By Gabrielle Lamontagne

Sometimes it can feel easier to avoid confrontation, especially for those of us who are prone to anxiety. However, that is not a good way to go through life because people will walk all over you, use you and you’ll end up feeling like a push-over or exploding at someone when that last drop of water in the vase pushes you over the edge (please pardon my use of self-translated French expressions). It’s better to remember to take everything in moderation, including confrontation. Standing up for yourself, but choosing your battles wisely, is important. “(You’ve Got to) Kick A Little” by Little Texas describes just that.

This song is about standing up for yourself and your loved ones, challenging yourself to be successful and not being held back by the opinions of others.

The lyrics of the first verse preface that, “My daddy always was a gentleman,” after which the narrator of the song goes on to describe the ways in which his father was a gentleman.

However, he then explains, in the lines, “If anybody ever put us down/Well, you can bet that he would stand his ground,” that on some occasions the father made an exception and “kick[ed] a little” to protect and defend his family. In the second verse, the lyrics discuss the idea of not letting yourself be held back in life by the negative opinions of others. Little Texas wants you to remember that it’s what you think of yourself that matters, not anyone else.

“Feels like they’re never gonna take you for who you are/That’s when you have to stand up and be strong/and go the extra mile to prove ‘em all wrong,” and if you have to “cause a stir” in the process, then go ahead and do it. Prove to the world that you’re awesome and no one can tell you otherwise! That’s the best response to such bullies, anyway.

I guess you could say a more modern version of this verse is Taylor Swift’s “Mean”, though that comes from a first-person point of view rather than as advice. 

The chorus itself is about standing up for yourself, your opinions, and your values, even though, “Sometimes you’ve gotta make some noise to be heard.” There’s also a hint here that other than just using this little ruckus as simply a defense strategy, go on the offensive and push ahead to be successful. The world is a competitive place and sometimes to get ahead, “…unless you wanna finish last/You[‘ve] got to kick a little!” The message is much less subtle than in other songs, but it’s an important one, so I think it’s good that it’s so blunt. 

Upbeat with a fun tone, Little Texas, an older generation country genre group, offers up this song with a lively tune and a side of good life advice. The melody and rock/guitar jamming sound of “Kick a Little” is catchy and great for any work-out mix or just for your time behind the wheel (unless you speed up to fast-paced songs…in that case I would avoid it).

Country music, as a genre, is, as a whole, not very popular in this region (though on campus I see more of it than anywhere else), but I think that a lot of the prejudice against it is based on the blues-y style of country that involves a lot of drinking and heartbreak songs. This is not of that variety. This song isn’t the only peppy country tune  with a great message, as many of the Country genre songs today have the same qualities! It’s true that there are still a lot of fun, witty, depressing or psycho-sounding heartbreak songs still being produced, but there’s a lot more where this song came from too. I’ve found that the Country genre is more about the people (possibly in rural areas and very especially American) than anything, and that no matter where you come from, it’s easy to find a certain song or artist that you can relate to. Don’t give up hope on this genre yet­—and please don’t take for granted that it’s everything it’s cracked up to be. As my mother says, “Try it: you might like it!”

In conclusion, don’t let anyone or anything hold you back from what you want to do in life. You can be successful, with a good reputation, and lead a happy lifestyle, no matter what anyone else thinks! Oh, and try something new every now and then—even when it comes to music.

Gabrielle Lamontagne is a junior majoring in French and business administration.