7 of Kacey Musgraves’ Most Honest Song Lyrics

Kacey Musgraves is arguably one of the best songwriters in modern music. With her unique perspective on life and ability to translate that through song, Musgraves’ music has spoken to fans across the world. One of the hallmarks of her songwriting is her honesty, which can be heard across the many songs she’s released thus far from signature hits to noteworthy deep cuts.

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1. “Somebody to Love”

Lyrics: Just tryin’ to hold it all together / We all wish our best was better / Just hopin’ that forever’s really real / We’ll miss a dime to grab a nice l/ Overcomplicate the simple / We’re all little kids just looking for love / Yeah, don’t we all just want somebody to love?

Written by Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne

From the opening fiddle notes that feel like it’s pulling on one’s heartstrings into the song, Musgraves and her co-writers Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne deliver a series of simple truths throughout “Somebody to Love.” This deep cut off of Musgraves’ 2013 album, Pageant Material, is all heart, but they leave us with the most poignant message with this series of lyrics at the end that beautifully sum up what we’re all looking for in life: pure love.

[RELATED: Why Kacey Musgraves’ Went Back to Her Roots for ‘Golden Hour’ Album Cover Image[

2. “Slow Burn”

Lyrics: “Old soul, waitin’ my turn / I know a few things / But I still got a lot to learn / So I’m alright with a slow burn”

Written by Kacey Musgraves, Daniel Tashian, and Ian Fitchuk

There is an endless supply of soul-stirring lyrics off Musgraves’ Grammy decorated album, Golden Hour, and she proves that from the start with the opening number, “Slow Burn.” The song is like a peek into Musgraves’ soul, particularly as she ends it with these lines that lead into a reprise of the song’s title. These lyrics seemingly define who Musgraves is, and it’s clear they come from an honest place that allows the listener to connect with her.

3. “Merry Go ‘Round”

Lyrics: 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

Written by Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne

Musgraves’ debut single “Merry Go Round” put her on the map and established her as a fearless songwriter in modern country music. The song paints a realistic portrait of life in a small town, as the singer delivers one stark truth after another. No set of lines proves this more than the ones outlined above, leaving an indelible impression on the listener.

[RELATED: Top 10 Songs by Kacey Musgraves]

4. “Justified”

Lyrics: Moving backwards / Hurt comes after / Healing doesn’t happen in a straight line

Written by Kacey Musgraves, Daniel Tashian, Ian Fitchuk, BJ Burton, and Ilsey Anna Juber 

In just a few short lines, Musgraves sums up what it’s like trying to get over a painful breakup. Written in the wake of her divorce from fellow singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly on her Star-Crossed album, Musgraves cuts through the noise to say that healing isn’t a linear process, but one that can be messy at times. The lyrics clearly come from an honest place, making them even more powerful.

5. “Breadwinner”

Lyrics: He wants a breadwinner / He wants your dinner / Until he ain’t hungry anymore / He wants your shimmer / To make him feel bigger / Until he starts feeling insecure.

Written by Kacey Musgraves, Daniel Tashian, Ian Fitchuk, BJ Burton, and Ilsey Anna Juber 

While many of Musgraves’ lyrics are heartfelt, she’s also a master of weaving humor into her songs. “Breadwinner” is a prime example of this. Here, she adds some salt to the sugar on her post-divorce album Star-Crossed, offering up a series of tongue-in-cheek lyrics that make for a bold feminist statement. These are not only some of her best lyrics on Star-Crossed, but her career thus far.

6. “Family is Family”

Lyrics: Family is family, in church or in prison / You get what you get, and you don’t get to pick ’em / They might smoke like chimneys, but give you their kidneys / Yeah, friends come in handy / But family is family

Written by Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne

Like “Breadwinner,” “Family is Family” off Pageant Material also showcases Musgraves’ ability to write humorous lyrics. The song delivers many LOL-worthy moments, but these are arguably the funniest and most truthful. They perfectly capture how blood relatives have a way of showing up in good times and bad, making for an accurate depiction of complicated family dynamics.

[RELATED: 4 Songs You Didn’t Know Kacey Musgraves Wrote For Other Artists]

7. “Follow Your Arrow”

Lyrics: When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight / Roll up a joint (I would) / And follow your arrow wherever it points

Written by Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, and Brandy Clark

Musgraves made a statement when she released “Follow Your Arrow” in 2013 with its lyrics that promote the LGBTQIA community and marijuana culture. She doesn’t shy away from letting the listener know where she stands on these topics while also making the song feel like a celebration of living one’s truth, making “Arrow” a staple in Musgraves’ catalog.

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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