Level: Upper-intermediate / Advanced
1. Read carefully this text about an event which happened to an American country group and
the reaction of their fans.
'Dixie sluts' fight on with naked defiance
Friday 25 April 2003, The Guardian
America's sweethearts no more ... Dixie Chicks on the cover of Entertainment
Ever since mid-March, bewildered ex-fans and curious recent converts have
clamored to know the naked truth about the Dixie Chicks. Was singer Natalie
Maines' assertion an unfortunate slip of the tongue or a deliberate statement of
defiance? Yes, they apologized -- but are they really, really, really, really sorry?
They have been called Saddam's Angels and the Dixie Sluts, traitors and big mouths, all
because they made a disparaging remark about
President Bush at a concert in London last month.
Radio stations stopped playing their new CD and
invited listeners to dump their old albums in rubbish
bins and there have been death threats and calls to
boycott their upcoming US tour.
Now the Texas-based Dixie Chicks are fighting
back. They have posed for the cover of next week's
Entertainment Weekly cheerfully wearing nothing
but the epithets they have attracted and vowing to
continue to speak their minds.
It was Guardian critic Betty Clarke who reported
that Dixie Chicks singer, Natalie Maines, had said
on stage at the Shepherd's Bush Empire: quot;We're
ashamed that the president of the United States is
from Texas.quot; As Entertainment Weekly says: quot;If it
hadn't been for one London critic - from the left-leaning newspaper the Guardian - approvingly
quoting Maines's remark, the group might still have the No 1 country single and a top 10 pop hit
instead of being all but banished from the nation's airwaves.quot;
When country websites and radio stations picked up the Guardian review, the campaign began
against the band, who have helped to revive the popularity of country music over the last five
years, selling 25 million CDs.
They disappeared from playlists and became the object of abuse from talk show hosts and
newspaper columnists. Maines apologised, say ing: quot;Whoever holds that office [the presidency]
should be treated with the utmost respect.quot; That has not been enough for some.
Now Maines needs 24-hour security outside her home. The other two members of the band
have also felt the heat: trash has been dumped outside the home of Emily Robison and the tour
driver of Martie Maguire has resigned. The rightwing country singer, Toby Keith, is using a
backdrop of Maines and Saddam Hussein.
Maines said that quot;we have nothing but support for the troopsquot;. She had expressed her feelings
because quot;I think of those little kids over there, just laying in their beds listening [to the planes] ...
I don't hate people who are for the war. It seems unfathomable that someone would not want to
drive us because of our political views. But we're learning more and more that it's not that
unfathomable to a large percentage of the population.quot;
Emily Robison said: quot;Everybody talks about how this war was over quickly and not that many
people died. Tell that to the parents of people coming home in body bags.quot; All the band
supported Maines: quot;Natalie's comment came from frustration that we all shared - we were
apparently days away from war and still left with a lot of questions.quot;
Maines said that the US ambassador had come backstage after their concert in London, quot;so he
must not have been offendedquot;.
When their US tour starts next month, they are bracing for more protests. But there are signs of
a backlash against the backlash with sales of their CD, Home, bouncing back up in the charts
quot;People think this'll scare us and shut us up and it's gonna do the opposite,quot; said Maines. quot;They
just served themselves a huge headache.quot;
1. Answer the following questions according to the text.
a) What happened in the Dixie Chicks’ concert in London in March 2003?
b) How did the radio stations react? Did they support the band?
c) Who is Betty Clarke? Was her contribution critical in this story? Why?
d) What did Maines do to help the group, so that their CDs are not completely withdrawn
from the market or their concerts cancelled?
e) How are the group’s members threatened?
f) According to Maines, did all the population support the war?
g) Was the US ambassador offended? Why?
h) Was this situation an incentive for the group to give up? What is their attitude now?
2. Link the following words from the text with their meaning.
1. Defiance a) a piece of cloth with something painted on it that is hung at the back of
a stage during a performance
2. Slut b) make a determined decision or promise to do something
3. Big mouth c) they tend to say things which are meant to be kept secret
4. Leaning d) when you refuse to obey someone or something
5. Airwaves e) say what you think about something very directly
6. Backdrop f) start to be successful again after a difficult period, for example after
experiencing failure, loss of confidence, illness or unhappiness
7. Unfathomable g) a preference for a particular set of beliefs, opinions, etc
8. Backlash h) a strong feeling among a group of people in reaction to a tendency or
recent events in society or politics
9. Speak one’s mind i) a woman who has sexual relationships with men without emotional
10. Fight back j) radio or television broadcasting time
11. Brace for k) defend yourself when someone attacks you or causes problems for you
12. Vow l) prepare yourself physically or mentally for something unpleasant
13. Disparage m) criticize someone or something in a way that shows you do not respect
or value them
14. Bounce back n) impossible to understand
1. Fill in the gaps. You are going to listen twice to a song which was written taking into account
the consequent problems caused by Maines’ tactless speech. After the first listening you will
find out why there are some numbers in the lyrics.
