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Daughters

Documentary about Heavier Things
"Ten More Songs" Documentary

John Mayer: So check this out, here is the project for this evening. Here is a song—it's the most similar to "Come Back to Bed" than anything else on the record. So the idea is I guess to space it out idea-wise so that you can make them different enough, and I will go over the changes. It's a 6/8. 

It's a constant smackdown if you are not done, to hear in a very sobering way, "Keep writing." It's like a kick to the stomach, it's like, I don't have anything left.

There's a main idea to that song waiting there. We haven't found it yet. That's why when we play it something's not clicking.

Jack Joseph Puig: This is one of those that we're going to hit a moment and we have to capture that moment.

Live in Austin, TX 2003
Frank Erwin Center
This is a song about people being affected by stuff that's got nothing to do with you, even though you take it on as your personal challenge to fix people. Cause everybody loves somebody in repair. Everybody loves a fixer-upper, you know. You might not want to admit it. But women, that's what makes me like you. I mean, that's what makes me appreciate you, but that's what makes me similar to you, at the same time. HOMONYMS!
Article from Berklee College Magazine 2004
John Mayer Returns to Berklee
Introducing his song "Daughters," he said, "I wrote this song in my hotel room about a year and a half ago. I missed all of my press appointments that day. When you have a song coming out, stay there. If you miss your class, I'll write you a pass. It happens so rarely, don't move, just keep writing. I didn't leave until I was done with this one."
Interview in Berklee alumni magazine
"Running with the Big Dogs John Mayer, '98"

MS: I think “Daughters” is a great song, but I never would have picked it to become such a big radio hit.

JM: I didn’t think it would be either. The story behind that song becoming a hit is about trusting someone else’s view. If I hadn’t done that, it wouldn’t have been a single and people would have forgotten the Heavier Things album completely. But someone heard the song and said it would work. I said it wouldn’t. When I accepted the Grammy, I said I still didn’t think it was a good choice for a single. You’re not always right, so it’s important to assemble a team of people who are right more often than you are.

Recap of Berklee seminar
John Mayer: Converting Information to Inspiration
And then they said, What about "Daughters?" Can you put "Daughters" out? Now, I had thought, again public is smarter than me, I thought that that's just this little song that hangs on the record. That's track eight, that's track nine, that's the one you discover three months in like, Oh this is here! And they said, "No, they've researched it, we really want it to go, we think it can be a hit." And I was like, I don't want it to be a hit. I would rather not have a hit with this song because this song is going to peg me forever as [whispers] "sensitive songwriter guy." And I gave myself a sort of "three strikes and you're out" rule, and I thought "Daughters" would have been sort of the third strike.
Article in Rolling Stone, 2013
"John Mayer on His New Voice, Summer Tour and Dating Katy Perry"

PD: Would you jam on some of the old singles, like “Daughters,“ and extend it into a long jam?

JM: No. I think some of those songs aren’t designed for it.

Charlie Rose Interview
Interview from appearance on The Charlie Rose Show

Most of the time I get the best results when music and lyrics happen at the same time. They both climb up either side of the hill. 

That's when it's really, really good. A lot of times I have music that is sitting in a bin, and a lot of times, fewer times than most, I have lyrics that are sitting in a bin. And every once in a while, you get the title that has chords and words and sounds dripping out of it. I had that with "Daughters". I knew when I wrote the very first part of the chorus for "Daughters": "fathers be good to your daughters/ daughters will love like you," it's a bit of a limerick. And when I had that, I went, this is sort of going to sire an entire song.