|Single by Martina McBride|
|from the album The Way That I Am|
|B-side||"True Blue Fool"|
|Released||May 2, 1994|
|Martina McBride singles chronology|
|"Independence Day" at CMT.com|
"Independence Day" is a song written by Gretchen Peters, and performed by American country music singer Martina McBride. The song was officially released in May 1994 as the third single from her album The Way That I Am. The song peaked at number 12 on Hot Country Songs. Peters later recorded it herself on her 1996 album The Secret of Life. It was first offered to Reba McEntire, who turned it down.
In 2003, it ranked 50th in CMT's 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music. The following year, it ranked #2 in CMT's 100 Greatest Videos in Country Music. The song was also featured in CMT's Controversy in terms of release and included interviews from "The Today Show" reporter Tiki Barber, Brad Paisley, McBride herself, and former National Organization for Women president Patricia Ireland. In 2014, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song #77 in their list of the 100 greatest country songs. The song has sold 550,000 copies in the US as of July 2015.
In the song, a daughter (Heidi Butler Prine) recalls a tragic incident she experienced as a child. Her mother (Darcie Jones) was involved in a domestic abuse incident with her alcoholic father (Aaron Wrench). On Independence Day, the daughter walks to the town fair and hears rumors going on about the father's abuse. That day, the mother burns down their house, presumably with the husband and herself inside it, and the daughter is sent to a county home. According to McBride, the mother does not die in the fire, as she has now gained her independence from an abusive relationship. The music video was produced by American director team Deaton-Flanigen Productions, consisting of William Deaton III and George Flanigen IV, and premiered on CMT May 20, 1994.
The lyrics have a double meaning in that the woman in the story is finally gaining her "freedom" from her abusive husband. Thus, it is her "Independence Day." The title also refers to the fact that the events noted in the song happened on the United States' Independence Day, or July 4.
Beginning shortly after September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, Sean Hannity began using part of the chorus as an opening bumper for his Premiere Radio Networks radio talk show. The song is about domestic violence, not patriotic values, according to the writer of the song, Gretchen Peters, who does not agree with Hannity's use of the song. Since she could not stop his use, she collected royalties from him every time it was played and used those royalties to donate to her causes, until Hannity's program dropped the song in mid-2014.
The following musicians perform on this track:
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||15|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||12|
|1994||Academy of Country Music Awards||Video of the Year||Nominated|
|1995||Grammy Awards||Best Country & Western Vocal Performance - Female||Nominated|
|1995||Grammy Awards||Best Country Song||Nominated|
|1995||Country Music Association Awards||Song of the Year|
|1994||Country Music Association Awards||Video of the Year |
In 2002, singer Taylor Horn covered the song for her debut album taylor-made at the age of nine.
On American Idol, Carrie Underwood, Lil Rounds, and Tristan McIntosh have each performed the song on the show. Underwood also released the song as a B-side track with her single of "Inside Your Heaven".
In 2011, Little Big Town performed Independence Day as a tribute to McBride, who was being honoured as part of ACM's Girls Night Out - Superstar Women of Country show.
In 2020, McBride performed the song as the opener to the 53rd CMA Awards alongside a host of other women in country music. Those featured were: McBride, Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Jennifer Nettles, Karen Fairchild, Kimberley Schlapman, The Highwomen, Tanya Tucker, Gretchen Wilson, Crystal Gayle, Terri Clark and Sara Evans.