I just love this song.
From the Marfa Tapes trio’s 2021 collaborative album The Marfa Tapes, “Geraldene” was penned by Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall and Jack Ingram.
Miranda also included it on the tracklist for her recent studio alum Palomino, so it’s fun to now get to hear both versions of this fun and sassy track.
“Geraldene” is essentially a nod to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” except for the fact that Geraldene is a less than savory character whom the narrator of the song finds to be the complete opposite of Jolene, as Miranda sings on one of my favorite lyrics:
“You’re trailer park pretty, but you’re never gonna be Jolene.”
That line just never gets old…
And several months back when Palomino came out, Miranda told a really funny story about Jack and Jon getting into a fight out in Marfa, Texas during their songwriting trip and how the boys had differing opinions of what Geraldene should be like.
Clearly, they figured it out eventually, and I think the song ended up exactly the way it was supposed to be, with a complex character and fun production that’s a perfect addition to not one, but two, great Miranda albums.
Here in this live performance, you see Miranda mess up some of the lyrics, as she accidentally says “shining like a penny” instead of “shining like the spokes” in the first verse of the song, which is actually quite endearing.
For me, the best part about the aforementioned collaborative album is that the lo-fi, acoustic cuts they recorded for their record are so raw and off the cuff, and they really allowed the listener in on every perfectly imperfect part of this project.
And watching them perform “Geraldene” feels like you’re right there enjoying the stunning sunset and picturesque landscape of Marfa, Texas, and Miranda’s twangy vocals were just created for a brazen country song like this:
The album cut from Palomino: