Music Discussions



Rainbow – Kacey Musgraves

Main Point: The rainbow can be a sign of hope in the darkness, but God created the rainbow to point to Jesus, the only one who can bring the grace and truth we need.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: The following info should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Youth Ministry believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce teens to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most teens, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos like this one. Thanks to YouTube,, Spotify, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away. If you decide to use this, do so by catering it to fit your family’s needs.
  • East Texas raised, Musgraves started songwriting at the age of eight. She would continue to write music while learning mandolin and guitar, eventually playing festivals when she was only eighteen years old.
  • Kacey continued her pursuit of a music career by moving to Austin after graduating high school, and eventually appearing on the television show Nashville Star. Between her independent recordings and her tv appearance, Musgraves was able to sign with a record label in 2012.
  • After touring with Lady Antebellum, Kacey released her first studio album in 2013. Since then, she has released three more albums with her 2018 released Golden Hour being her most recent offering.
  • Golden Hour won four Grammy Awards including the 2019 Album of the Year.
  • Musgraves married singer and songwriter Ruston Kelly in 2017.

Introducing the Song – Say Something Like This:  A catchy piano ballad, Musgraves has a special bond with this song. It was the final song her grandmother would hear her write, and was played at her funeral. Kacey says about Rainbow, “For a long time, that was a really hard one to hear, but I thought that it fit really nicely on the record,” she says. “It turned into a song as a little message to myself, and then ended up being a song for anybody with any kind of weight on their shoulders.” Her hope is that this song would be an anthem for anyone facing adversity.

The Music Video:  The music video can be viewed for free at:

Song Lyrics – Rainbow

When it rains, it pours
But you didn’t even notice
It ain’t rainin’ anymore
It’s hard to breathe when all you know is
The struggle of stayin’ above the risin’ water line

Well the sky has finally opened
The rain and wind stopped blowin’
But you’re stuck out in the same ol’ storm again
You hold tight to your umbrella
Well, darlin’, I’m just tryin’ to tell ya
That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head

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
So tie up the boat, take off your coat, and take a look around

‘Cause the sky has finally opened
The rain and wind stopped blowin’
But you’re stuck out in the same ol’ storm again
You hold tight to your umbrella
Well, darlin’, I’m just tryin’ to tell ya
That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head

Oh, tie up the boat, take off your coat, and take a look around
Everything is alright now

‘Cause the sky has finally opened
The rain and wind stopped blowin’
But you’re stuck out in the same ol’ storm again
Let go of your umbrella
‘Cause, darlin’, I’m just tryin’ to tell ya
That there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head

Yeah, there’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head

Three Questions to Ask in the Car (with thoughts to dive deeper with your kids):

Q: Why do you think she uses the rainbow in the song as a symbol of hope?
A: Begin a discussion on what they understand the rainbow to mean and opens the door to you bringing it back to God’s creation of the rainbow in Genesis.

Q: Why do you think she says, “everything is alright now?” Is this just something people say, or how can you actually know things will be alright?
A: Take this question slowly and work to expose the lie that we can just say things like “everything will be fine” and will it to be so. The goal is to help them see behind the curtain and make them question statements like that with nothing behind them.

Q: What do you think the rainbow should mean to people who follow Jesus?
A: Here you can get practical and look past the shallow views of the rainbow and redeem it in their eyes. Help them see it as a sign of God’s promise and His goodness.

Where to Take It from Here: Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful!  (There is a guide just after that paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged – the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.

For Deeper Discussion: 
(If your kids seem into diving in deeper and looking at what the Bible has to say on the subject, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)

Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our “Parenting Help” page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today’s Teens.

Transition Statement – Say Something Like This: This song sings about hope in the midst of adversity, pointing to the rainbow as a symbol of better days to come. Is it enough to point to a symbol, or is the value of that hope in what the symbol points to? The rainbow has come to symbolize many things today, but is there more to the story? Let’s take time to talk about that during our discussion.

