Martina McBride had country music fans reaching tears when she released her powerful ballad, “Concrete Angel,” packed with a serious punch of emotion and heartache.
The song was released in 2002 as the fourth and last single off McBride’s Greatest Hits compilation album. It reached No. 5 on the U.S. Hot Country Songs charts and was ranked No. 1 by Rolling Stone on its list of the 40 Saddest Country Songs of All Time in 2019.
One Of The Saddest Songs You Will Ever Hear
Written by Stephanie Bentley and Rob Crosby, “Concrete Angel” tells the tale of a young, school-aged girl who endured physical abuse at the hands of her parents. The child in the song showed signs of abuse like wearing the same clothes every day, making an effort to cover her bruises, and crying out in the night.
Though the neighbors and her teacher noticed that there might be a problem, no one ever attempted to ask the child or intervened on her behalf. Because of their reluctance to get involved, the girl sadly died from abuse.
“Through the wind and the rain. She stands hard as a stone. In her world that she can rise above. But her dreams give her wings. And she flies to a place where. She’s loved. Concrete angel,” the song goes.
Child abuse is an escalating problem in the United States. In fact, the National Child Abuse Statistics revealed that four children are dying every day from abuse. Meanwhile, three out of four of these children are still under the age of four. There are also three million child abuse cases being reported in the United States every year, though some experts believe that there are at least three times as many cases were not reported.
And no one in country music has done more to bring attention to abuse than Martina McBride. After releasing “Concrete Angel,” people started to send stories and words of thanks by email and posts to McBride’s website. Some of these people were child abuse investigators and social workers, but most were child abuse survivors.
The song was also accompanied by an emotional music video, which received a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Music Video.
“I’ve certainly had a lot of people tell me when I’m performing at shows what the song means to them,” co-writer Rob Crosby said. “The fact that a few kids have seen the music video, which flashes the number for Child Help the USA, and have been able to escape a bad situation is a gratifying thing.”
You can watch it here below.