Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

A Broken Wing

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
B-side  Valentine"
Format  CD single
Length  3:35
Released  September 8, 1997
Genre  Country
Label  RCA Nashville

"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.

Promotional video

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.

It was nominated for Music Video of the Year at the 1998 Country Music Association awards.

Other versions

Jordin Sparks covered the song on her 2007 EP Jordin Sparks. Her version of the song made number 66 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Chart positions

"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.


A Broken Wing Wikipedia

Similar Topics
The Good Soldier (2009 film)
Rosemarie Burian
Mark Pinter