Tim McGraw’s new single “I Called Mama” is, undoubtedly, touching the hearts of mothers everywhere this Mother’s Day. But before the song ever found its way to country music fans, McGraw played it on guitar for his wife, fellow superstar Faith Hill.

Well, he tried to, at least.

In an interview with Taste of Country and other media outlets, McGraw said he was moved by the song’s personal message the first time he heard it. So much so, that he wanted to introduce it to Hill on guitar rather than playing her the work tape version of it. However, as he began strumming the chords and singing the lyrics, his emotions got the best of him, and he had trouble getting through the whole song.

“I wanted to sing it to her. So I was trying to quickly learn the words to it until I could sing her, you know, just the first verse and a chorus. In about 30 minutes, I had it. I ran out and [told Faith], ‘I want you to hear this song,” McGraw recalled in a 1-hour Zoom call about the song that Lance Miller, Marv Green and Jimmy Yeary co-wrote.

“I sat down on the kitchen table, and I started singing it, and I couldn’t get through it. I got to the chorus, and every time I’d get to the chorus, I would fall apart on it, and she would start crying because I was crying,” he continued. “But it really hit me. It has such a simple message to it, but it means so much.”

McGraw eventually managed to get through the lyrics when he laid down the track in the studio. And, when it came to choosing his next single and other cuts to go on his upcoming album, Here on Earth, Hill showed her support for “I Called Mama.”

“When everybody was weighing in, and we were listening to songs....we were all going back and forth, even my daughters, about songs. Faith, she was a hand that weighed in big-time on this song,” McGraw explained. “[She] said, ‘That song will mean a lot to people, and it means a lot hearing it.’”

Indeed, McGraw was adamant about getting his wife’s opinion. But, the song’s message, in many ways, actually speaks to his mother, Betty Trimble, who worked tirelessly to provide for him and his two sisters when he was growing up. The tune, on one level, pays tribute to the special connection between a mother and her child. It will likely serve as a meaningful message to Hill’s three daughters, Maggie, 21, Audrey, 18, and, Gracie, 23, as they grow older and look to their mother for advice during times of uncertainty.

“Having [Faith] as their role model, I feel like as a dad, so fortunate that they can look to her as their guidepost for their lives as women,” McGraw said of Hill. “She’s a special lady, and when she puts her hand on something, it’s hard to not listen to her for sure.”

McGraw also noted that while he sang “I Called Mama” to Hill, he hasn’t performed the tune for his mother in person yet. And, when that time comes, he hopes he can sing it tear-free.

“I don’t know if I can. We’ll see,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll do it enough times by then that maybe I can get through it without embarrassing myself.”

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