Kacey Musgraves — “Merry Go ‘Round”

Juli Thanki | September 26th, 2012

kaceymusgraves“Merry Go ‘Round” isn’t just the best debut single shipped to country radio in 2012, it’s one of the best singles of the year in any genre.

Kacey Musgraves, who also co-wrote Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” writes with a maturity beyond her 24 years, delivering an unflinching look into small-town life that’s more nuanced than the highly romanticized rural anthems offered up by many of her male counterparts. Over delicately plunked banjo, she sings about lives that are slowly stagnating: “Mama’s hooked on Mary Kay / Brother’s hooked on Mary Jane / And Daddy’s hooked on Mary two doors down / Mary, Mary, quite contrary / We get bored so we get married / Just like dust, we settle in this town / On this broken merry go ‘round.” High school romances decay into loveless marriages, people get burned out on booze and pills, and the dysfunctional cycle repeats itself in future generations, “the same hurt in every heart / Same trailer, different park.” Depressing yet catchy, well-written and excellently sung, it’s everything that’s good about country music, a no-nonsense song to wipe “Truck Yeah” from minds, if not charts.

With “Merry Go ‘Round,” Musgraves sets a high bar for her debut album, which, according to a press release, will be released in 2013. If this single is indicative of the music and songwriting on the record, we’re in for a real treat.

Thumbs Up

Purchase “Merry Go ‘Round”


  1. SunsetPark
    September 26, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I heard part of this on the radio yesterday, just enough to think – I need to hear the rest of that. Encouraging that it was being played on the radio.

  2. Ben Foster
    September 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Excellent song. I’m pleased to see that it seems to be off to a solid start at radio. This is exactly what the country market needs right now – It really shows just how cheated today’s country radio listeners are.

  3. Rick
    September 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I’ve been a fan of Kacey’s for years, even before she was a contestant on Nashville Star back when it was still on the air. Kacey released a couple of western swing/cowgirl yodel albums in her early and mid teens and a self titled country album back in 2007. Her voice is much stronger and more self-assured theses days and her vocals on the Josh Abbott duet “Oh Tonight” really caught a lot or people’s attention. I do like this new single but get the feeling Kacey is trying to emulate her pal Miranda Lambert’s vocal style just a wee bit too much. Still I give it a solid thumbs up, which means Top 40 AirHead Country Radio will likely ignore it. They already have one Miranda Lambert and that’s enough for their restricted playlists.

  4. Robin Royster
    September 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Good pick. Great lyrics. It’s encouraging that she’s getting some radio play. We’re so starved for real talent and real country music. I’ve just recently found sites such as this one and I’m learning alot of talented artists and I’m thankful for the effort!

  5. Savannah
    February 10, 2013 at 2:37 am

    LOVE this song. Simple, pretty music that compliments the well written, but depressing lyrics without being the center of attention. Most music now is usually a loud beat and distractingly catchy melody with repetitive, shallow, meaninglessly cheesy lyrics. This is a true country song to me!

  6. BRUCE
    February 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    There are two reasons why this song appeals to me. Number one is I simply like it for a variety of personal taste reasons. In my prism that’s all that matters. Number two is I can actually hear the artist sing and the music accompanies the voice instead of the other way around (for a change).

    Juli mentioned about “Truck Yeah”. Couldn’t agree more.

    I have listened to Chris Stapleton and his wife Morgane Stapleton sing “Amanda” at the ASCAP Awards. This can be found on YouTube. All is right for today in country music.

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