Behind the Meaning of “Independence Day” by Martina McBride

Upon first listen, Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” reads like a patriotic ode. While the anthem is a declaration of freedom, it’s a more personal kind of freedom. Dive into the meaning behind this powerful song, below.

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Behind the Meaning of “Independence Day” by Martina McBride

Well, she seemed all right by dawn’s early light
Though she looked a little worried and weak
She tried to pretend he wasn’t drinkin’ again
But daddy left the proof on her cheek

“This was another one of those songs that took a long time to tell me how it wanted to end, how it was going to end,” songwriter Gretchen Peters once said. “The chorus’s idea is what happened for me first. And really, the chorus doesn’t tell you a whole lot, it was just a series of images, and there wasn’t much narrative there. So for a while I sort of struggled with, well, what is this about? What is this? The whole idea of independence on a more personal level for one person, for a woman, that sort of became clear to me.”

McBride plays the role of the narrator, a young girl, in this tale of independence. She watches as her mother falls victim to domestic abuse. As she tries to get out of the way, her mother takes matters into her own hands.

Well she lit up the sky that fourth of July
By the time that the firemen come
They just put out the flames and took down some names
And sent me to the county home
Now, I ain’t sayin’ it’s right or it’s wrong
But maybe it’s the only way
Talk about your revolution
It’s Independence Day

As McBride sings, Now, I ain’t sayin’ it’s right or it’s wrong. Her mother’s measures might be drastic, but are they uncalled for? According to the singer, maybe it’s the only way.

Naturally, this song became an uplifting force for anyone going through a similar situation. Furthering her influence following this song, McBride has been the spokesperson for many domestic abuse charities.

Revisit this track, below.

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT)

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