‘It Was a Swing and Miss’: Megyn Has Some Thoughts on Beyonce’s New Cover of ‘Jolene’

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

I am going to be honest, I am not a big Beyoncé follower. I don’t have anything against her, but I don’t listen to her music. 

I do, however, get kind of annoyed at how whenever she does anything, we have to pretend she’s the Second Coming. It’s like, ‘Oh my God.’ They literally call her “Queen Bey.” It’s like she can do absolutely no wrong. If you criticize her, there’s something wrong with you.

The Praise

So, she’s come out now with a country album, and of course these leftist and media whores pretend that no one’s ever done country before Beyoncé has done it. It’a all, ‘Country is this wonderful new genre that Queen Bey has discovered.’ ‘Oh my god, this is wonderful.’ And the reactions to her album called Cowboy Carter are typically over the top. 

Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted, “You have redefined a genre and reclaimed country music’s Black roots.” Why did country need to be redefined? What was wrong with it that we needed it to be rescued by Beyoncé? 

And that is basically the same message we got from Michelle Obama, who posted, “You have changed the game once again by helping redefine a music genre and transform our culture. I’m so proud of you… Cowboy Carter is a reminder that despite everything we’ve been through to be heard, seen, and recognized, we can still dance sing and be who we are unapologetically.”

Michelle Obama always finds a way to work how downtrodden she’s been into her tweets and posts. I’m sure it’s very hard for Beyoncé to be who she is unapologetically with her billions of dollars that she and her husband have earned despite how crappy this nation has treated her. 

She goes on. “This album reminds us all that we all have power. There’s power in our history, in our joy, and in our votes — and we can each use our own gifts and talents to make our voices heard on the issues that matter most to us,” she wrote in her multi-part tweet. “And as Queen Bey says at the end of Ya Ya, we need to ‘keep the faith’ and ‘VOTE!’”

What is this? Is this feminism? Is this aggrievement? And why is it that Queen Bey is being treated like she’s the first person to take a little dalliance over into this weird, foreign, unknown world of country music? We have this need to always make it into something so much bigger.

The ‘Jolene’ Rewrite

One of the things that jumped out at me though is how well Beyoncé lays out her PR connections when she drops a new project. She has a cover of “Jolene” by Dolly Parton, and she got Dolly Parton to endorse it on and off the album.

The original “Jolene” is a story about a woman feeling threatened by another woman who is prettier and more alluring. She is basically begging her not to steal her man. She flatters her by saying I know you can because you’re so gorgeous, but please don’t because I love him.

Then, because it’s Queen Bey, we have to change the message of the song to ‘if you f–cking take my man, I will hurt you b–tch.’ She actually uses the word ‘b-tch’ in the new version. 

It is much more threatening, which I guess Beyoncé and Team Bey think is what empowerment looks like. For now, the threatened woman is just threatening to another woman who she thinks might have designs on her life partner.

Culture Shift

I have to say, I don’t find this empowering at all. To Kat Rosenfield’s point in her Daily Mail piece that I encourage you to read, there’s something strange about what is happening with the modern day definition of what a strong woman is. You can’t have any vulnerabilities or insecurities. You have to be this badass b–tch who is threatening. To me, it’s a turnoff. 

And what Kat writes that I totally agree with is that this “paradoxically reveals how disempowered and insecure she is” because “if she’s a queen, as the song says, and has no doubts about her man’s devotion, then why is she threatening to throw hands at any woman who looks at him sideways?” The true power move is not to worry and not to have to worry. But Beyoncé couldn’t quite get there. 

I feel like Beyoncé would have been better served by just redoing the original. You don’t have to tell your story. You’re telling a story, and this is a version of womanhood where an insecure woman feels threatened by a more beautiful other woman.

Why did we have to go from women shouldn’t work, women aren’t strong, women are too emotional, women have to be locked up for their hysterics if they express tears or anxiety to women have no emotion, women are total ball busters, and women showing any softness, tears, empathy, vulnerability, or insecurity is somehow non-feminine and no longer acceptable in one’s idea of what an ideal woman is?

Ultimately, I think it was a swing and a miss from Beyoncé.

You can check out Megyn’s full analysis by tuning in to episode 759 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.