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How the Lyrics on Miranda Lambert's 'Platinum' Predicted Her Divorce from Blake Shelton

"How do you or don't you get the love you want when everybody wants your man?"
July 20, 2015, 9:40pm

Photo courtesy of Miranda Lambert

Modern country music's most beloved couple—a Johnny and June Cash for the vape generation— Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, have just announced that they're parting ways after four years of whiskey-soaked, beer-splashed, country-fried wedded bliss, and I think it's safe to say that love is now officially dead. Sure, it took a body blow when Amy Poehler and Will Arnett called it quits, and it's honestly still reeling from the news of Ben and Jennifer's split, but this? This one hurts.


But really, we should've seen this one coming. Miranda Lambert's 2014 smash Platinum was positively bursting with clues that there just might be trouble in paradise. The most flagrant example was, of course, "Priscilla," whose bouncy beat and trademark Lambert sass belied the sadness and frustration tear-staining the lyrics. The woman who wrote those words was hurting, chafing under the pressure of being married to a superstar—the queen to his King, as it were. It's tough to see something so nakedly despondent from a woman who's built an empire on a message of empowerment, a powerhouse voice, and a take-no-shit attitude, but it humanizes her, as well. Even queens cry.

Despite Shelton's bro country marquee status, Lambert's no slouch herself—she's probably one of country's biggest stars in her own right. It's telling that she felt such a kinship with one of rock'n'roll's most famously long-suffering ex-wives, and had little trouble equating her husband with a certain other lusted-after bad boy. Like a good Southerner well-versed with keeping up appearances, though, she brushed off the comparison in an interview, saying, "It happens, and it's happening a lot, lot more to Blake and I than ever before, and I thought it was a really smart take on how it happens, and I definitely don't want people to think I'm comparing us to Priscilla and Elvis in any stretch of the imagination."

You sure about that, Miranda?


"When they turn it on and slick back their hair
We turn around and the world's right there
Woman to woman, I'm starting to see
What happened to you is happening to me Priscilla, Priscilla
How'd you get him to yourself?
Between the whistle calls and Southern dolls
It's enough to put a home through Hell
Priscilla, Priscilla
He's always in high demand
How do you or don't you get the love you want when everybody wants your man?"

She echoed the "you'd better goddamn behave yourself" sentiment on "Two Rings Shy," whose brassy snap breezed past a circus metaphor to get to the meat of the message: you do what you want with you booze and your girls, but I'm not going to slap on a smile while I watch you do it. The initial impression is that she's scolding an ex-boyfriend…or maybe, warning a soon-to-be ex-husband.

"You got girls that sing and dance, I hear ones an acrobat
You got 'em swinging from the chandelier, well honey I don't swing like that
The main attraction's leaving, let the side show pay the rent
Take this diamond back and you'll be two rings shy of the big top tent."

"Hard Staying Sober" is a breakup song, one of country music's sturdiest old workhorses, but one that feels all too personal given the cold fact that divorces don't happen in a day, springing up overnight like mushrooms after rain. The breakdown of a marriage takes time, and Miranda was already singing about sleeping alone less than a year before the split…


"It's hard staying sober when you ain't staying over
It's easy getting messed up on the truth
It's hard standing here watching taillights disappear
It's hard staying sober when I'm getting over you"

Even her hit single "Girls" sounds like more of a battle cry then the syrupy ballad it is when one considers the last few lines, which seem more and more pointed when the rest of Platinum's lyrics come into play:

"Go on, go on
Give her everything and more
Love her all you want
She was never yours You can't change her mind
You can always try
If you think you're the only one that she'll want in this world
If you think you're the only one that she'll want in this world
Then you don't know nothing
Know nothing
'Bout girls"

The details of the Lambert-Shelton split are still a mystery, but I'm going to go out on a limb and surmise that maybe, just maybe, Lone Star Annie's slipped and fallen victim to that most omnipresent and inescapable of country tropes: a no-good man who's done her wrong.

Kim Kelly is mourning the death of romance on Twitter - @grimkim