What's Your Signature Song? An Ode To 'Wide Open Spaces' By The Dixie Chicks

Jul 28, 2019
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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

People have been sending us their signature song, one that means the world to them, and now we have another one. Today, Margaret Thym of Albuquerque, N.M., tells us about a song she's loved since grade school.

MARGARET THYM: I remember just using my little CD Walkman and singing to myself at night and getting that knock on the door saying, you need to lower your voice because I was just pretending that I was the one on stage.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WIDE OPEN SPACES")

DIXIE CHICKS: (Singing) Who doesn't know what I'm talking about? Who's never left home? Who's never struck out?...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The song is "Wide Open Spaces" by the Dixie Chicks. And as Margaret grew up, it helped her make peace with how her life was unfolding.

THYM: I graduated from high school in 2009. I thought I was going to go to college, and I was going to go to law school. And by the time I got to where I am now, I'd have a family or be in a relationship. And my past has looked very different from that.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WIDE OPEN SPACES")

DIXIE CHICKS: (Singing) A young girl's dreams no longer hollow. It takes the shape of a place out west...

THYM: My parents did divorce when I was a teenager. And so from basically high school on, my mom was a single mom, and she was working really hard to do everything she could for me. But I just wasn't able to do a lot of the college prep stuff that my friends were doing. So I had to go to community college for a while and transfer my credits. And it took a long time for me to really accept that you shouldn't compare yourself and your own path to somebody else's path. And the Dixie Chicks and "Wide Open Spaces" have really been an enormous part of that acceptance and lesson for me.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WIDE OPEN SPACES")

DIXIE CHICKS: (Singing) She needs wide open spaces, room to make her big mistakes. She needs new faces. She knows the high stakes. She knows the high stakes...

THYM: This past May, I graduated cum laude from the University of New Mexico. I've been lucky enough to work as a reading teacher in Honolulu, Hawaii, which has been an amazing opportunity. I feel like Charlie finding the golden ticket in the chocolate bar.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WIDE OPEN SPACES")

DIXIE CHICKS: (Singing) She traveled this road as a child. Wide-eyed and grinning, she never tired. But now she won't be coming back with the rest...

THYM: I feel like I resonate with that character. I feel like I am that person. And I have a boss who talked about, you know, as you're getting ready to go to class, put on your favorite music to get pumped up. And I've definitely done that with "Wide Open Spaces" because they're like a big comfort hug. They're like go out in the world and do what you're meant to do. That's the feeling I get from them.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WIDE OPEN SPACES")

DIXIE CHICKS: (Singing) High stakes...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was Margaret Thym of Albuquerque, N.M. Her signature song is "Wide Open Spaces" by the Dixie Chicks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.