Whiskey Riff Song Of The Week: “Pageant Material” By Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves country music

Happy Monday, y’all.

Today for the Song of the Week, we have a tune called “Pageant Material” by Kacey Musgraves.

Though the Texas native has seemingly set her sights on making it in the pop world with the recent release of Star-Crossed, her 2015 Pageant Material will always and forever be one of my all-time favorite albums.

Of the title-track, a co-write with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally, she says:

“The song just kinda made me laugh. I love old country songs that had a sense of humor and this one’s just kind of a sarcastic little kind of jab at myself for not always being pageant perfect, as a lot of times I feel like women are kind of expected to be when they’re in the spotlight.

So we just had fun with it and I just got to really think about, you know, my Texas roots and growing up there and always being around these beauty pageants and that whole scene.

And then later, it became the theme for the record.”

The song if full of great lyrics that I personally relate to on a very deep level, and though they may be a tad bit cynical, the overall sentiment of being a Southern girl who doesn’t always play by the rules or present as the perfect pageant girl is pretty much universally relatable.

I especially love the chorus, though, where Kacey admits that she’s not always Miss Congenial, and calls everything like she sees it as opposed to sugar coating some of the things that aren’t so pleasant, like she was raised to:

“I ain’t pageant materialI’m always higher than my hairAnd it ain’t that I don’t care about world peaceBut I don’t see how I can fix it in a swimsuit on a stageI ain’t exactly Miss Congenial”

But this line is my favorite…

I don’t know if I’ve ever related to two sentences more in my life, if I’m being really honest:

“Sometimes I talk before I think, I try to fake it but I can’tI’d rather lose for what I am than win for what I ain’t”

Amen to that, Kacey.

I think most of us have been there before, and while it sometimes seems like the best route to try and be what you think everyone else wants you to be, it’s so much more rewarding (and a whole lot easier) to just be yourself.

And I’ve always loved her live performance at the song at Royal Albert Hall in London from back in 2015, especially because it’s one she rarely plays at a live show these days:

“Pageant Material”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock