The power of a song is something special, and the messages that music sends can have an enormous impact. Just hearing our feelings expressed to us, in ways we might not be able to express ourselves, has incredible value in our lives, no matter your age. The latest single by Faith Hill and husband Tim McGraw has just that kind of incredible power and is moving the masses. As Hill makes her comeback from a (very) long recording hiatus and joins with McGraw for another run of their ‘Soul2Soul’ tour, the duo released a single from an upcoming, long-anticipated duets album. The song, ‘Speak to a Girl,’ is sweeping in emotion and message.
She just wants a friend to be there when she opens her eyes in the morning. She wants you to say what you mean, and mean everything that you’re saying. ‘Cause that’s how you speak to a woman, that’s how you speak to a girl. That’s how you get with a lady that’s worth more than anything in this whole world. You better respect your woman, respect the hell out of her, that’s how you speak to a woman. That’s how you speak to a girl.
Written by Shy Carter, Dave Gibson, and Joe Garbur, and co-produced by Bryan Gallimore, Hill and McGraw, ‘Girl’ is a soul-stirring breath of fresh air, a song about respecting women and girls, and communicating in an honest, loving, and genuine manner. It not only encourages boys and men’s most positive efforts to be good partners, but the lyrics remind us that we should demand this for ourselves. For young girls that sing along with it, it is incredibly powerful in encouraging girls' confidence. Hill and McGraw are the parents of three young girls (Ages 18, 19, and 15), and surely have thought about the kinds of messages that the world, and boys, are sending them. Through music, as parents and artists, they’re taking a firm stand for girls and women loving themselves and being loved. Though this specific song's message is written for girls, qualities like honesty, respect, and open communication are important for all healthy relationships no matter your gender identity.
This isn't the first time Faith Hill has delivered songs that uplift the spirit and encourage healthy relationships. Hill’s body of work is filled with songs that carry many of the same themes heard in ‘Girl.’ Here are a few:
- ‘Me’ - An uplifting tune, delivered like a girl who is finally carefree, in a relationship with someone who values her as she is. I changed my clothes, my hair everything, just to please someone else. It took finding you to finally understand, what it means to be loved for who I am. Me, that’s all I have to give. What you get is what you see.
- ‘Take Me As I Am’ - Hill insists that relationships require vulnerability from both people. And the lyrics detail what she specifically looks for in the ideal partner. All I really need is honesty. Someone with a strong heart, a gentle hand, that’ll take me as I am.
- ‘I Can’t Do That Anymore’ – Here Hill sings about all the ways she’s sacrificed for a man who doesn’t appreciate or respect her efforts and needs. And (natch) it was written by a man, fellow country star Alan Jackson! I keep on giving, but I can’t stop living, a woman needs a little something of her own. I like happy endings, I don’t like depending, I keep on pretending, but I can’t do that anymore.
- ‘A Man’s Home is His Castle’ - One of the most powerful songs ever written about the inner and outer struggle of experiencing domestic violence. Hill takes on the voice of the abuser and the victim with stunning emotional results. Raw truth permeates this song’s story. He holds the keys with a fist of rage, his home is his castle, but mine is a cage.
- ‘Wild One’ – In Hill’s first single, released in 1993, she sings in celebration of a girl who’s filled with confidence and drive, and in the face of critics, remembers the loving support of her father. She’s a wild one, with an angel’s face, she’s a woman child in a state of grace. When she was three years old on her daddy’s knee, he said, ‘You can be anything you want to be.’
'Speak to a Girl' gives young girls a voice that perhaps they haven't fully realized, and reaffirms to women that they deserve respect in society, and in relationships. Music's gift is that it gives everyone an opportunity to connect emotionally, in their own hearts, and with people in their lives they want to open up and "speak" to.
Break the Cycle believes in the power of music to create cultural change; the lyrics we sing shape our perceptions of relationships and what love should look like. That's why songs with messages like this are important, and why we love seeing songs like That's Not Love by Let's Be Real member, Scarlet, find success. Let's spread the joy of healthy love through song. Add breakthecycledv on Spotify for uplifting, positive playlists that reinforce healthy relationship concepts and are also just really fun!
This blog was contributed by Break the Cycle volunteer, Jessica Q. Jessica is a member of the national coalition of caring adults working to stop teen dating abuse Love Is Not Abuse. Follow her on Twitter.