Kacey Musgraves - Deeper Well Album Cover
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‘Dinner With Friends’ by Kacey Musgraves - Lyrics & Meaning

March 15, 2024 5:52 pm GMT

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Kacey Musgraves - 'Dinner With Friends'

Label: Interscope Records/MCA Nashville

Release Date: March 15th, 2024

Album: Deeper Well

Producers: Daniel Tashian, Ian Fitchuk & Kacey Musgraves

Songwriters: Daniel Tashian, Ian Fitchuk & Kacey Musgraves

The Background:

‘Dinner with Friends’ arrived as part of Kacey Musgraves’ 2024 album, Deeper Well, with the intricate track quickly being heralded as one of the many stand-outs from the project.

The stripped-back song finds the multi-Grammy-winner reflecting on all the things she'll miss about this life when she makes the journey to ‘the other side’. The theme stays true to the ethereal, spiritually-minded ambience and themes of the album as a whole.

During a 2024 interview, Kacey Musgraves recalled how she penned this wistful song alongside Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk in New York, with Kacey co-writing and co-producing the vast majority of Deeper Well with her two trusty collaborators.

The Sound:

‘Dinner With Friends’ aligns seamlessly with the markedly folkier, sparser sonic blueprint Kacey Musgraves adopted when crafting Deeper Well, with each song blending together to create an unwaveringly mellow, serene atmosphere for the listener.

This symbolises the inner peace Kacey found before she started composing the album, as the title-track explains. Through the delicate, light-footed composition, which consists of a soft, twinkling piano riff, an easygoing, tender acoustic guitar and a gentle, unimposing bass, Kacey lulls the listener into a meditative state.

Although the subject matter is arguably quite heavy, with the Texas singer-songwriter listing what she'll miss most when she's left this world, the production and instrumentation help to to keep the mood bright and joyful, with the emphasis placed on appreciating the beauty of the little things in life, rather than worrying about death.

The Meaning:

"Dinner with friends
In cities where none of us live
The face that somebody makes
When you give ‘em a gift
Every once in a while
When I wake up early without trying
And catch a sunrise"

Kacey Musgraves spends ‘Dinner With Friends’ reeling off all the things that mean the most to her, and she opens with the titular line, underlining how she'll miss ‘Dinner with friends / In cities where none of us live’ when she passes on. She explained in a 2024 YouTube interview that there's something uniquely comforting about being in somewhere unfamiliar, but being surrounded by those you love the most, with Kacey citing her trip to Barcelona as an example of this.

Initially, the line ‘The face that somebody makes / When you give ‘em a gift’ was meant to be ‘The feeling of pride when you find a good thrift’, but Kacey felt the latter was too ‘cheesy’.

As for the lyric about seeing the sunrise, Kacey admitted she wouldn't consider herself a morning person, but underlined that this makes those rare moments when she accidentally wakes up in time to see the sunrise all the more special and meaningful to her.

"The feeling you feel when you’re looking at something you made
The layers and ruffles in my favorite pink champagne cake
My home state of Texas
The sky there, the horses and dogs
But none of their laws"

Interestingly, the cake Kacey Musgraves is referring to in the second line here is the luxurious, globally renowned Madonna Inn Restaurant's Pink Champagne Cake in California.

We also get a tribute here to Kacey's home-state of Texas, and she pays homage to the famous ‘big sky’ there, as well as her beloved animals. There's a thinly veiled dig at Texas in the final line, as she outlines how she won't miss the state’s controversial laws.

"The shape of his eyes
The shape of his nose
The cute way he mispronounces
Certain words
The smell of his clothes
Things I would miss from the other side"

Here, Kacey Musgraves shifts the focus onto her partner, singing lovingly about all the features, traits and quirks she'll miss, before - for the first time in ‘Dinner With Friends’ - spelling out the meaning of the track (“Things I would miss from the other side”).

"Intimate convos that go way into the night
The way that the sun on my floor makes a pattern of light
And early in June when the fireflies first start to glow
It never gets old"

She fondly reflects on the late-night chats with friends, family and lovers, when she just loses track of time because of how much she's enjoying their company.

Similarly, Kacey toasts the way in which the sun can refract through the glass and cast beautiful shapes and patterns on the carpet, which can often feel like little, unassuming moments of magic. She then paints a warm, vivid picture of the beginning of June, when the fireflies begin to emerge as the summer heat draws in.

"The shape of his heart
My shoes by his door
He loves me in all of the ways that I’ve never felt loved before
Things I would miss
From the other side"

Kacey offers a variation of the chorus, adding in new aspects of her relationship that bring her happiness and peace, and that she'll miss dearly when her time comes.

What has Kacey Musgraves said about ‘Dinner With Friends'?

In a 2024 YouTube interview, Kacey highlighted that this song, at its core, is “about what I would miss from the other side”, before going on to break down the opening verse in detail, “I knew I wanted to start the song off with the first line, ‘Dinner with friends in cities where none of us live’, which is such a specific feeling of being with familiar people you know and that you love, but you're in a place that's unfamiliar and exciting. I went to Barcelona with some friends and had amazing wine and food, and just explored the city. I thought that would be a cool first line”.

She revealed how the second lyric had to undergo some adjustments, “Originally the second line was kind of a cheesy line, so I was like ‘Naw’. [It was] ‘When you find a good thrift’ - when you find a good or a bargain, you're like ‘Oh my god, a little treasure’”, with Kacey then emphasising how gift-giving is a love language for her.

Kacey expanded on the ‘sunrise’ lyric, “I'm always looking to beat a line. An image hit me - I'm not normally a morning person, and it's where you're randomly up early and you're like 'Wow, there's the sunrise! I don't really see you that often, but here we are and what a glorious thing to see’. So that was kind of the initial picture in my mind”, with the phrase initially being ‘accidental sunrise’.

Fascinatingly, Kacey Musgraves delved into how she pieced together the lyrics with her co-writers on the East Coast like a game of ‘tetris’, “We wrote this one up in New York City...I remember us being just like, ‘Yes!’ A line would click into place like a little lego or something. It's really a balancing act, you know? It's like doing tetris all day”.

For the full lyrics to Kacey Musgraves' ‘Dinner With Friends', see below:

“Dinner with friends
In cities where none of us live
The face that somebody makes
When you give ‘em a gift
Every once in a while
When I wake up early without trying
And catch a sunrise

The feeling you feel when you’re looking at something you made
The layers and ruffles in my favorite pink champagne cake
My home state of Texas
The sky there, the horses and dogs
But none of their laws

The shape of his eyes
The shape of his nose
The cute way he mispronounces
Certain words
The smell of his clothes
Things I would miss from the other side

Intimate convos that go way into the night
The way that the sun on my floor makes a pattern of light
And early in June when the fireflies first start to glow
It never gets old

The shape of his heart
My shoes by his door
He loves me in all of the ways that I’ve never felt loved before
Things I would miss
From the other side”

––

For more on Kacey Musgraves, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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