Miranda Lambert Shines in Performance of “Carousel” At ACM Awards

Miranda Lambert slowed things down at the Academy of Country Music Awards with a performance of her Palomino track, “Carousel.”

Videos by American Songwriter

When thinking of Lambert, her lively revenge anthems often come to mind. For her appearance at the ACM Awards, Lambert opted for a more intimate performance that allowed her vocals to take center stage.

Every show must end, every circus leaves town / You don’t know the magic’s gone until the lights go down / Now she’s back in Nacogdoches / And I hear she’s doing well / She only misses Harlan when she hears a carousel, she sang allowing the emotional weight of the track to fall over the audience.

The stage design saw Lambert singing amongst discarded circus gear, mirroring the imagery in the song of a carnival that has left town.

“I love that song so much and am so glad it was able to have a moment tonight,” Lambert said after her performance. “For pretty Elena to have a moment tonight.”

Written alongside Luke Dick and Natalie Hemby, “Carousel” appears on Lambert’s ninth studio album, Palomino. The album saw Lambert create a travelogue of stories she heard while on the road. Lambert focuses on character-driven pieces throughout the record. In “Carousel” she tells the story of a woman named Elena who gave up a life in show business.

“It was just so emotional writing about this beautiful woman who lived in this crazy life with these sequins and then just put it in a cedar chest forever,” Lambert told American Songwriter. “And now she’s a soccer mom and loving that, too.

“That’s one of those songs that I feel we were really lucky to pull. It came down out of the sky and we were lucky enough to catch it,” she continued. “I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to sing it live for a long time just because it just wrecks me for this character, the narrator, the whole story, because it is very close to home.”

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

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