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Behind The Song: Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Merry Go ‘Round’

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(Courtesy of Mercury Nashville)

(Courtesy of Mercury Nashville)

By Annie Reuter

What started as a comment from a friend’s mom has garnered country singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves her first GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Song. In an interview with Radio.com, the singer explained how “Merry Go ‘Round” was born and why she fought for it to become her first single.

“‘Merry Go ‘Round’ is a special one. It actually started out from something funny that one of my friend’s mom’s said,” she told Radio.com. “Shane McAnally, he’s one of the guys I wrote it with. His mom was talking about one of her neighbors down the street down in Texas and was saying, ‘Well, I don’t know if she’s selling Mary K or Mary Jane, or something down there. I don’t know what she’s doing.’ So it just made us laugh and as songwriters, we were like, ‘There’s definitely a song in there somewhere.'”

Related: Read and watch all of our Behind the Song features for this year’s GRAMMYs

And that there was. Musgraves said that she and songwriters McAnally and Josh Osborne started playing around with all the different kinds of Mary’s that they could sing about.

“A deeper meaning came to life whenever we started really tossing the idea around. We’re all from small towns so we all can relate that way. It’s just a special song about life in general and the patterns that you get into. I feel like it’s something everyone can relate to.”

In an interview before her performance at Katy Perry‘s We Can Survive concert, Musgraves further explained her excitement at the way “Merry Go ‘Round” has resonated with so many.

“I had people all over, it didn’t matter if I was in Texas or if I was in Scotland or New York, people were coming up to me and just saying, ‘That is my life.’ I’ve realized it’s not a small town thing, it’s a life thing. We follow in our parent’s footsteps because that’s what we feel like we should do until we can figure out our own thing.”

Related: Kacey Musgraves Talks About Her ACM Nod For Homemade ‘Merry Go ‘Round’ Video

Musgraves knew from the audience reaction night after night that “Merry Go ‘Round” had to be her first single.

“When we were about to pick the first single I really lobbied for ‘Merry Go ‘Round’ because I’m out there every night and I can tell you, hands down this is the one people are connecting with. And, above all, that’s the reason we’re all doing this. I’m really glad that was my first thing to say to the world.”

Musgraves is nominated for four GRAMMYs for Best Country Song for “Merry Go ‘Round” and “Mama’s Broken Heart,” as well as Best New Artist and Best Country Album for Same Trailer Different Park.

Kacey Musgraves (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Watch the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards on January 26 at 8 p.m. on CBS to see if Musgraves takes home her first statue.

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