Martina McBride will be on the road with Wynonna Judd this fall, opening on The Judds final tour, which will continue on even after the tragic death of Naomi in April.
And while The Judds are clearly country music icons, Martina is a legend in her own right.
A mainstay in the ’90s country scene, she celebrated the 30-year anniversary since she signed her first recording contract with RCA Nashville last year. She released double-vinyl to commemorate the signing called Greatest Hits: The RCA Years, which of course includes songs like “Independence Day” and “Concrete Angel.”
And this year, marks 30 years since she released her debut album, The Time Has Come, in May of 1992.
In an interview with Billboard, she talked about some of those hits and the reasons that she never shied away from tackling big subjects, especially when it came to women and the struggles we face both day-to-day, as well as huge issues like physical and emotional abuse.
Specifically, she spoke about her massive 1997 #1 hit, “A Broken Wing,” and what it means to her as far as how she’s always interpreted the meaning of the song.
Lyrically, it focuses on a woman who feels trapped in an abusive relationship. She has big dreams, but her current circumstances are a living hell she can’t seem to get out of. Eventually, she does escape.
But, both the words in the song and the music video are ambiguous as to whether or not the woman actually committed suicide by jumping out the window, or if the window was just a representation of the openness to her newfound freedom.
Specifically, the bridge in the song does leave much of what happened up to the listener to decide for themselves:
“One Sunday morning She didn’t go to church He wondered why she didn’t leave He went up to the bedroom Found a note by the window With the curtains blowin’ in the breeze”
Martina says she took it all as a metaphor for the woman leaving and claiming her freedom, and she knew she needed to record it herself the first time she heard it because of how honest it was:
“This song just felt really special the first time I heard it. I felt like it would empower someone who needed to hear it.
I still haven’t heard a song about emotional abuse that is quite this direct. So many people ask if the woman jumped out the window in the second verse.
I never interpreted it that way, but I can see now how it could be. I prefer to think of it as a metaphor for her leaving and claiming her freedom.”
Written by James House, Sam Hogin and Phil Barnhart, the song was the the second single from her 1997 album Evolution.
With a powerful message backed by Martina’s equally powerful vocals, as well as a beautiful arrangement and melody, it’s as real and timeless of a song as they come.