August 27.2015 – Story Behind “Merry Go Round” by Kacey Musgraves

same trailer different park

Listen to the story here!

Kacey Musgraves‘ debut single, “Merry Go ‘Round,” reached the Top 10 on the country charts and was also named one of the Top 50 songs of 2012 (in all genres) by Rolling Stone magazine, which singled it out as a “bleak-but-clever take on small-town inertia and ennui.”

Written by the Lone Star state native with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, the song invokes the name of Kacey’s album, Same Trailer Different Park, which is also earning rave reviews. Kacey says, however, that “Merry Go Round” isn’t so much an indictment of small-town living (or thinking) as it is about regretting choices you’ve made.

“It started with Shane’s mom talking about her neighbor,” Kacey tells The Boot of the song’s origins. “She said something like, ‘Well, I think she’s either selling Mary Kay or mary jane or something down the street.” And we were like, ‘There’s definitely a song there.’ So we started talking a little bit about small towns and how appearances tend to be everything, especially in a really conservative environment; people worry about what other people think. I feel like — especially in small towns but it happens everywhere — when you’re scared to leave what you know or are comfortable with, people tend to settle and stay in their comfort zone. Later, that leads to resentment and just regret. It’s just something that happens in life no matter where you are.”

For those who really take the song to heart and find themselves in need of a change, Kacey has some words of encouragement.

“Never settle,” says the singer-songwriter. “I guess that would be my main message. Just know that there’s more beyond what you’re comfortable with and what you’ve been shown, and that you can do anything no matter how big or small your town is.”

Buy Kacey Musgraves music by clicking here

LYRICS: Written by Kacey Musgraves, Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally

If you ain’t got two kids by 21,
You’re probably gonna die alone
At least that’s what tradition told you.

And it don’t matter if you don’t believe,
Come Sunday morning you best be there
In the front row, like you’re s’posed to.

Same hurt in every heart.
Same trailer, different park.

Mamas hooked on Mary Kay
Brothers hooked on Mary Jane
And Daddies hooked on Mary two doors down.

Mary Mary quite contrary,
We get bored so we get married
And just like dust we settle in this town.
On this broken merry go ’round and ’round and ’round we go,
Where it stops nobody knows…
And it ain’t slowin’ down, this merry go ’round…

We think the first time’s good enough,
So we hold on to high school love,
Say we won’t end up like our parents.

Tiny little boxes in a row,
Ain’t want you want it’s what you know,
Just happy in the shoes you’re wearin’.

Same checks we’re always cashin’,
To buy a little more distraction.

Cause Mamas hooked on Mary Kay
Brothers hooked on Mary Jane
Daddies hooked on Mary two doors down.

Mary Mary quite contrary,
We get bored so we get married
And just like dust we settle in this town.
On this broken merry go ’round and ’round and ’round we go,
Where we stop nobody knows…
And it ain’t slowin’ down, this merry go ’round…

Mary Mary quite contrary,
We’re so bored until we’re buried.
And just like dust we settle in this town.
On this broken merry go ’round…
Merry go ’round…

Jack and Jill went up the hill,
Jack burned out on booze and pills,
And Mary had a little lamb,
Mary just don’t give a damn no more.

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

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