Carrie Underwood Drops New Song ‘She Don’t Know’ and It’s Basically a Grown-Up ‘Before He Cheats’

by Lauren Boisvert

Carrie Underwood dropped a new song called “She Don’t Know” from her upcoming album “Denim & Rhinestones,” and it makes me think of “Before He Cheats” even more than “Ghost Story” did. Is this the prequel to “Two Black Cadillacs”? Could be. Could it also be its own song, completely separate from Underwood’s other works? Most likely, but I’m creating the Carrie Underwood Universe, here, don’t stop me now.

Overall, no one writes a revenge song like Carrie Underwood, who recently returned to Las Vegas; she’s rivaled only by Miranda Lambert in her early days and Taylor Swift, who writes whole revenge albums. But, “She Don’t Know” sounds like a grown-up version of Carrie Underwood’s other revenge songs; only, this one is more on the “eh, whatever, you can have him” end of the spectrum. The speaker is coming to terms with the fact that her husband is cheating. She knows, and she decides that she doesn’t care to stay with him any longer. As Underwood sings, “She can have him.”

The comparisons are rife with “Before He Cheats,” but it’s more of a juxtaposition of the two characters. Both are dealing with a cheating partner, but in “Before He Cheats,” the speaker destroys something precious to her boyfriend to teach him a lesson. It’s aggressive and definitely sends a message. Now, years later, “She Don’t Know” paints a picture of a married woman sort of confronting the woman he’s cheating with. It’s not really a confrontation like “Before He Cheats”; the woman thinks she’s fooled the speaker, thinks the speaker doesn’t know her husband’s cheating.

But, the speaker knows all too well. Now, the something precious isn’t a truck–it’s her, it’s their whole relationship. She’s slipping her wedding ring off her finger, and the other woman “can have this worthless piece I’m leaving.”

Carrie Underwood Releases ‘She Don’t Know’: How Her Stories Have Evolved From Early Songs

Some of Carrie Underwood’s songs used to be about girl power, taking what’s owed to you, being a strong, independent woman who knows her worth. Now, listening to what she’s released from “Denim & Rhinestones”–which she recently announced the tour for–her stories have shifted subtly into a more grown-up mentality.

Especially with “She Don’t Know”; the narrative is more about letting things go, still knowing your worth, but not having to be aggressive or violent about it. She doesn’t need the fleeting satisfaction of destroying a man’s truck anymore; she has grown, she knows what she’s about, and is aware that she deserves better than a man who’s going to cheat on her.

That’s the subtle power that Carrie Underwood has in her songs; they’re delightful sonically, but lyrically they hold so much in just a few simple images. “Ghost Story” did the most, with the imagery of a man haunted by his ex; in comparison, “She Don’t Know” is a small-town ghost story: meeting your husband’s mistress in the grocery store and deciding “she can have him.”