Twenty-one years ago today, The Chicks released their number one hit song, “Cowboy, Take Me Away.”
The song is about the love between a free spirit and a cowboy. During the song, The Chicks sing, “I said, I wanna touch the earth. I wanna break it in my hands, I wanna grow something wild and unruly. I wanna sleep on the hard ground. In the comfort of your arms. On a pillow of bluebonnets. In a blanket made of stars…I said, cowboy take me away. Fly this girl as high as you can into the wild blue.”
The song spent 23 weeks on the chart and peaked in the number one spot. “Cowboy Take Me Away” is a single from their multi-platinum 1999 album, Fly. The album was The Chicks’ fifth studio album and it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. It received diamond status in 2002 for shipments of 10 million units. Additionally, the album was nominated for 4 Grammys in 2000 and won Best Country Album. Lastly, Fly was this writer’s all-time favorite album growing up. Fly was my soundtrack for countless middle school sleepovers and gawky preteen dance parties.
The Chicks band member Martie Maguire wrote “Cowboy Take Me Away” along with songwriter Marcus Hummon. However, Maguire’s sister, fellow Chicks member Emily Robison, gets credit for inspiring the song. During an interview, Maguire talked about writing the song when her younger sister started dating her future (and now-ex) husband, country singer Charlie Robison.
“[Emily] had been dating a bunch of guys I didn’t approve of,” said Maguire. “And then she met Charlie, and I sort of pictured him whisking her off into the sunset,” she said.
Carly Pearce Covered The Chicks’ Song
It seems like country star Carly Pearce was also inspired by the love in the song because she released her own version of “Cowboy Take Me Away” last year. Carly’s version is quieter than The Chick’s original version. It feels as if Carly is having an intimate conversation with a longtime lover in her version. Following the release of this song, Pearce also released her self-titled second album. Pearce said that the sound of her latest album is different from previous records. Why? Because she fell in love.
“The heartbeat of the record is the fact that I fell in love,” Pearce said during an interview. “And that kind of snowballed everything.”
Although Pearce is currently separating from her album, she said that she “knows her love was real.” Between Carly’s album and her cover of The Chicks love song, we can’t help but start to catch the love bug as well. Is there a cowboy around here?