Miranda Lambert Delivers Performance Of The Evening At ACM Awards Last Week With “Carousel”

Miranda Lambert country music
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Miranda Lambert easily turned in the performance of the night at last week’s 58th ACM Awards.

She gave a stunning rendition of “Carousel,” from her most recent record Palomino, and even earned a standing ovation from her peers after it was over.

Miranda took the stage in a beautiful pink gown, and while it might’ve been the most simple perfomance of the evening in terms of the stage production, the song got the attention it truly deserved as you had the ability to hang onto every word because of her masterful storytelling and simple delivery.

A co-write by Miranda with Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick, “Carousel” finds two circus performers, Elaina and Harlan Giovanni, missing each other more often than they should, both frequently wondering “what if,” even though they know it was never meant to be.

What I love so much about this song is that the darkness and longing for a life this woman once lived is very palpable, yet she’s moved on to a new life and only remembers those times in little moments, notably when she hears a carousel, hence the title:

“Every show must end, every circus leaves town
I didn’t know the magic left ’til all the lights went down
Now I’m back in Nacogdoches
And I swear I’m doing well
I only miss my Harlan when I hear a carousel”

It’s nuanced, it’s well-crafted, and it might even bring a tear to your eye… I don’t think you can ask for much more than that in a country song.

Miranda previously called it a “once in a lifetime” song, and likened it to what is probably the biggest hit (and most special song) of her career, “The House That Built Me.”

She has a history of turning in spectacular performances at the ACM’s too, like she did with “Tan Man” and “House”  in years past, and this year was absolutely no exception.

I have to think the fact that she’s no longer with her former major label Sony had something to do with her being able to choose this song to sing for the show, and I couldn’t love it more.

Free agent Miranda is already operating on a different level, and I’m excited to see what she does next with this newfound freedom.

You can watch the full performance here:

In addition, she’ll be releasing a live version of “Carousel” from this ACM performance on Amazon music tomorrow, May 16th.

I only hope she’ll give it the full treatment with a music video one day, because it could really be something special…

The studio cut:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock