by Aprille Hanson
There are no frills about Kacey Musgraves and she’s happy to share that. That’s what makes her latest single “Dime Store Cowgirl” the quintessential Musgraves release. It’s very much in the same vein as Loretta Lynn’s signature song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” because it’s basically about Musgraves’ road to fame.
She doesn’t detail her life growing up in the less than 200-person town of Golden, Texas, but rather the perspective she has now because of that upbringing. She opens with:
“Had my picture made with Willie Nelson / Stayed in a hotel with a pool / Driven through New Mexico where the saguaro cactus grow / Felt really small under Mount Rushmore / And I made it all the way past Austin City Limits / And maybe for a minute I got too big for my britches.”
These lines are masterful in comparing how this really, really small-town girl experiences the fame that’s unfolding in front of her. Having her picture made with Willie Nelson -- pretty fantastic, though maybe not as exciting for someone who is a superstar. But the next line of staying in a “hotel with a pool,” that’s critical because it shows how monumental even the little things are and it’s defining her as an artist. This song chronicles the steps in her career, from shooting the music video for “Follow Your Arrow” at the hotel where Gram Parsons died to the first album art being photographed at a Palm Springs Trailer park, according to an interview with thefader.com.
She also told the website the phrase “dime store cowgirl” has been in her head ever since she was in a western-swing group years ago called The Buckaroos, that would mentor young kids to be less shy by having them sing old Roy Rogers tunes. She’d cock her cowboy hat back for a “retro-like Dale Evans, pin-up cowgirl kinda style,” she said to thefader.com. A mom of one of the other girls in the group told her not to wear it that way, saying she looked “like some dime store cowgirl.” Cheap, essentially.
Luckily it stuck because this song is her Coal Miner’s Daughter moment. She’s still that girl from Golden, despite running full-speed into fame. It again makes her relatable and in this case, catchy enough to put on the radio, with lines like: “I’m just a dime store cowgirl / that’s all I’m ever gonna be / you can take me out of the country / but you can’t take the country out of me, no.”
As fans, it’s a good thing this girl grew up “golden” and not with a silver spoon in her mouth.