Mayday
by Cam

Album: Welcome to Cam Country (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • Cam is stuck in a struggling relationship. She laments that she needs to leave her lover, but is unable to summon up the effort to do so.

    Mayday, mayday
    This is an emergency
    Mayday, mayday
    You've gotta let me leave


    Mayday is an international distress call used by ships and aircraft in radio communications. The Mayday procedure word was originated in 1923 by Frederick Stanley Mockford (1897–1962), who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. When asked to think of a word that could be used internationally to indicate distress and be easily understood by in an emergency, Mockford proposed "Mayday" an alliteration of the French "m'aider" in versez m'aider ("come and help me").
  • Cam penned "Mayday" with "Burning House" co-writer Tyler Johnson. In fact Johnson had already started the song, before he'd ever met Cam, but was unable to progress beyond a few lines. When Johnson started writing with Cam, she was in a relationship that wasn't working, so the singer readily connected with the concept.
  • While Johnson's original few lyrics were full of resentment about the sinking relationship, Cam added some positivity. "Maybe you're saying you're the victim, but really it takes two to be in it," she explained to Billboard magazine. "You want more, and you know you want better, but a part of you might be like, 'No, this is all I can get.' You hear this internal monologue back and forth, just trying to decide with yourself, 'How bad is this really? Should I put up with this? Oh, it's their fault that I'm here.' You're putting all the power and the blame on the other party."
  • Cam told The Boot how the song came from personal experiences for both her and Tyler Johnson. "Both Tyler and I have had relationships that were very much like that," she revealed. "What it represents - that feeling of being in a situation that, you know you should want more, but you're afraid that this is as good as it's going to get - I feel like that feeling is something that everybody knows."

    "I'm really proud that we tapped into something that's probably not comfortable to talk about. Go figure. It's what we do," Cam added. "It's a dark one, but it's something that I feel like, everybody knows that feeling."
  • Cam plays a 1930s female pilot in the music video. "I take off and it's not a flight that ends well, and that's where 'Mayday' comes back in," she explained to People. "The plane crashes, I sink, pieces of plane sink."

    Cam finds herself sinking because she can't let go of the one relationship keeping her down. "I had a boyfriend that told me, 'No one's going to love you like I loved you,' and [I thought], 'That's so terrifying,'" the singer explained of the story behind the song. "You're so afraid, so you stay in this crappy relationship. You've got to get out."

    The video was shot at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in California and required the singer to hold her breath under water to "fake drown."

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