Beyond the Canvas: Taking the Stage
How Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s words wound up in this Chicks music video
When the Chicks sat down several months ago to hear the latest cut of songs for their upcoming album — their first in 14 years — a fourth voice appeared in the background of one track.
It was Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose words from a 2018 discussion about the #MeToo movement were mixed into the song “For Her,” an empowerment anthem written to their former selves, to their daughters and to women worldwide, urging them to stand up, “dig a little bit deeper, and be whole lot louder.”
“It was a surprise to us. It was awesome,” Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines told the PBS NewsHour of music producer Jack Antonoff’s decision to work the justice into the track. But Ginsburg ultimately didn’t make the final cut.
“I feel like I wanted it to stay in, but I think people thought it would just, I don’t know, timestamp the album too much or something,” she said.
But after Ginsburg’s death, her words were added back in.
From their home studios — each in isolation with their families due to the pandemic — the band paired the new version of “For Her” with a video that has a new slate that reads: “Dedicated with love and admiration to the righteous memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
“There will always be adjustments when there’s a transition,” Ginsburg said at the Columbia University event (and now in the song). “But on the whole, it’s amazing to me that for the first time women are really listened to.”
“That song definitely makes you think of a powerful, strong woman, strong chick, like RBG,” Maines said. The mix also features Maines’ niece and the daughters of band members Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer.
Watch the version of the song that includes Ginsburg’s words in the player above. And watch the full interview with The Chicks in the Oct. 16 episode of the PBS NewsHour.