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Released: 2018

At the heart of “Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves lies a powerful reassurance of hope, resilience, and positivity amidst turbulent times. The song uses the metaphor of a storm and a rainbow to explore themes of emotional struggle and ultimate redemption. Musgraves invites the listener to recognize the beauty and peace that always exists, even when it’s obscured by the metaphorical storms in our lives.

The first lines “When it rains, it pours / But you didn’t even notice it ain’t rainin’ anymore” introduce the theme of the song: a call to acknowledge the end of hardship, and embrace the healing that follows. In these lines, the storm symbolizes hardship and difficulties, and the cessation of the rain represents relief and recovery. The singer highlights a common human behavior of focusing so much on problems that we fail to notice when they’ve passed.

On the refrain, “Well, the sky has finally opened / The rain and wind stopped blowin’ / But you’re stuck out in the same ol’ storm again” Musgraves underlines the idea that sometimes we remain stuck in our past, unable to move on and appreciate the present. The ‘umbrella’ here represents protection, a shield from past or perceived future harm, but also a barrier preventing full exposure to the beauty and opportunities of the present.

The chorus pushes the theme further. Musgraves sings, “That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head”. In popular culture, rainbows signify hope, luck, and the reward that follows struggle. Musgraves is saying that hope and beauty have always been there, waiting to be noticed.

The lines “If you could see what I see, you’d be blinded by the colors / Yellow, red, and orange, and green, and at least a million others” are a plea from Musgraves to see the world through her eyes, full of optimism and possibility. This message is amplified in the line “Everything is alright now”, further underscoring the promise that hard times have passed.

The concluding lines “Let go of your umbrella /’Cause, darlin’, I’m just trying to tell ya / That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head” finally usher in release and acceptance. Musgraves urges the listener to let go of their defenses (umbrella) and acknowledge the hope (rainbow) that’s been there all along.

Overall, “Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves is a soothing anthem of optimism and strength, a reminder to all to look beyond their current circumstances and appreciate the beauty and promise of life that are ever-present, even amidst turmoil.

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