Carrie Underwood has an interesting relationship with cars. Generally speaking, if there’s car in a song of hers, it’s getting wrecked, bad, and someone is getting hurt. Bad.
In her first post-Idol hit, Jesus had to take the wheel when the car hit a path of ice, saving the mother and child inside.
She teaches a cheating boyfriend a thing or two about bitch-ass crazy by taking a Louisville Slugger to both headlights etc. etc. in “Before He Cheats.” And that’s before he cheats, apparently.
What makes her appreciate how small she is in the world at large? According to her video for “So Small,” it’s walking back a suicidal car crash which is shot in exquisite slow-motion, like rubberneck porn.
And in her most recent single, Two Black Cadillacs are evidently used to squash a cheating husband to death, driven by his homicidal wife and mistress. Huh? Again, the car’s body is shown un-crumpling as if the deed had never been done. What does the mistress leave on his coffin? The car keys.
Traditionally speaking, cars appear in American music as tropes for freedom, escape, the great open road. They are literally vehicles for moving from one life to another. In Underwood’s song “Don’t Forget To Remember Me,” she uses a car to drive off into adulthood.