Kacey Musgraves - Deeper Well Album Cover
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'Heaven Is' by Kacey Musgraves - Lyrics & Meaning

March 28, 2024 9:33 pm GMT

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Kacey Musgraves - 'Heaven Is'

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:

Throughout the majority of Kacey Musgraves' fifth studio album, Deeper Well, there's a profound sense of serenity as we find the award-winning entertainer surrounded by a much more stripped-back sonic landscape.

It's a project drenched in introspection and reflecting on growth, as well as the roads her life has taken in recent years. However, towards the end of the track list, we see the Texas tunesmith opining on what her version of heaven on earth might be.

Heaven is a subject that's often written and talked about, especially in country music, but with no clear answer on what it is and what it isn't.

Here, Musgraves' 'Heaven Is' adds to the potential interpretations of what's waiting for us after we pass on and what a piece of it might look like while we're still here.

The Sound:

As we mentioned before, the bulk of Musgraves 2024 LP is a sparsely produced, leisurely sonic stroll through folk, country and sometimes Americana spaces.

The same is true of 'Heaven Is', but this time it almost takes on the tune of a Gaelic lullaby. A soft and calm guitar picks along for the less-than-three-minute song as something like white noise buzzes around the edges, filling in the open air.

Interwoven in the acoustic strumming, which remains the instrumental focal point throughout, you can hear Musgraves' honey-dipped vocals essentially doing acrobatics as she croons from one verse to the next. Scaling her range, alternating from her mesmerizing chest voice to the dizzying heights of her falsetto head voice, it's at times reminiscent of her song from the Frozen 2 soundtrack, 'All Is Found'.

'Heaven Is' doesn't follow a traditional structure, not producing a chorus or any repeated lines apart from the hook – "That's what heaven is" – which concludes each of the four stanzas.

The Meaning:

"We spent all day where the north wind blows
And you bought me a lavender rose
Put it in water when we got home
That’s what heaven is"

The song opens with us finding a pair of lovers after a day out in the world, seemingly falling more and more in love.

Though not a complex verse, and incredibly vague as far as actual details of what the day consisted of, she sings of how they had gifted her with a lavender rose. It's a small sentiment in the grand scheme of things, but as Musgraves infers, days like these and acts like that are what heaven feels like to her.

As she would attest, sometimes it's the little things that mean the most.

"No tears to cry
And nothing to mourn
Wearing your shirt
So tattered and torn
Lying in your arms
So safe and warm
That’s what heaven is"

Explaining that she has no tears to cry or anything to be sad about with her partner by her side, she feels comfort wearing their ratty old t-shirt.

At the end of the day, as long as they're together and she can feel their embrace and the safety that comes with it, it may as well be heaven on earth to her.

"I don’t care for money or fame
All for you I’d give it away
The way you sound when you call my name
That’s what heaven is"

Denouncing the ideas and need for money and fame, which is usually thought to be the key to happiness, she takes it further to say that, in fact, she'd give it all away to keep her true love.

On the edge of being overly saccharine, she finishes the verse by saying the way they say her name might as well be what heavens sounds like.

"Nobody knows where we go when we die
Maybe we'll ride white horses in the sky
And if we don’t then, darlin’, tonight
That’s what heaven is
If all I have is the light in your eyes
That’s what heaven is"

Bringing the song to a close, Musgraves zooms the focus out, noting that no one on earth knows what happens to us when it's our time to depart this earth.

Offering up potential outcomes like riding off into the great beyond on white horses, she poses the thought that perhaps right here, right now, laying next to her lover, that's what heaven really is.

In the end, if all she has is the look in her partner's eyes and their sanctifying love, then that's enough heavenly joy for her.

For the full lyrics to Kacey Musgraves' ‘Heaven Is', see below:

We spent all day where the north wind blows
And you bought me a lavender rose
Put it in water when we got home
That’s what heaven is

No tears to cry
And nothing to mourn
Wearing your shirt
So tattered and torn
Lying in your arms
So safe and warm
That’s what heaven is

I don’t care for money or fame
All for you I’d give it away
The way you sound when you call my name
That’s what heaven is

Nobody knows where we go when we die
Maybe we'll ride white horses in the sky
And if we don’t then, darlin’, tonight
That’s what heaven is
If all I have is the light in your eyes
That’s what heaven is

––

For more on Kacey Musgraves, see below:

Written by Lydia Farthing
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