A Broken Wing
|"A Broken Wing"|
|Single by Martina McBride|
|from the album Evolution|
|Released||September 8, 1997|
|Writer(s)||Phil Barnhart, Sam Hogin, James House|
|Producer(s)||Paul Worley, Ed Seay|
|Martina McBride singles chronology|
"A Broken Wing" is a song written by James House, Sam Hogin and Phil Barnhart, and recorded by American country music singer Martina McBride. It was released in September 1997 as the first single from McBride's album Evolution. In January 1998, "A Broken Wing" became McBride's second Number One single.
Composition and content
McBride originally performed "A Broken Wing" in the key of B major with a vocal range of two octaves from F♯3 to F♯5. It has a 12/8 time signature and the verses use a chord pattern of B-C♯m7-E-B three times, followed by B-C♯m7-E-F♯-B; the refrain uses G♯m-D♯m7-C♯m7-B followed by B-C♯m7-E-F♯-B. Instrumentally, "A Broken Wing" features acoustic guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, piano, bass guitar and drums.
The song is sung from the narrator's point of view describing a female character escaping from an emotionally abusive relationship. Regarding the second verse, wherein the husband finds "a note by the window / and the curtains blowin' in the breeze," the authors of the book My Country Roots wrote that the song's conclusion could be interpreted to indicate that the woman has committed suicide or that she has escaped.
Paul Worley told Billboard magazine in 1998 that the entirety of the track, except for the backing vocals, was recorded in one day, while other tracks on the album were recorded in pieces over time.
The music video was directed by Robert Deaton III and George Flanigen IV, also collectively known as Deaton-Flanigen Productions. The video features McBride singing the song at the Croft House in the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. Interspersed throughout the clip is a woman locked in an abusive relationship with her husband. While making dinner, the husband complains about the salad she made for him. Later, when the woman is on the phone, her husband interrupts the call. Eventually, the wife gets up out of the bed and the husband goes upstairs, only to find a note left by his wife. When the husband looks out of the window, he discovers that she is gone.
"A Broken Wing" debuted on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts dated for September 13, 1997. The song spent twenty-five weeks on that chart, peaking at number one on the charts dated for January 10, 1998.
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||17|
|US Billboard Hot 100||61|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Country Songs (Billboard)||60|
by Garth Brooks
|Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number one single
January 10, 1998
"Just to See You Smile"
by Tim McGraw
- Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 262. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
- Contemporary Country (1 ed.). Hal Leonard Corporation. 1999. pp. 26–30. ISBN 0-634-01594-X. The sheet music is in C major, with a note that the song is recorded a semitone lower than written.
- Fillingim, David (2003). Redneck liberation: country music as theology. Mercer University Press. p. 129. ISBN 0-86554-841-2.
- Randall, Alice; Carter Little; Courtney Little (2006). My Country Roots: The Ultimate MP3 Guide to America's Original Outsider Music. Thomas Nelson, Inc. p. 92. ISBN 1-59555-860-8.
- Cromer, Ben (18 April 1998). "Of His Many Hats, Producer/Exec Paul Worley Prefers His Guitarist Cap". Billboard.
- Hurst, Jack (21 September 1998). "COUNTRY PICKS PREDICTING THE OUTCOME OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S CMA AWARD". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
- "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 3400." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. November 24, 1997. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- "Martina McBride – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Martina McBride.
- "Martina McBride – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Martina McBride.
- "Best of 1998: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1998. Retrieved July 14, 2013.