Farmer's Daughter

Album: Farmer's Daughter (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • This emotional tune is the title track and first single from 2010 American Idol runner up, Crystal Bowersox's debut album. Unlike most other American Idol debut records, the disc features several songs that Bowersox wrote during her pre-Idol days, including this one.
  • The personal and autobiographical song tells of Bowersox's difficult upbringing and tackles alcoholism and child abuse. She sings: "Halfway to crazy, not far from sane/ F---in' sick and tired of all your games/ All I wanted was for you to take care of me," The Idol runner-up told Access Hollywood in a video interview that it, "is an angry song to my mom, but she knows that I love her." Crystal added that her mother wasn't thrilled that her daughter wanted the song to be her first single but, "eventually, she'll be okay with it."
  • The song was the first debut single by an American Idol winner or runner-up that had to be edited for radio play because of the bad language.
  • The song's music video was directed by Meiert Avis who has also helmed clips for Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, U2, and Audioslave. Its concept is a "healing cycle" that begins with a little girl that represents Bowersox, whose mom pushes her away and travels through the entire cycle of anger/healing/forgiveness. "At the end, it comes to a resolution of, I guess, my acceptance of my mother and being a mother," Crystal told Access Hollywood. "It ends where I am today."
  • Bowersox discussed the song's meaning with Yahoo Music's Lyndsey Parker: "The subject matter is pretty heavy, but it's honest," she said. "There are plenty of people out there dealing right now with what I dealt with as a kid. Sadly, a lot of people can relate to it, and it's going to strike a chord.

    It's definitely autobiographical. I never want to talk about my mother poorly because she did the best she could... She was a single mom of three kids. That is not easy. We were poor and she would get frustrated and she didn't know how to deal with her emotions, and she'd turn to drinking and things would get physical a lot in our house growing up. There was constant chaos, cops on the lawn, physical fights and stuff. A lot of my youth was very dark and ugly. But I don't see 'Farmer's Daughter' as a dark song, because for me it was healing. All of the emotion in that song is no longer inside of me."
  • The album's cover photograph was shot in Monticello, New York and shows Bowersox reclining on a tatty couch frame situated on the porch of a shack. A dog sits next to her on a cushion. "Her name was Angel, and she belonged to the owner of the property where we had the shoot," she told Billboard magazine: "She just jumped up on the couch and we were hanging out. This sounds really cheesy and weird, but the pitbull is a sweet animal that just wants love until it's provoked - that's kind of how I've lived my life, too."
  • Bowersox's record company wanted the Kara DioGuardi and Chad Kroeger co-penned "Hold On," to be her first single, but the Idol runner-up was adamant this song was the best choice. She told MTV News: "It wasn't necessarily a battle, win or lose, it was more of just convincing the label that putting 'Farmer's Daughter' out as the first single was the best choice, as far as representing me as an artist and a songwriter. 'Hold On' is a great song — it's the safe choice — and I didn't want to just do the cookie-cutter, safe choice. Nothing to discredit the song, I gave it my best shot, I hope I did Kara and Chad proud, but as far as a first single goes, 'Farmer's Daughter' was the right choice, and I had to slowly get the label to agree with that, and they did."

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