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Independence Day (Martina McBride song)

"Independence Day"
Martina McBride - Independence Day cover.png
Single by Martina McBride
from the album The Way That I Am
B-side"True Blue Fool"[1]
ReleasedMay 2, 1994
FormatCD single
LabelRCA Nashville
Songwriter(s)Gretchen Peters
Producer(s)Paul Worley
Ed Seay
Martina McBride
Martina McBride singles chronology
"Life #9"
"Independence Day"
"Heart Trouble"
Music video
"Independence Day" at

"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.[2] Peters later recorded it herself on her 1996 album The Secret of Life. It was first offered to Reba McEntire, who turned it down.[3]

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.[4] The song has sold 550,000 copies in the US as of July 2015.[5]

Songwriter Gretchen Peters received the Country Music Association's Song of the Year award in 1995 for "Independence Day."[1]


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.

In media

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.[6]


The following musicians perform on this track:[7]

Chart performance

Chart (1994) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[8] 15
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 12


Year Ceremony Award Result
1994 Academy of Country Music Awards Video of the Year[10] 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[11]
1994 Country Music Association Awards Video of the Year [12]

It received the RIAA Gold Certificate on December 12, 2018[13].

Cover versions

In 2002, singer Taylor Horn covered the song for her debut album taylor-made at the age of nine.

In 2003, Pat Benatar performed the song in a duet with McBride on the CMT television series Crossroads.

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.


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 262. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  2. ^ - Artist Chart History - Martina McBride
  3. ^ Reba :: The Official Site - Backstage Archived 2008-03-02 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ []
  5. ^ Matt Bjorke (July 13, 2015). "The Top 30 Digital Country Singles: July 13, 2015". Roughstock.
  6. ^ []
  7. ^ The Way That I Am (CD). Martina McBride. RCA Records. 1993. 66288.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2576." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. August 29, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  9. ^ "Martina McBride Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Who's won the most CMA Awards? Get the answer here. Gretchen Peters". Country Music Association Awards. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  12. ^ "Who's won the most CMA Awards? Get the answer here. Martina McBride". Country Music Association Awards. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  13. ^ [] Accessed on December 27, 2018.