Title: Not Ready To Make Nice
Forgive, _______ good I’m through with doubt
Forget, I’m not sure I _______ There’s nothing left for me to ______ __2
They say time _________1 everything I’ve paid a price
But I’m still waiting And I’ll keep ________
I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to _______ ____3 I’m not ready to make nice
I’m still mad as hell and I’m not ready to _______ ____3
I don’t have time to go round and round I’m still mad as hell and
and round I don’t have time to go round and round
It’s too late to make it right and round
I probably _________ if I _________ It’s too late to make it right
‘Cause I’m mad as hell I probably __________ if I ________
Can’t bring _______ to do what it is you ‘Cause I’m mad as hell
think I _________ Can’t bring ________ to do what it is you
think I ________
I know you said
Can’t you just ______ _____4 it I’m not ready to make nice
It _______ my whole world ________5 I’m not ready to _______ ____3
And I kind of like it I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round
I _______ my bed and I sleep like a baby and round
With no _______ and I don’t mind ______ It’s too late to make it right
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will I probably ____________ if I ________
_________ her daughter that she ‘Cause I’m mad as hell
_________ __ hate a perfect stranger Can’t bring ________ to do what it is you
And how in the world can the ________ think I _________
that I said
_______ somebody so ____ ___ _____ 6 Forgive, _______ good
That they’d write me a letter Forget, I’m not sure I _______
________ that I better _____ __ and sing They say time _________1 everything
Or my life will be over But I’m still waiting
2. Here you have the definitions to the expressions, mainly verbs, that have a number next to
the gap. This could help you somehow to write the right words if you have any doubt.
1. to make or become well again, especially after a cut or other injury
2. (phrasal verb) to finally understand something or someone, or find the solution
to a problem after a lot of thought
3. (phrasal verb) to admit that you were wrong or that you have been defeated
4. (phrasal verb) to get better after an illness, or feel better after something or
someone has made you unhappy
5. (phrasal verb) to change an unsuccessful business, plan or system so that it
6. it makes them start to behave in a crazy way
3. Pay attention to the verbs either in the listening or the text which form is the bare infinitive, to
infinitive or gerund (-ing form). You will find one which could be followed by gerund or to
infinitive but the meaning changes.
1. Answer the questions. Here you have examples of the possible answers.
a) Dixie Chicks singer, Natalie Maines, said on stage that her groups was ashamed that
the president of the United States was from Texas.
b) The radio stations began a campaing against the band, that is, they stopped playing
their new CD and invited listeners to throw away their albums into the rubbish bins, and
furthermore, they started boycotting their US tour.
c) Betty Clarke is the Guardian (left-wing newspaper) Critic who reported what Maines had
said on stage in London. Her contribution to the story was crucial because if she hadn’t
reported the fact, this group would have kept the same status and would not have been
banished by anyone.
d) Maines apologised admitting her fault. She pointed out that the president of the USA
should be treated with extreme respect.
e) There were some actions which treatened the members. Maines needed 24-hour
security outside her house, trash was dumped outside Emily Robinson’s house and the
Martie Maguire’s tour driver has resigned. In addition, a right-wing country singer used a
backrop of Maines and Saddan Hussein.
f) No, not at all. There are people who are for the war, but a large porcentage of the
population is against it.
g) No, he wasn’t. If he had been offended, he wouln’t have come backstage after the
concert in London.
h) No, they were not going to give up, in fact, they were going to fight back.
2. Link the words with the definitions.
1 d 8 h
2 i 9 e
3 c 10 k
4 g 11 l
5 j 12 b
6 a 13 m
7 n 14 f
1. Fill in the gaps.
sounds made myself
could regrets should
heals saying back down
figure out teach wouldn’t
paying ought to could
back down words myself
wouldn’t send … over the edge should
could saying sounds
myself shut up could
should back down heals
get over wouldn’t
turned … around could