Court Yard Hounds explore abandoned gay youth

I downloaded the first four songs recorded and released by Court Yard Hounds as soon as Sony announced they were available. CYH is a side project formed by Dixie Chicks sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison.

All four songs sound great – and they offer the ease and beauty of Dixie Chicks at their best. But one song in particular – “Ain’t No Son” – was too angry for me, and I removed it from my playlist. Now I know why the song struck a chord with me.


On the opposite end of the relaxation scale is the angry “Ain’t No Son.” This song’s bluegrassy intro is from the point of view of a disenfranchised young man. The rest of the song, as it shifts into rocker mode, describes the narrow viewpoint of his angry father. The lyrics aren’t specific about the exact points of family contention, but Robison had a story in mind.

“I turned the TV on, and it was A&E or one of those documentary kind of shows about these poor teenage kids who are devastated that their parents won’t let ’em stay in the house because they found out they were gay,” she explains. The lines, ‘You ain’t no son to me/Eight pound baby boy I bounced on my knee’ were around from the very beginning. That idea, how can you have kids and love them so much and one day decide not to — it just boggled my mind.”

Dixie Chicks share their story about infertility and IVF. By the way, do you have a crush on Martie too?

When the Dixie Chicks were abandoned by some in 2003 for Natalie Maines’ comment about Bush’s decision to start a war – one group remained particularly faithful fans of the trio.

The group lost many country music fans. Some staged record-stomping protests and banned the group from their radio stations, but they gained a legion of gay fans who appreciated the outspoken stance by the women. The Dixie Chicks’ refusal to back down to attacks only strengthened their support from fair-minded lesbians and gays.

Emily Robison, the group’s guitarist and banjo player, says she notices more lesbians at their shows, because they’re usually flirting with her sister Martie Maquire, who plays fiddle and mandolin. Robison explains, “They’re usually on Martie’s side. We always tease her that she gets all the lesbians.”

Three of our favorite women share their story about fertility challenges in the recent edition of Conceive Online. It took more than two years of fertility treatments before Emily became a mother. She says, “After about six months of trying naturally we were aware there could be a problem. We had the basic tests done, and everything was normal. So we started slowly at first, trying artificial insemination to up our chances.”

After another year without success, she got more aggressive. Emily had a laparoscopy to rule out any problems. She was found to have mild endometriosis, “but nothing that would have kept me from getting pregnant.” Another six months went by. “Then we were ready to just go for it,” she says. Son Gus was born after Emily’s fourth round of IVF. His twin siblings, Henry and Julianna, were also conceived via IVF.

Martie also conceived her 3-year-old twin daughters, Eva and Kathleen, through IVF after years of similar struggles. Natalie is a mother of two sons, Slade, 6, and Beckett, 3.

In a 2006 interview with USA Today the band explains how their IVF experience influenced songs on their newest album, Taking the Long Way, which won an impressive five Grammy awards this year. In one particular song called “So Hard”, Emily Robison confronted the problem of in vitro fertilization.

Robison told USA Today, “It was a bumpy road. There are many people going through this; it was almost epidemic among my friends and family, and with so many people my age. I had all my kids by the time I was 32, and I was having problems in my late 20s; so I wasn’t buying that this was just about women having babies later in life.

“I felt like women need to know what their options are, so let’s start a dialog.”

2 thoughts on “Court Yard Hounds explore abandoned gay youth

  • October 5, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I’ve seen the Chicks in concert 3 times – and they are amazing. I love their outspoken way of living. The documentary “Shut Up and Sing” was very touching.

    BTW, I’ve always thought Emily was the sexy one. 🙂

  • October 23, 2009 at 6:36 am

    Sadly enough, for “normal” people having four rounds of IVF is not really an option. I’ve tried and have used up all my savings just to get pregnant, so I really think they are pretty lucky to have more money than the average american to be able to afford so many IVF. There is nothing I’d wish more than to become a mother but I’m just not wealthy enough to make it happen.

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