Martina McBride, ‘Teenage Daughters’ – Lyrics Uncovered
McBride collaborated with Brett and Brad Warren (the Warren Brothers) for the tune, but it wasn’t their first attempt at writing a hit. The three are the same writing team behind McBride’s ‘Anyway,’ as well as ‘How I Feel,’ which was also penned with Aimee Mayo and Chris Lindsey.
“We were sitting there fooling around with musical ideas and lyrical ideas,” Brett Warren tells Taste of Country. “We’re all such great friends that it’s real natural to write together. We’ve written together enough where if somebody doesn’t like an idea, we’ll just say so and go back and forth until we find something we all like.”
“Martina finally said, ‘I have an idea, but it might be kind of crazy … has anybody ever written a song about having teenage daughters, because I am going crazy right now! You love them, but they’re young and beautiful, and boys are starting to recognizing them, and they don’t want to be around you.’”
In the opening lines of ‘Teenage Daughters,’ McBride sings about the stress, fear and exhaustion of raising teenage girls — something she knows much about being the mother of Delaney (16), Emma (13) and Ava (5).
“I ain’t complainin’ but I’m tired so I’m just sayin’ what I think / And if we’re being honest, and honestly, I think I need a drink / My baby’s growing up / She thinks she’s falling all in love and that I hate her / At 17 she’s just like me when I was 17 so I don’t blame her,” McBride sings on the track.
“Me and Brad thought like that was a killer idea, especially coming from Martina,” Brett says. “She’s a cool writer. She gets it. She wants to say what she’s going through and talk in terms that people can relate to. That’s what country music is. She started spitting out all the ideas and all the things she was going through. Me and Brad were like freshmen in college on the first day of class writing stuff down.”
The chorus puts it best: “What are we going to do? / What are we going to do about it? / We’re just mothers / Yeah we’re just fathers / Of teenage daughters.”
“As soon as we finished the song, [Martina's oldest daughter] Delaney walked in the room,” Brett says with a grin. “We all froze like we all got caught smoking cigarettes! She was like, ‘Why are you looking at me?’ We played her the song, and she loved it.”
“I love the fact that ‘Teenage Daughters’ blends humor, sass and sweetness,” McBride notes. “It shows a very real side of my personality that I’m not sure I’ve shown in a song before. It’s definitely a very personal song and, to me, it just feels like an honest conversation between mothers and fathers of teenage daughters everywhere.”