“Blowing Smoke” by Kacey Musgraves

Listen here.


This post is going to be a dual message.  So, first things first – DON’T SMOKE.  It’s not cool, no matter what it looks like.  You all know the risks, and there are no rewards.  So don’t do it.  You hear me?

Now, on to the song!

I can’t really relate to this song like the others I’ve talked about on Mondays.  But I love it.  It’s old-school country, where it tells a story about regular people and their lives, their struggles.  This is my favorite verse:

Janey got divorced again

Her ex-husband’s in the pen

For two to five, or five to ten, or longer

Brenda traded smokes for cakes

Still hasn’t lost that baby weight

And that baby’s about to graduate from college

I just flick an ash in to the tray

And tell them both it will be okay

But I’m just blowing smoke

So, let’s break down these lyrics, shall we?

Janey and Brenda’s stories just make me want to know more.  And that is what good writing[i] does to a person.  It makes me want more, that’s for sure!  Why is Janey’s husband in prison?  How many times has she been married?  I definitely want that story.  And then Brenda.  Brenda!  She is the only one in the song who actually quit smoking, but that’s not the part that interests me.  Her baby is going to graduate from college.  College!  Think about this song.  Miss Musgraves is talking about going broke as a waitress, but Brenda put her baby through college.  I want to hear more of that story as well!  You go, Brenda!

And then there’s Kacey, the narrator of the song, who is the stereotypical apathetic waitress.  She doesn’t actually care about any of these people.  She just wants to make it through today, and then tomorrow, and then the next day.  She’s saying it will all be fine, but she doesn’t know that.  She’s just blowing smoke.  And I love the honesty in that.

No, I can’t relate to all of this song, but I can relate to the apathy.  I see my coworkers more often than I see my family and friends, but do I really care about their lives?  Will I keep in touch when I leave this job?  Probably not.  I am the apathetic waitress, just without the cigarettes and the tip money.  It’s an interesting way to look at it, isn’t it?



[i] Songwriting is most definitely a kind of writing.  I could never do it!  There’s a lyricism and a poetry to it that is beyond my capabilities, and I am obsessed with words so much that I wish I those talents.


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