This humorous anthem finds Musgraves urging her fans to be true to themselves no matter what society dictates. "It's one that maybe six years ago I couldn't have written," Musgraves told Radio.com of the song. "I had a different outlook then, but just growing and learning more about people and life, it just allowed me to write that."
The song's chorus ("So, make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys. Or kiss lots of girls, if that's something you're into.") has raised some eyebrows within the Nashville community. "I think it's definitely time for those issues to be accepted in country music," Musgraves explained to Radio.com. "I mean it's 2013, and regardless of your political beliefs I think everybody should be able to love who they want to love and live how they want to live." "We're all driven by the same emotions," she added. "We all want to be loved and feel the same things. Hopefully people will put aside their personal and political agendas and just agree with that fact."
Musgraves' intention with the song was to focus on the hypocrisy of society, starting with its opening couplet, "If you save yourself for marriage you're a bore. If you don't save yourself for marriage you're a horr...ible person." "It's actually been really fun playing that one and seeing people's reaction when they hear the first line," she admitted to The Boot regarding the assumption made after the long pause between the first and second syllable in 'horrible.'
The song started as a gesture for a pal. "It started off as a poem, honestly, for this friend who was going off to Paris for four months studying and she was leaving everything she knew behind, going to a foreign country [and] didn't know the language," explained Musgraves. "I gave her this little arrow necklace and I wrote a little poem and it had 'follow your arrow' in it, 'kiss lots of boys,' and it kind of started there, but it turned into a bigger idea."
Musgraves pushed for this to be released as a single. However, her record label was reluctant, fearing that Country radio would reject it. Speaking with The Guardian, Musgraves said: "Whether radio or the industry wants to admit it, I think [Country] music's ready for it. There's enough free-thinking, open-minded young people who would support that song."
Mercury Nashville finally relented and the song was released as the third single from Same Trailer Different Park on October 31, 2013.
Musgraves penned the song with the gay Nashville singer-songwriters Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally.
When Musgraves played this at the CMAs, the "roll up a joint" lyric was repeatedly bleeped out.
The song's music video was shot by Musgraves and her band in the fall of 2013 out in the Southern California desert. "It was probably some of the most fun I've ever had," the singer told Radio.com. "It was [filmed] out in Joshua Tree, out in the desert, and I really think the landscape is gorgeous out there. You see all these crazy-looking trees, it looks like Dr. Seuss-land."
The song only just made it onto the album in time, after a last-minute writing session. "The record was basically done, and I was getting a lot of pressure because there were already a lot of great songs in the batch," Musgraves told Billboard magazine. "But [co-writers] Brandy [Clark], Shane [McAnally] and I had these ideas, and they just really encapsulated where my head was at. I knew exactly what I wanted to do sonically, and I said, 'This isn't a complete record without them.'"
"It's not a gay song. We were just trying to list people that might have felt like underdogs at some point in their lives," McAnally added. "Sure, gay people have felt that way, but also fat people, or people who get outcasted at their churches for teenage pregnancy, or people who might smoke weed. Also, Brandy and I quickly realized the only word we could rhyme with 'point' was 'joint.'"
Musgraves performed this song at the Grammy Awards in 2014. She won Best Country Song for "Merry Go 'Round" later in the show.
Kacey Musgraves originally offered the song to her friend Katy Perry, but the "Roar" singer thought Musgraves should keep it for herself. "She was like, 'That's great, but it seems like something that you would totally say,'" Musgraves told The Independent.
This won Song of the Year at the 2014 CMA Awards, a year after Musgraves performed it at the ceremony. "Do you guys realize what this means for country music?" Musgraves remarked as she took the stage to accept the honor. "This award means so much because our genre was built on simple, good songs about real life, and that's what this was."
"It's because of the fans and the people that connected with it that spread it and took it farther than I ever thought it could be," she added.