Music Review: Jessica Simpson “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'”
Album: The Dukes of Hazzard Soundtrack
Nancy Sinatra plots revenge on a cheating boyfriend in the electric “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.”
A teasing bass line opens the single, creating a mocking tone. Sinatra tells her boyfriend his version of love is smokes and mirrors. He’s been running around on her, which she is aware of. His new girlfriend is receiving the special treatment she once did. She famously proclaims her high heel leather boots were made to walk out the door and leave him behind. She says one day she will get him back and he will regret ever treating badly. “You keep saying you got something for me/Something you call love but confess/You’ve been a’messin’ where you shouldn’t ‘ve been a’messin’/And now someone else is getting all your best/Well, these boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do/One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”
In the second verse, she has caught him in a number of lies. He’s been juggling his manipulations. But they are becoming scattered and jumbled now. He acts as though nothing is wrong around her. However, she tells him she knows good and he’s not the least bit ok. Once again, she says she will leave. “You keep lyin’ when you oughta be truthin’/You keep losing when you oughta not bet/You keep samin’ when you oughta be a’changin’/What’s right is right but you ain’t been right yet/These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do/
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”
In the third verse, Sinatra points out that he’s cheating with too many women. He naively thinks it won’t come back to bit him. However, she knows his vulnearabilites and what buttons to push. Her boyfriend believes he will be able to give her a line and she will accept their break-up. “You keep playing where you shouldn’t be playing/And you keep thinking that you’ll never get burnt (Hah)/Well, I’ve just found me a brand new box of matches (yeah)/And what he knows you ain’t had time to learn/These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do/One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”
In the spoken section, Sinatra has left him and gotten even. “Are you ready, boots?/Start walkin’.”
The single has become a part of pop culture. It’s been parodied, cherished, sampled, and covered countless times. But with the exception of Lionrock’s “Fire Up the Seesaw” (which samples the song), none of the versions have been able to recapture Sinatra’s feistiness.
But none reached the hypersexualized and arrogant tone of Jessica Simpson’s version.
Simpson tramples her skanky leather boots, spitting and gnawing with each indecipherable whispered vocal in the calamity that is “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.”
Simpson lazily drawls “Are you ready, boots?/Start walkin'” She coos a “yee-haw” and “c’mon,” and “let’s go.” Opening with the closing lyric is the only postive change in the single. The phrase lends itself to either section of the single.
After the introduction, disaster strikes. The song is rewritten to fit the movie “Dukes of Hazzard.” Other than the first lyric “you keep saying you got something for me,” none of the original version exists. Simpson has been stopped by a police officer in Hazzard County. She flirts, saying that he can offer her a tasty kiss. She flaunts her legs, catching the officer’s attention. Simpson notes toned, tanned legs can get a woman out of anything. Except dignity that is. A quality she obviously lacks. “You keep saying you got something for me (uh)/Well officer I don’t mind to say you do/Now you’re looking right where I thought you’d be looking/Legs come handy when laws in front of you.”
In the chorus, Simpson pouts that she won’t be around for him to ogle anymore. She proudly says she will sleep with him, if necessary. These boots are made for walkin’And that’s just what they’ll do/One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”
She continues to tell the officer that she didn’t really do anything, at all. She just missed one little red light. No one got hurt or died or anything dangerous like that. She bends over, knowingly, showing off her butt cleaveage in the Daisy Dukes. She smirks as she wraps him around her large, plastic breasts. “You believe you’ve stopped me for a reason (uh)/Now I’m pretending my bendings just for fun/You keep playing where I got you playing (yeah)/These double ‘D’ initials work to run.”
In the bridge, she says that although she’s been a very bad girl she’s actually good. She’s just getting her kicks over a teensy weensy bit over the speed limit. “I’m the girl with the good boys who don’t mean you no harm/This gotten way with Hazzard County charm/There ain’t no crime in havin’ a little fun.”
In the spoken section of the bridge, she crows that she sways her hips, bats her raccoon eyes and fake eyelashes to get her way. “Swerve my stride/Bat my sexy eyes/Where my boots at (haha)/Strut ya stuff come on.”
She encourages the men to view her butt. She says that can’t touch it but they can catcall and holler to move it more. “Hey ya’ll/Wanna come and see something (uh uh, uh uh)/Can’t touch, can I get a hand clap for the way I work my back/Tick tock all around the clock drop it/Push ya tush, like that/Can I get a sueee/Can I get a yee haw.”
After teasing the men, she chides them for thinking of her in a sexual way. She says that inapporiate remarks will be cause for a slap! She threatens the men to purge their impure thoughts about her. “You keep thinking what you shouldn’t be thinking/Another to far is down till you kissing ground/I’m a gonna send you back home as you crying/But Uncle Jesse he sure is gonna be proud.”
The chorus is sung twice, with Simpson telling the women to act like her. (“come on, ladies.”) Simpson, honey, any lady wouldn’t be objectifying herself.
The second part of the spoken section is said again. “Hey ya’ll…can I get a yee-haw.”
Simpson ends the single by yee-hawing again and telling everyone that Willie Nelson is on the song. However, his acknowledgement rings false since he is barely heard.
Simpson baby talks her way through the single which gets annoying after the second lyric. She also does not sound the least bit sexy. She also is portraying an unhealthy image full of double standards. It sends one clear message. though: feminism is dead.