What comes first? The song title or the song? I always wonder that, and now I at least know the origin of Kacey Musgraves’ “Keep It to Yourself.”
Musgraves says the topic and title were her mother’s idea.
“My mom was the one who said, ’Keep It to Yourself’ would be a good song title.’ She’s always sending me long texts suggesting song names,” Musgraves said in People magazine’s new country special issue. “Some are cheesy, but some are really good.”
This song is one of Musgraves’ finest. And just like all the other songs on her debut album, there’s a moment in this tune she calls the pivotal moment.
In this case, it’s the part where she knows that he knows she’s doing fine after the breakup. But she doesn’t want to know how he’s doing after the breakup.
“Do you want to hear what they have to say? Or not? If it really needs to be over, you probably don’t,” she said.
Musgraves also describes the opening lyrics as ones that paint a picture of the loneliness that is inevitable after a breakup.
“You can see this person in their bed — tossing, turning, thinking, wanting to call,” she said.
But what ends this song is Musgraves’ way of telling her ex that there’s no reconciliation in sight, no matter how alone she may look. And that’s what she wanted to get across with the “it-ain’t-what-it-is” line.
“Self-discipline is hard, especially when you’re attracted to somebody,” she said. “I can just picture being in a bar, and it’s like, ’Don’t even come up to me. You have power over me, and it’s not good!'”
CMT Crossroads: Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves premieres Friday (June 13) at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CMT.