The Bigger Bear: A Beth Dutton Playlist for the ‘Yellowstone’ Firecracker

by Lauren Boisvert

How many times has Beth Dutton delivered an absolutely scathing line on “Yellowstone” and you’ve thought, “damn, I wish I had the courage to talk like that.” If the answer is “every time,” I won’t judge. I wish Taylor Sheridan wrote my dialogue too. But, really, the appeal of Beth is that she does have these fiery one-liners that scorch the earth she leaves behind. She’s a tower, a firecracker on the loose, and we’re here now to celebrate her. Her misdeeds, her spiky personality, her mistakes, and her softer side.

Here are 30 songs I found that describe Beth Dutton in all her complicated facets. Listen to this while you’re destroying a multi-million dollar company from the inside. Or maybe intimidating men at the bar. Or, simply hanging out on the porch smoking a cigarette and surveying your family’s land.

Beth Dutton’s Barbed-Wire Personality

  • Bombastic – Bonnie McKee

First of all, this song starts with the lines “I’m on a mission to search and destroy,” and if that’s not Beth Dutton I don’t know what is. This is the biggest facet of her personality, the one that she lets everyone see. “No more mister nice guy / I’m coming for you” encapsulates what Beth is about when it comes to literally anyone who gets in her way. Just that word, “bombastic,” is a great descriptor for Kelly Reilly‘s character. She’s taking down everyone, if not with a biting one-liner, then with just a look. The first episode does a great job of establishing her character. A man calls her a bitch, and in retaliation she makes him say thank you for saving his company. A boss move, if I may say so.

Raising Hell All Over Montana

Other songs that remind me of this side of Beth are “Raise Hell” by Brandi Carlile, “Seven Devils” by Florence + The Machine, and “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks. Brandi Carlile always manages to capture erratic emotions in her music, which I think fits Beth. “I’ve been down with a broken heart since the day I learned to speak,” Carlile sings in the first verse. Beth strikes me as someone who is profoundly brokenhearted, but never lets that part of herself be seen. She’s just out there, raising hell instead. “Seven Devils” caught me because Beth is like those seven devils all on her own. The first verse: “I don’t want your money / I don’t want your crown / See I’ve come to burn / Your kingdom down.” I’ll just leave that there.

“Bitch” by Meredith Brooks is a classic 90s tune that chronicles all the various facets and aspects of a woman. This fits for Beth. Not just because one of the lines is literally “I’m a bitch,” but because she is so faceted as a character. Beth strikes me as someone who constantly has something happening in her head, sides of herself warring with each other, only to be won out by her prickly, distant side. This song represents all those aspects of her character all rolled into one.

Taking Down Capitalists and Morons and Everyone In Between

  • Empire – Alpines

Beth Dutton is building an empire at her father’s side. Currently, she’s infiltrated Market Equities in order to bring them down from the inside. Throughout the series, she’s been helping to build the Dutton empire. This song starts out, “I’m building an empire / I’m building it with all I know,” and that right there encapsulates Beth for me. She doesn’t know anything else but this empire, this ranch. It’s been her entire life. So, she builds, and destroys those who get in her father’s way. Paradise Valley, the airport, Market Equities. People trying to buy their land left and right. She’s generally seen as the attack dog, but she also has a hand in creating the Dutton empire.

Beth Dutton’s Vulnerabilities Make Her Human

  • Fake Happy – Paramore

Beth Dutton never really hides her dour outlook on life, but “Fake Happy” reminds me of the times when she needs to just pretend for a bit. In the beginning, she’s a profoundly bitter woman, and while that never really goes away, she slowly starts to find happiness in her life again. Specifically, with Rip by her side. There’s a moment from season 4 when Rip, Carter, and Beth are eating Hamburger Helper together that stands out for me. Rip brings attention to Beth because she’s watching them and smiling. She’s truly happy in that moment. It’s possible that she’s happy because this is a moment she can control, and we all know how Beth likes her control. But, if we look past that, it’s also just a moment where Beth doesn’t have to pretend.

‘Take Me Back to the Way That I Was Before’

“Don’t Save Me” by HAIM, “Sky Full of Song” by Florence + The Machine, and “Sleep To Dream” by Fiona Apple also capture Beth’s vulnerable side. “Don’t Save Me” is a great example of Beth letting her vulnerabilities and insecurities out in front of Rip finally. But, not too much, of course. “‘Cause I can’t go on / if your love isn’t strong” reminds me of when she ran after the wolves. She’s asking Rip for his love in the face of her flaws, but at the same time she’s saying “if you can’t handle it then I don’t want you.”

“I couldn’t hide from the thunder in a sky full of song,” sings Florence Welch, and I’m reminded of Beth at her most emotionally vulnerable. Specifically, when her father expressed his disappointment in her near the end of season 4. “I thought I was flying but maybe I’m dying tonight,” the song goes on. Beth needed Walker to play her a sad song before she could cry in that heartwrenching scene, and “Sky Full of Song” captures those feelings for me. Of Beth being so emotionally traumatized that she can’t even cry on her own.

Lastly, “Sleep To Dream” also captures Beth’s wild nature (“Don’t come around / I got my own hell to raise”), but in addition the line “I got my feet on the ground and I don’t go to sleep to dream” gives me one of my greatest Beth Dutton headcanons. I don’t think Beth dreams, and I think she sleeps as a purely physiological response. I don’t believe she gets any joy out of sleeping, because she doesn’t dream. Just my take on Beth’s character, but I firmly subscribe to the “Beth Doesn’t Dream” newsletter.