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Watch Kacey Musgraves Sing ‘Rainbow Stew’ in Honor of Merle Haggard

Kacey Musgraves got the chance to honor one of her country music heroes on Thursday night (April 6), when she performed Merle Haggard‘s “Rainbow Stew” in front of a packed crowd during the Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard tribute concert in Nashville. Readers can press play above to watch her performance.

Written by Haggard and first released in June of 1981 as the lead single from Haggard’s live album Rainbow Stew Live at Anaheim Stadium, “Rainbow Stew” went on to achieve considerable success, reaching the No. 4 spot on the country charts. A tongue-in-cheek tune that turns a satirical eye on American culture, “Rainbow Stew” imagines a world where war is over, the air is clean and the president “does what he says he’ll do.”

“You don’t have to get high to get happy / Just think about what’s in store / When people start doin’ what they oughta be doin’ / Then they won’t be booin’ no more,” the lyrics of “Rainbow Stew” say. “Eatin’ rainbow stew in a silver spoon / Underneath that sky of blue / We’ll all be drinkin’ that free bubble-ubb / And eatin’ that rainbow stew.”

Musgraves, who grew up idolizing Haggard and even performing his music as a child in Texas, chose to perform “Rainbow Stew” during Sing Me Back Home largely because she loves the song’s message, which she points out is still relevant today.

“Whenever I dug it out and kind of dusted it off — I knew the song, but I hadn’t really listened to the lyrics in a while,” she says. “I was like, ‘Oh my God’ — it’s very progressive and very in line with what we’re going on in the world right now. I thought it would be something cool to say and sing.”

Other artists who took the stage to honor Haggard during Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard included Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Keith Richards, Kenny Chesney, Sheryl Crow and Loretta Lynn. A portion of the proceeds from the event benefited the TJ Martell Foundation.

10 Essential Merle Haggard Lyrics

NEXT: Top 10 Merle Haggard Songs

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