Miranda Lambert is one tough cookie. She dishes out revenge like candy, packs a small punch but a big gun, and couldn’t give a monkey’s about her spotless reputation. In her songs, anyway. In real life, she might be the biggest sweetheart on the ranch. We don’t know. Frankly, we don’t care. Country music is about the content of your songs, not your character, and Lambert has more great songs than most artists combined. Here’s our take on the 10 best Miranda Lambert songs of all time.
10. Little Red Wagon
Kicking off our list of the top ten Miranda Lambert songs of all time is Little Red Wagon. Sure, it’s a cheese-fest, but this is country, folks, and a bit of cheese never goes amiss. Lambert is at her most fun and flirty, dropping more winks to the mic than should strictly speaking be legal. Lyrically, it’s not exactly Shakespeare, and the subject matter is a far cry from groundbreaking. But ultimately, this isn’t a song to be taken seriously – it’s meant to be a stomping, finger-clicking blast, and that’s exactly what it is.
9. All Kinds of Kind
As justbangers.com says, Miranda Lambert just has a thing for opening tracks. They steal the show, and this tender little ballad from Four The Record is no exception. There’s nothing complicated here, it’s just a simple, feel-good number designed to provide solace and succor. It does it brilliantly. If the world is looking miserable, stick this on your playlist and watch the sun come out.
Remember when we said Lambert has a thing for opening tracks? Prepare for another one…The first song from Lambert’s first album is a stunner, with a slinky vocal and enough attitude to floor a horse. Lambert’s take-no-prisoners, ballsy approach marked her out as something special, even from these very early days. Listeners clearly agreed, buying enough copies to take the song to platinum status.
7. Tin Man
It takes a confident artist to release an album 24 songs long, but Lambert was never exactly the shy, retiring type anyway. Fortunately, 2016’s double album The Weight of These Wings isn’t a case of quantity over quality. Remarkably, there’s barely a dud to be found. There are, however, plenty of stone-cold classics, with Tin Man standing out as one of the best. Some people have speculated it’s about Lambert’s messy divorce from Blake Shelton. Lambert hasn’t confirmed either way, but whatever the truth is, it’s a beauty, with a heartbreaking sentiment and a wonderfully sensitive performance from Lambert. If you thought the singer was best when she was dishing out hell in high heels, this evocative tear-jerker might convince you otherwise.
6. Famous In A Small Town
As Billboard says Famous In A Small Town harks back to the golden era of country, bringing to mind the compositions of Tom T. Hall in particular. Lambert might not have quite such a gift for spinning a tale as Hall (then again, who does?), but she manages to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, something that even the greatest storytellers sometimes struggle with. Released as the second single from her 2007 album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, it gave the singer her second Top 20 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and even earned a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
5. Mama’s Broken Heart
As pastemagazine.com says, this next one is for every impolite, imperfect woman who’s ever cut her own bangs with “some rusty kitchen scissors” and told a man exactly where to get off. “Can’t get revenge and keep a spotless reputation / Sometimes revenge is a choice you gotta make,” she sings. Too true. Released in 2013 as the fourth single from the album, Four the Record, it gave Shelton fair warning, Lambert a Top 20 Hot 100 hit, and the rest of us a stonkingly good listen.
4. Gunpowder & Lead
Miranda Lambert has two main loves in life: opening tracks and revenge. Here, she has the time of her life combining the two. With lines like “His fist is big, but my gun’s bigger / He’ll find out when I pull the trigger,” you have to pity the poor fool who’d ever cross her. Fortunately, one man’s loss is Lambert’s gain: released in January 2008 as the third single from her album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, it gave the singer her first-ever Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and was eventually certified platinum in December 2010.
3. Over You
Lambert isn’t the kind of woman who suffers fools gladly. She’s brash and she’s ballsy, and if you cross her, you’re going to pay… or at least, find yourself the subject of a chart-topping diss track on the country music charts. But now and again, she drops the tough girl act and gets vulnerable. When she does, the results are sensational. Her co-writing partner on Over You was her then-husband Blake Shelton, which is all kinds of unfortunate given the lyrical content but which, nonetheless, adds a special kind of pathos to lines like “But you went away / How dare you?” and “I miss you / They say I’ll be OK / But I’m not going to ever get over you.” It’s miserable as sin, but there can be beauty in sadness – here, there’s a ton of it.
Bluebird manages to combine Lambert’s tough-as-nails attitude with a rare vulnerability. There’s sadness and there’s hope, with a rich vein of nostalgia weaved throughout. Essentially, it’s a song about making lemonade when life gives you lemons- considering it was released just before life decided to give us COVID, it couldn’t have been better timed if it’d tried. In addition to winning the CMA Award for Video of the Year, it was also nominated for Single and Song of the Year at the 54th Annual Country Music Association Awards and for Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards.
1. The House That Built Me
Finally, we get to the very best Miranda Lambert song of all time. Written by Nashville songwriting duo Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, it’s a song about losing yourself, finding yourself, and discovering the healing powers of the familiar. Released in March 2010 as the third single from her third studio album, Revolution, it represented the very first single of her career she hadn’t played a hand in writing. There’s no clue to the fact she’s singing someone else’s words, though – a testament both to the sensitivity of her reading and her strength as an artist.