Story Behind the Song: Miranda Lambert, ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’
In 2013, Miranda Lambert scored a major hit with "Mama's Broken Heart," a Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves co-write. The platinum-certified No. 2 country hit also landed in the Top 20 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100.
"Mama's Broken Heart" also earned Single of the Year at the ACM Awards, and was nominated for a number of CMA Awards and Grammys. Below, McAnally explains how Clark and Musgraves helped turn his original idea into the hit country fans know and love, inspired by a story about his mom and sister.
Usually if an idea came to me the night before or the morning of [a co-writing session with someone], I know I'm supposed to throw it out to that person. That's how I see it; I just feel like it's God saying, "This is the one just to throw out," and half the time, I'm right.
But then there are those ideas that come along ... [that I know], "Oh, I need to save that for such and such," because I know that would work for them. And sometimes I'll break that rule, and I'm usually wrong. I mean, I've done it a couple of times where I've had this idea that I'm just too excited to write, even though I know I should save it for someone ... so I think I have a strong instinct about when an idea is good.
And I think that most of the time, if I have it developed in my mind -- like, I'll give you an example: I had an idea, years ago, for a song called "This Ain't Your Mama's" something. And I thought it was "This Ain't Your Mama's Saturday Night," "This Ain't Your Mama's Party" or whatever.
Then I had told that idea to Brandy Clark because I knew she would know how to break it open, and I was like, "I just think there's an idea in "This Ain't Your Mama's" something that's different than you would expect. After she sort of toyed with it and played with it in her mind, I came in and told Kacey and Brandy, her, a story about my mom and my sister having all this crazy, you know, blowup about my sister's breakup.
And Brandy said, "What is this is the idea: 'This ain't your mama's broken heart'?" And that was sort of the way that it came to be.
So, sometimes you're just holding onto things and waiting. And, luckily, we trust our co-writers so much and have such a history with them that sometimes you can throw something out knowing that doesn't give them necessary ownership of it, but it lets them play with it in their head and go, "Yeah, I think we could do something with that."
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