Song of the Day #3,129: ‘Runnin’ Just in Case’ – Miranda Lambert

miranda_lambert_weight_wingsYesterday I wrote that Beyoncé’s Lemonade topped nearly every 2016 top ten list. But it only made it to #2 on mine because Miranda Lambert released her best album yet, continuing her pattern of topping herself with every new release.

The Weight of These Wings is a double album and the first creative output for Lambert since her divorce from fellow country superstar Blake Shelton, and it continues the tradition of great break-up albums.

Lambert has a history of kicking ass on record (at least one early single is about her shooting a man who has wronged her) so many expected this album to be full of fire and brimstone. It definitely isn’t that.

Many of its songs seem directly inspired by the end of relationship with Shelton but none are angry. If anything, she is quicker to point a finger at herself, even while suggesting that her ex never took the time to fully know her.

But this isn’t a record about endings; it’s a record about rebirth. The predominant metaphor is the open road, a staple of country music, and Lambert paints a portrait of a woman who has seen (and caused) her share of heartbreak but pressed on anyway. As she sings in the poignant closing moments of the album opener, today’s SOTD: “Happiness ain’t prison but there’s freedom in a broken heart.”

Had either of these two discs been released as a complete album, I’d likely call it Lambert’s best. Getting both together is an embarrassment of riches.

[Verse 1]
There’s trouble where I’m going but I’m gonna go there anyway
I hate sunday mornings ’cause they always seem to start this way
I’m looking for a lighter, I already bought the cigarettes
Guess I picked me up a habit on my way out of Lafayette

[Verse 2]
Eastbound and down, I turn it up ’cause that’s sure how I feel
My mind is racing through the pines, my hands are shaky on the steering wheel
I’m going north on 59 but I know good and well, I’m headed south
‘Cause me and Birmingham don’t have a history of working out

[Chorus 1]
What I lost in Louisiana I found back in Alabama
But nobody ever taught me how to stay
It ain’t love that I’m chasing but I’m running just in case

[Verse 3]
I ain’t unpacked my suitcase since the day that I turned twenty-one
It’s been a long ten years since then, it’s getting kinda cumbersome
The first one and the last one and the one that’s got my name in ink
The smoker and the fighter and the one in every song I sing

[Chorus 2]
What I lost in Lubbock, Texas, I looked for in all the rest
But I guess no one ever taught me how to stay
It ain’t love that I’m chasing but I’m running just in case

I carry them around with me
I don’t mind having scars
Happiness ain’t prison
But there’s freedom in a broken heart

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,129: ‘Runnin’ Just in Case’ – Miranda Lambert

  1. Dana says:

    well, I don’t count myself among fans of Lambert or country music generally, but, based on your review and this song, this album sounds like a cut above.

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