Discussion Questions:

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Who can remember a time when they saw a vivid rainbow in the sky? What was the first thing you did when you saw it?
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What comes to your mind when you hear someone talk about a rainbow or if you see one? Do different things come to mind when you see a rainbow versus when you hear the word? Share your thoughts with the group.
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think Kacey Musgraves pointed to the rainbow as a symbol of hope?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Share about a time when you felt you were shouldering a heavy load. Why do you think it felt so heavy? How did you push through that time?
  1. ASK ALL FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think she means when she sings “let go of your umbrella?”
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think it means to “tie up the boat, take off your coat, and take a look around?” Is that good advice? Share why you think the way you do.
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: At one point in the song she sings “everything is alright now.” What do you think allows her to say this? Do you think it’s based on truth or is it just something people say? Talk about why you think the way you do.

Read the following passages:

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Genesis 9:12-15
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.

Revelation 4:2-3
At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Looking at John 1:14, what do you think it means that Jesus is full of grace and truth? Do you think people need both grace and truth in their lives? Explain why you think the way you do.
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Read the Genesis 9 passage. What was God’s purpose in the rainbow? What do you believe God wants us to think when we see a rainbow?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: In light of the question above and the discussion that followed, do you think there is power in the rainbow, or what the rainbow stands for? Explain the difference and why it matters.
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Read Revelation 4:1-11. Talk about what is happening in this passage.
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:  Now let’s look at Revelation 4:2-3. Why do you think it’s significant that the rainbow is used to describe what John (the author of Revelation) is seeing?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If Jesus radiates like a rainbow, and the rainbow is the sign of God’s promise, what do you think that means about Jesus? How does that relate to John 1:14?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When you think about the song Rainbow in light of what God’s Word says, how might that change how you hear the lyrics and the meaning behind them?
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When we carry a heavy burden or face adversity, how can the verses we just looked at help you walk through it? What might the rainbow symbolize to you now when you consider the truth of God’s Word?

Wrap Up – Say Something Like This:  This is a powerful and uplifting song that has given many people hope in the midst of adversity. During our discussion, we looked beyond the lyrics and asked whether it’s enough to say things are going to be alright, or if there needs to be something behind those words. When you consider the burdens you have carried or the adversity you have walked through, what are the ways God has shown up in that season of your life? Take a moment and reflect how God has been present and brought grace and truth to you when you needed it most. 

(Pause and give them a quiet moment to pray silently.) 

The rainbow is a powerful symbol of the promise of God. His promise can be trusted above anything else. Not only has He promised to not flood the earth to destroy all life, but He promised to send Jesus in our place – to allow us to connect with God just like we were created to do. Jesus is the symbol of the promise of God, and He offers grace and truth to those who will trust Him. What do you need to trust God for, or trust Him to do today? Take a moment and talk to Him about the burdens you carry and how you need Him to show up in your life. 

(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.) 

The rainbow reminds us that God is faithful. It reminds us that He is good and can be trusted. It reminds us that He has sent Jesus – who shines like a rainbow – to meet us where we are at and provide the grace and truth we desperately crave. Let’s be people who turn to Him for hope in the darkness. Let’s be those who grab hold of His grace and truth, and let us remember that the rainbow is and will always be a reminder that He is good. 


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Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at


  1. Avatar
    Kristi Staples
    February 1, 2020 at 8:42 am

    I love this so much, I was very disappointed when I read through Kacey Musgrave’s meaning of the song and came to the part about the rainbow being a symbol of for the LGBT community. I really love her music and this song is beautiful, but knowing she is a full supporter of that community turns me off. Kids will read the same thing I did and see that comment there. I’m not saying you should breech a conversation on homosexuality on this page, I would not want to taint any of the beautiful things you have written and related to here. However, in today’s world it is important for us to let our kids know that God loves the sinner not the sin and that a homosexual lifestyle is not honoring to God. Thank you very much for the help you give parents here in talking to there children about current entertainment, it gives them something they can share. Keep up the great work.

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