The deeper meaning behind Beyoncé's Texas Hold 'Em lyrics explained

19 February 2024, 19:47

Beyoncé announces Act II with visual teaser

By Sam Prance

There's a bittersweet quality to Beyoncé's 'Texas Hold 'Em' lyrics.

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Giddy up, hive! Beyoncé has officially invited us to a "real-life hoedown". What do her 'Texas Hold 'Em' lyrics mean though?

On Sunday (Feb 11), Beyoncé sent fans into meltdown with another iconic surprise drop. Following months of rumours, she finally revealed that Act II is a country album and it comes out on March 29th. On top of that, she also released two songs from the project. '16 Carriages' is a stirring ballad about her life and career and 'Texas Hold 'Em' is a country banger.

READ MORE: Beyoncé Act II: Release date, tracklist, news and theories about the Renaissance sequel

In 'Texas Hold 'Em', Beyoncé gives us her own unique spin on a hoedown jam, playing into many country tropes. What is the song about though? Below is a full breakdown of Beyoncé's 'Texas Hold 'Em' lyrics and what they mean.

What does 'Texas Hold 'Em' mean?

Beyoncé Texas Hold 'Em lyrics: The deeper meaning explained
Beyoncé Texas Hold 'Em lyrics: The deeper meaning explained. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy, Parkwood

You don't have to be a poker fan to know that 'Texas Hold 'Em' is a popular variant of the card game. In the song, Beyoncé encourages her "boy" to "lay [his] cards down" and "slow dance" with her. She's literally and metaphorically asking him to stop playing, let his guard down and join her on the dance floor.

However, the title is also a nod to Beyoncé's own roots. The star was famously born and raised in Houston, Texas and a key part of country music is paying homage to your hometown.

Backed by authentic country production, the song is then overflowing with classic country references, dance directions and call and response lyrics. In the song, Beyoncé sings about a "dive bar", "a real-life hoedown" and "rugged whiskey". She also sings about country attire, ending the song with the refrain: "Take it to the floor now / Hoops, spurs, boots."

It's not all dancing and smiles though. In the first verse, Beyoncé alludes to hardships and using dance as an escape. She sings: "There's a tornado / In my city / Hit the basement / That shit ain't pretty." In the second verse she adds: "All of the problems / Just feel dramatic / And now we're runnin' to the first bar that we find."

READ MORE: The personal meaning behind Beyoncé's 16 Carriages lyrics explained

Beyoncé - TEXAS HOLD 'EM (Official Lyric Video)

Similar to a lot of Renaissance, there's also a sense of yearning for a life that Beyoncé isn't able to lead because of her fame. In the pre-chorus, Beyoncé appears to imagine a reality in which she could just go to a dive bar with JAY-Z. She sings: "We headed to the dive bar we always thought was nice / Then spin me in the middle, boy, I can't read your mind."

In the same way Beyoncé created her own club experience with Renaissance, she's now harking back to her country roots, and creating her own hoedown experience with Act II. And just like Renaissance did with dance music, she's reclaiming country music and reminding people that Black people invented the genre.

Alongside Beyoncé's vocals, 'Texas Hold 'Em' features banjo and viola playing by Rhiannon Giddens. Rhiannon is a Black American musician who continually uses her work to remind people of country music's true origins.

So, 'Texas Hold 'Em' is a bop but there's also a lot of weight to it. Don't be a bitch, come take it to the floor now!

READ MORE: Is country radio refusing to play Beyoncé's Texas Hold 'Em? The controversy explained

Beyoncé - 'Texas Hold 'Em' lyrics

CHORUS
This ain't Texas (Woo)
Ain't no hold 'em (Hey)
So lay your cards down, down, down, down
So park your Lexus (Woo)
And throw your keys up (Hey)
Stick around, 'round, 'round, 'round, 'round (Stick around)
And I'll be damned if I can't slow-dance with you
Come pour some sugar on me, honey too
It's a real-life boogie and a real-life hoedown
Don't be a bitch, come take it to the floor now, woo, ha (Woo)

VERSE 1
There's a tornado (There's a tornado)
In my city (In my city)
Hit the basement (Hit the basement)
That shit ain't pretty (That shit ain't pretty)
Rugged whiskey (Rugged whiskey)
'Cause we survivin' ('Cause we survivin')
Off red-cup kisses, sweet redemption, passin' time, yeah

PRE-CHORUS
Ooh, one step to the right
We headed to the dive bar we always thought was nice
Ooh, run me to the left
Then spin me in the middle, boy, I can't read your mind

CHORUS
This ain't Texas (Woo)
Ain't no hold 'em (Hey)
So lay your cards down, down, down, down
So park your Lexus (Woo)
And throw your keys up (Hey)
And stick around, 'round, 'round, 'round, 'round (Stick around)
And I'll be damned if I can't slow-dance with you
Come pour some sugar on me, honey too
It's a real-life boogie and a real-life hoedown
Don't be a bitch, come take it to the floor now, woo
And I'll be damned if I cannot dance with you
Come pour some liquor on me, honey too
It's a real-life boogie and a real-life hoedown
Don't be a bitch, come take it to the floor now, woo

POST-CHORUS
Woo-hoo
Woo-hoo
Woo-hoo

VERSE 2
There's a heatwave (There's a heatwave)
Comin' at us (Comin' at us)
Too hot to think straight (Too hot to think straight)
Too cold to panic (Cold to panic)
All of the problems
Just feel dramatic (Just feel dramatic)
And now we're runnin' to the first bar that we find, yeah

PRE-CHORUS
Ooh, one step to the right
We headed to the dive bar we always thought was nice
Ooh, you run to the left
Just work me in the middle boy, I can't read your mind

CHORUS
This ain't Texas (Woo)
Ain't no hold 'em (Hey)
So lay your cards down, down, down, down, oh
So park your Lexus (Hey)
And throw your keys up (Hey)
And stick around,' round, 'round, 'round, 'round (Stick around)
And I'll be damned if I cannot dance with you
Come pour some sugar on me, honey too
It's a real-life boogie and a real-life hoedown
Don't be a bitch, come take it to the floor now (Woo)
And I'll be damned if I cannot dance with you
Come pour some liquor on me, honey too
It's a real-life boogie and a real-life hoedown
Don't be a—, come take it to the floor now, ooh

OUTRO
Take it to the floor now, ooh
Hoops, spurs, boots
To the floor now, ooh
Tuck, back, oops (Ooh, ooh, ooh)
Shoot
Come take it to the floor now, ooh
And I'll be damned if I cannot dance with you
Baby, pour that sugar and liquor on me, too
Furs, spurs, boots
Solargenic, photogenic, shoot

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