Miranda Lambert just released a surprise song called “They’ve Closed Down the Honky Tonks”.
It’s an impressive solo-write which details her feelings during the time bars and live music venues were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
I’ll be honest, I don’t necessarily love most of the COVID-inspired songs that have been coming out of all of this, and maybe it’s just because it’s all getting so old over a year into the pandemic. Nonetheless, I think it’s a solid song from Miranda, per the usual (did y’all really think I was gonna say otherwise?)
Of course, it’s no secret I’m basically a Miranda fan-girl, but I’m not sure if I can see myself listening to this 10 years from now and not be slightly annoyed remembering the time when people were fist fighting in Walmart for a roll of toilet paper and couldn’t go see their friends and family, but if nothing else, it’s a sign of the times.
I really don’t think I want to remember when they closed all the honky-tonks… it’s basically my worst nightmare.
But one thing I really love about this track is that Miranda wrote it on her own. There’s just something special about when she does a solo-write (think “Dead Flowers” and “More Like Her”). She name-checks several famous Texas venues which adds a really nice personal touch, even mentioning Billy Bob’s specifically in the second verse, which might’ve been the venue she missed most of all.
My favorite part, though, is in the chorus where she talks about how sad it is that no one’s there to hear her cover Merle Haggard:
“Y’all they’ve closed down the honky tonks And now my world ain’t turning The jukebox ran out of change And the neon lights ain’t buzzing There ain’t nothin’ sadder Than covering Haggard And nobody singing along”
The stripped-down, raw, acoustic nature of the song fits right in with all the other fantastic new tracks from The Marfa Tapes. Her vocals really are on another level lately, and they’re nothing short of perfection here, either.