Mary Gauthier was born to an unwed mother in 1962 and given up for adoption. Her album The Foundling
deals with her quest to find her birth mother and to reconcile what she calls the "Orphan Feeling" she's had since childhood. She wrote "The Orphan King" on a trip to St. Vincent's Women and Infants Asylum in New Orleans, where she was taken before she was adopted. Determined not to let her mother's inability to embrace her defeat her, she repeated "I still believe in love" over and over again.
In a Songfacts interview with Mary Gauthier
, she explained: "In my heart I know that no matter how much of a struggle it is, that love is worth it, and that without love, I'm just doomed. But with love, I'll be okay. And the human reaction to pain over love is to pull back from it. Certainly I've done my share of that. But in the end, it's not possible to live that way. It goes against our nature. And it's deadly and soul destroying to live that way. And so at some point it is a choice: you can choose to believe - faith is a choice. It's called faith because you don't have facts to base it on. There's no objective truth, there's no scientific analysis that's going to make it true or false. It's faith. You don't have proof. You just make a choice and believe. And I figured out that love is like that. You make a decision and believe. And if it fails you in a certain situation, that doesn't mean it's going to fail you in the next one. It's a decision, it really is."