Story Behind the Song: Lauren Alaina, ‘Doin’ Fine’
Lauren Alaina didn't hold anything back when writing her single "Doin' Fine," from her sophomore album, Road Less Traveled. The song, which begins with the line "Daddy got sober, Mama got his best friend," is, Alaina admits, autobiographical.
Written after her father completed rehab and her parents' marriage dissolved, "Doin' Fine" finds Alaina being brutally honest, even though she knew that her family might not be pleased; thankfully, both her mother and father gave Alaina their blessing, and the song became part of the singer's healing process. Below, Alaina shares the story behind the song with The Boot and other reporters.
I think the honesty in [the song] “Road Less Traveled” is also in “Doin’ Fine,” but the song is more about my family as well, which is scary. It’s not just my problem, but now it’s my whole family’s problem, which is weird.
I had to talk to them about it, before I even put it on the album. It is brutally honest and leaves a lot of room for people to have a lot of opinions. But I think we all have problems, and we’re all broken, and it’s important for me to share that brokenness, because it got me here, and going through those things shaped me into the human that I am now. I got really tired of fighting who I am, and I did that for a really long time; I was trying to be this perfect girl, perfect family, perfect body, and those people aren’t real. So I got tired of trying to be that. I think this song just kind of speaks that message overall. That’s my message as an artist: Nobody’s perfect.
I just put [the song] in an email [to my parents], literally, without anything else except the attachment, because I was scared to death. "Same Day, Different Bottle" [also on Road Less Traveled] was the first song I wrote about my family, which is about my dad’s alcoholism, which I sent to him in rehab. But "Doin’ Fine" was the first time I was brutally specific and honest about what was going on.
I was particularly scared about my mom ... I was really worried that my mom was going to think I was talking bad about her, but I was just trying to be as honest about what was going on as I could. My mom married a family friend of my parents’ from high school, and my dad went through rehab and married a 30-year-old. I couldn’t fit the 30-year-old in there; it didn’t rhyme [laughs]. But, all joking aside, I sent it in an email, because I was scared to death.
I didn’t really know what to say about it, and my mom called me. It was a really hard time for us when I sent the song -- it was right in the midst of it -- and she called and told me it was her favorite song that I’ve ever written, which was so healing for me, for her to say that, because it’s her story, too, not just mine, and that’s really scary. I wasn’t as scared about Dad, because I’d written "Same Day, Different Bottle" about him already, and that was a little more brutally honest about him. And so, I wasn’t as scared to send it to him as I was her. But I have the best mom in the world, and she handled it with grace.
They’re both really supportive of me, and they know, as a songwriter, I’m going to tell their stories, too. So maybe they won’t tell me as much for the next record. But they’ve been really good about it. And, like the song says, we’re all broken, and no one has a perfect family, but they’re perfect for me, and that’s what we get.
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