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Clarkson wrote this about her parents' divorce when she was 6 years old. The song might be aimed at her mom. When the divorce happened, her mom was always busy and little Kelly had to make sandwiches for herself to eat. (thanks, Steph - Hickville, MO)
In the song, Clarkson sings about trying not to make the same mistakes her parents did, and how because of the divorce, she is scared to fall in love, in fear of going through the same pain her parents did.
On her Breakaway DVD, Clarkson explains that she started writing this long before she won American Idol. Kelly was 16 when she was with friends one night and they were talking about the influence that older people/peers have on you and started writing it. She sent a demo tape of the song to producers David Hodges and Ben Moody (formerly of Evanescence), who liked the song and worked on it with her. (thanks, Carolina - Kindersley, Canada)
Clarkson told Entertainment Weekly why she'd like to be remembered for this song in a 2011 interview: "I think because I worked so damn hard to get it on an album and just everyone was against it. There was some blood, sweat and tears going on there. I think I'm most proud of that song—just getting it on an album because no one liked it until it hit # 1 worldwide and everybody was on board."
Clarkson told the UK newspaper The Guardian: "You may as well grab a knife. That song really is the most depressing one I've ever written. I tried to get it on Thankful, and was laughed at and told I wasn't a good writer. So then I tried to get it on Breakaway – and the label saw the results, people responding to it, and allowed it to become a single. Then took credit for its success, of course."
Clarkson revealed that she burst into tears after playing this song for the first time to Sony record executive Clive Davis. "I cried because he hated it and told me verbatim that I was a 'sh--ty writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me,'" she said. "He continued on about how the song didn't rhyme and how I should just shut up and sing. This was devastating coming from a man who I, as a young girl, considered a musical hero and was so honored to work with."
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