Daughters (John Mayer song)

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Daughters (Cover).jpg
Single by John Mayer
from the album Heavier Things
B-side Come Back to Bed", "Home Life
Released September 28, 2004
Format Digital download, CD single
Recorded 2003
Genre Acoustic rock, blues rock
Length 3:59
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) John Mayer
Producer(s) Jack Joseph Puig
John Mayer singles chronology

"Daughters" is the third single from Heavier Things, the 2003 studio album from blues rock singer-songwriter, John Mayer. The critically acclaimed song won numerous awards, including the 2005 Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 47th Grammy Awards. It has sold 1,007,000 copies in the US as of May 2013.[1]


Lyrically, "Daughters" is an admonition to fathers (and to a lesser extent mothers) to nurture their daughters in their childhood, because the relationship will affect their future relationships with men as adults.[2] He uses his own troubled lover to illustrate his belief.

Mayer has at various times told different, and sometimes conflicting, stories as to the inspiration for the song, ranging from MTVs "Real World" (in a Sirius Morning Mash Up Show interview in May 2007) to an unnamed ex-girlfriend.

In 2010, on VH1's "Storytellers", Mayer stated that he wrote the song about an ex-girlfriend who had trust issues because of her absent father, which led to the decline and eventual split of their relationship.


  • John Mayer - vocals, guitar
  • Lenny Castro - percussion
  • Jamie Muhoberac - piano

Release controversy[edit]

Mayer had been resistant on releasing the song as a single,[3] and was still skeptical despite the Grammy win, which he mentioned in his speech upon receiving the award.[4] On several occasions, Mayer had pushed to release the songs "Come Back to Bed" and "Something's Missing" as singles, as they were more the kind of music he was leaning towards making.[citation needed] However, the label decided that "Daughters" would be more well received by radio. In 2005, Mayer converted the song into an all-out blues song with his group John Mayer Trio on the live album, Try!, stripping away the acoustic elements the song had become known for,[5] although not similar version to the "Electric Guitar Mix" of the song as included on the single's re-release.

Music video[edit]

The music video is a grayscale video of Mayer playing the guitar and singing the song in a dark studio, intercut between scenes of a girl (i.e., a "daughter"). The video clip, directed by Mario Sorrenti, features the Australian supermodel Gemma Ward.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2004–05) Peak
Australia ARIA Top 40 Digital Tracks 53
Brazil (ABPD)[6] 58
Dutch Singles Chart 29
US Billboard Hot 100 19
US Billboard Pop Songs 19
US Billboard Adult Pop Songs 1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 2

Track listings[edit]

All songs are by Mayer unless otherwise noted.

Original release[edit]

  1. "Daughters" – 3:59
  2. "Come Back to Bed" – 11:56 (Live at the C.W. Mitchell Pavilion, July 24, 2004)
  3. "Home Life" (David LaBruyere/Mayer) – 6:50 (Live at the Shoreline Amplitheaer, July 16, 2004)

"Come Back to Bed" and "Home Life" are the same live versions that appear on Mayer's as/is volumes released in 2004


  1. "Daughters" – 3:59
  2. "Daughters" (Electric guitar mix) – 3:59
  3. "Daughters" (Home demo) – 4:59


Daughters was played at the end of the 7th Heaven episode "The Fine Art of Parenting". It was also in the first episode of "The Secret Life of the American Teenager". Mayer performed the song himself in the 2015 buddy comedy film Get Hard.

Cover versions[edit]

In 2005, trumpeter Rick Braun covered an instrumental version from album "Yours Truly."[7][8]


  1. ^ Brian Mansfield (May 26, 2010). "'Before He Cheats' tops 3 million, and other 'Idol' download news". Idol Chatter. USA Today. 
  2. ^ Miller, Brian (2004). "JOHN MAYER AND HIS INSPIRATION FOR DAUGHTERS" ArtisanNews.com Retrieved 2007-11-15
  3. ^ No byline (2005-02-26), "Backstage Banter". Billboard. 117 (9):69
  4. ^ Mayer's Grammy speech where he indicated he'd intended other songs for release instead of "Daughters"
  5. ^ Big Mouth Strikes Again
  6. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Yours Truly overview". Allmusic.com. 
  8. ^ "Rick Braun Yours Truly". SmoothViews.com. 

External links[edit]