Single by John Mayer
from the album Heavier Things
B-side"Come Back to Bed", "Home Life"
ReleasedSeptember 28, 2004
Songwriter(s)John Mayer
Producer(s)Jack Joseph Puig
John Mayer singles chronology
Music video
"John Mayer - Daughters" on YouTube

"Daughters" is the third single from Heavier Things, the 2003 studio album from blues rock singer-songwriter John Mayer. The critically acclaimed song won numerous awards, including the 2005 Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 47th Grammy Awards. It has sold 1,007,000 copies in the US as of May 2013.[1]


Lyrically, "Daughters" is an admonition to fathers (and to a lesser extent, mothers) to nurture their daughters in their childhood, because the relationship will affect their future relationships with men as adults.[2] He uses his own troubled lover to illustrate his belief.

Mayer has at various times told different, and sometimes conflicting, stories as to the inspiration for the song, ranging from MTV's "Real World" (in a Sirius Morning Mash Up Show interview in May 2007) to an unnamed ex-girlfriend.

In 2010, on VH1's "Storytellers", Mayer stated that he wrote the song about an ex-girlfriend who had trust issues because of her absent father, which led to the decline and eventual split of their relationship.


Release controversy

Mayer had been resistant on releasing the song as a single,[3] and was still skeptical despite the Grammy win, which he mentioned in his speech upon receiving the award.[4] On several occasions, Mayer had pushed to release the songs "Come Back to Bed" and "Something's Missing" as singles, as they were more the kind of music he was leaning towards making.[citation needed] However, the label decided that "Daughters" would be more well received by radio.

In 2005, Mayer converted the song into an all-out blues song with his group John Mayer Trio on the live album, Try!, stripping away the acoustic elements the song had become known for,[5] although not similar version to the "Electric Guitar Mix" of the song as included on the single's re-release[clarification needed].

Music video

The music video is a grayscale video of Mayer playing the guitar and singing the song in a dark studio, intercut between scenes of a girl (i.e., a "daughter"). The video clip, directed by Mario Sorrenti, features the Australian supermodel Gemma Ward.



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[18] Platinum 70,000
United States (RIAA)[19] 2× Platinum 2,000,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Track listings

All songs are by Mayer unless otherwise noted.

Original release

  1. "Daughters" – 3:59
  2. "Come Back to Bed" – 11:56 (Live at the C.W. Mitchell Pavilion, July 24, 2004)
  3. "Home Life" (David LaBruyere/Mayer) – 6:50 (Live at the Shoreline Amplitheaer, July 16, 2004)

"Come Back to Bed" and "Home Life" are the same live versions that appear on Mayer's as/is volumes released in 2004


  1. "Daughters" – 3:59
  2. "Daughters" (Electric guitar mix) – 3:59
  3. "Daughters" (Home demo) – 4:59

Appearances in media

"Daughters" was played at the end of the 7th Heaven episode "The Fine Art of Parenting". It was also in the first episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Mayer performed the song himself in the 2015 buddy comedy film Get Hard.

Cover versions

In 2005, trumpeter Rick Braun covered an instrumental version from album "Yours Truly."[20][21]


  1. ^ Brian Mansfield (May 26, 2010). "'Before He Cheats' tops 3 million, and other 'Idol' download news". Idol Chatter. USA Today.
  2. ^ Miller, Brian (2004). "JOHN MAYER AND HIS INSPIRATION FOR DAUGHTERS" Archived May 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine ArtisanNews.com Retrieved November 15, 2007
  3. ^ No byline (February 26, 2005), "Backstage Banter". Billboard. 117 (9):69
  4. ^ Mayer's Grammy speech where he indicated he'd intended other songs for release instead of "Daughters"
  5. ^ Big Mouth Strikes Again
  6. ^ "Issue 786" ARIA Top 100 Singles. National Library of Australia. Retrieved December 22, 2023.
  7. ^ "John Mayer – Daughters" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  8. ^ "John Mayer Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  9. ^ "John Mayer Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  10. ^ "John Mayer Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "John Mayer Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  12. ^ "John Mayer Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  13. ^ "2004 The Year in Charts: Most-Played Adult Top 40 Songs". Billboard Radio Monitor. Vol. 12, no. 51. December 17, 2004. p. 26.
  14. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 2005". Billboardtop100of.com. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  15. ^ a b "2005 The Year in Music & Touring". Billboard. Vol. 117, no. 52. December 24, 2005. p. YE-76.
  16. ^ "2005 The Year in Charts: Top Mainstream Top 40 Songs". Billboard Radio Monitor. Vol. 13, no. 50. December 16, 2005. p. 26.
  17. ^ "2005 The Year in Charts: Top Triple-A Songs". Billboard Radio Monitor. Vol. 13, no. 50. December 16, 2005. p. 57.
  18. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2021 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association.
  19. ^ "American single certifications – John Mayer – Daughters". Recording Industry Association of America.
  20. ^ "Yours Truly overview". Allmusic.com.
  21. ^ "Rick Braun Yours Truly". SmoothViews.com.