but I do not always view her in the same light. I see her more with American Idol rather than a religious singer. It is true, some of her songs have those themes, but not all. The one where she “keys the car” in a song about a cheating boyfriend shows her in a different light and I think that that is how I see her more often.

  8. Joshua Fleming

    I think that carrie underwood is recognized for her christian music i think that one of the big reason that she is popular. Although she isn’t one of my favorite country artist i do believe that she is very talented in what she does and i think she is recognize very well for that. I would agree that she is very successful due to american idol she had lot of people following her in the competition and i know that i still follow people that rooted for in american idol like Scotty McCurry. i also agree that christianity is a country trophe also.

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