On This Day: Martina McBride Records ‘Independence Day’ in 1994

by Kayla Zadel
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This iconic song by Martina McBride was recorded 27-years ago. Even though the track only peaked at No. 12 on the Hot Country Songs, it’s one that was and still is very popular today.

“Independence Day” was recorded in 1994 and released in May. It was the third single from Martina McBride, off her album The Way That I Am. Gretchen Peters wrote the song and even played a minor role in the music video. The video ranked 50th in CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music in 2003. Additionally, in the follower year, the music video came in at the No. 2 spot in CMT’s 100 Greatest Videos in Country Music.

Story Behind Martina McBride’s ‘Independence Day’

A song about domestic violence turned into one of patriotism. Peters wrote the song, that Martina McBride ended up singing. However, the track was also presented to Reba McEntire as an option for one of her albums.

“What I remember writing about it, number one was that I had the idea for the chorus first,” Peters says according to The Boot. “The chorus, if you listen to it by itself, does not give you a whole lot of information about what’s going on. So I was in this situation that I often find myself in, in songs, where I’m like, ‘What the hell is this all about? I like it, but what’s going on?’ There was this process of almost solving a mystery: Something cataclysmic has happened here, but what is it, and who are the characters involved?”

Peters writes the song from an 8-year-old’s perspective. She’s living with her mother and abusive husband. The young girl goes to the fairgrounds on the Fourth of July. Meanwhile, her mother burns down down their house, with her husband inside. She’s therefore achieving her “Independence Day” as well.

“It took 18 months to write it. As I lived with it, the story of the mother and daughter started to come, and I knew that obviously, the “Independence Day” thing was a metaphor for [the mother in the song] finding her freedom. How does a woman in that situation find freedom?” the songwriter continues to talk about the song Martina McBride sings. “I was still a relatively young songwriter, and I really, really wanted to find a happy ending or at least one that wasn’t so dire and dismal. That’s why it took me so long to write the song because I kept trying to make things work out okay.”

McBride and Peters are Spokespeople for Domestic Abuse Charities

Furthermore, Martina McBride is the spokesperson for many domestic abuse charities, like the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and the Tulsa Domestic Violence and Intervention Services. Gretchen Peters has also joined McBride in this initiative. Both have raised millions of dollars for mothers and daughters in these situations.

Outsider.com