In Martina McBride’s album Eleven the song “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” was by far the most memorable. Martina McBride has always been known for her powerful voice and this song does an amazing job of showcasing that. This track was Grammy nominated for Best Country Solo Performance. This song also hit number 4 on the US Hot Country Songs Billboard, and 61 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The elements that contributed to this song success were the captivating story, the song structure, and the style of delivery. “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” is an inspirational song for both survivors and their supporters who are battling with breast cancer.
“I’m Gonna Love You Through It” is about a 38 year old mother of three who finds out she has breast cancer. At the end of the first verse the audience is introduced to the husband who says, “I know that you’re afraid and I am, too, but you’ll never be alone, I promise you.” Ben Hayslip, Sonya Isaacs, and Jimmy Yeary co-wrote this track as a tribute to Isaac’s mother, a breast cancer survivor (Hensel). It is unclear why female country artist Sonya Isaacs didn’t try and perform this song, but it might be because she hasn’t produced a hit single since 2003. Isaacs needed a respected female performer, like Martina McBride, to get a song about cancer to an audience who was willing to listen. Martina McBride has personally never suffered from breast cancer, but this song is a beautiful tribute to those who have. This song’s intended audience is females who have been, or are currently diagnosed with breast cancer and their family and friends. The song ends with the mother surviving and explaining how she was only able to get past all of the struggles with her husband’s love and support.
The song structure of “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” is a verse-chorus. This song structure is known for telling a story with a reinforced message. The message that this song is trying emphasize was that you will always have the love and support of your friends and family, but especially when you are tried with a life threatening disease. This song does not include a bridge. A bridge often reinforces a message and takes a song into the future. It is not fair for the writers to try and predict the future of a cancer survivor.
The delivery of the song is closely aligned with the story. The verses contain just Martina McBride’s single voice with instrumentals to evoke the feeling of being alone, while the chorus adds a back up singer to help round out the sound and make if feel more supported. The first verse is when the audiences is introduced to the mother and learns that the doctor has just confirmed that she has breast cancer. The second verse is about how she is struggling with her new identity after the surgery. The chorus separating these two verses is an inspiration reminder made by her husband that “together we can do it.” The chorus harmonies suggest that survivor was never alone; in fact someone was always listening and waiting to support her when she needed it. The music video for this song includes a commentary/instrumental introduction and interludes that contained real survivors’ life stories. This only added to the emotion of the track and made the song more relatable to the audience.
The style of this country single contains a sense of clarity that contains both directness and economy. The writers didn’t include any unfamiliar filler language to convolute the song’s central theme. Most people have either battled cancer or know someone who has, so this song becomes more relevant to different people at different times. The diction of this track helps express the women’s feelings of being lost and afraid and the husband’s unwavering stream of encouragement. The writers didn’t try and sugarcoat the situation at hand. They explain that people who are battling with breast cancer will experience moments of weakness and there will be “forced smiles and baggy shirts to hide what the cancer [takes] from [you].” The writers acknowledge all of the feeling that must be going through survivors’ minds and combats them with the over arching message of “I’m gonna love you through it.”
This song is titled “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” not “You’re Gonna Love Me Through It” because this is intended to be inspirational to people who are supporting the victims as well. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, so this song for supporters, survivors, and people who have been, or will be both (U.S Breast Cancer Statistics). After this song was released Martina McBride went on to reveal her new partnership Stanford Women’s Cancer Center and performed the single atop the Empire State Building. Martina explains that she thinks that this performance was “one of the most memorable moments of [her] career.” She stated “It’s so powerful to be among these strong, courageous women and sing a song that means so much to [her] and [she has] been told means a lot to survivors as well. You can never really judge what impact a song is going to have, but [she] just felt in [her] heart that it would make a difference to someone. [She] felt like it would lift someone up, give someone hope and that’s why [she] did it. That’s what music should do” (Reuter). Martina McBride has also gone on to partner with the Women’s Survivor Alliance and preform this song at Grand Ole Opry during the National Women’s Survivor Convention in 2013 (Rugusa).
“I’m Gonna Love You Through It” is a wonderfully empowering song that has been able to transcend across country music and the US as a whole. Every artist has a few legendary songs that they are known for and this song has proudly become one of Martina McBride’s.
Hensel, Amanda. “Martina McBride, ‘I’m Gonna Love You Through It’ – Song Review Read More: Martina McBride, ‘I’m Gonna Love You Through It’ – Song Review.” Taste of Country. N.p., 12 July 2011. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. <http://tasteofcountry.com/martina-mcbride-im-gonna-love-you-through-it/>.
Reuter, Annie. “Martina McBride Lights Up Empire State Building For Breast Cancer Awareness.” Billboard. N.p., 17 Oct. 2011. Web. 06 Apr. 2015. <http://www.billboard.com/articles/photos/live/465795/martina-mcbride-lights-up-empire-state-building-for-breast-cancer>.
Ragusa, Tammy. “Martina McBride Celebrates Cancer Survivors.” Country Weekly. N.p., 22 Apr. 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2015. <http://www.countryweekly.com/news/martina-mcbride-celebrates-cancer-survivors>.
“U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics.” Breastcancer.org. N.p., 20 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 Apr. 2015. <http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics>.