Song Lyric Sunday — Breaking Up is Hard to Do

For This week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us breakup songs as our theme. And what better breakup song is there besides Neil Sedaka’s….

We interrupt this post to bring you this special message. At the last minute, Fandango has decided to go with Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” a truly heartbreaking song.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me” was written by the Nashville songwriting team of Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin. It was recorded by American singer Bonnie Raitt in 1991 for her eleventh studio album Luck of the Draw and was released as the album’s third single that year. The song became one of Raitt’s most successful singles, reaching the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the top 10 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me” is about a woman who knows her man has lost interest in her and she just wants to spend one more night with him before moving on with her life. Instead of lying to herself or trying to work things out, she confronts the reality and seeks closure with that final night together. In the morning, she’ll be on her way.

Reid supposedly got the idea for the song from a newspaper article about a guy who got drunk and shot up his girlfriend’s car. When the judge sentenced him and asked him what he had learned, the guy said, “You can’t make a woman love you if she don’t.”

Raitt, who produced the record, said of the song, “It was absolutely one of the most honest and original heartache songs I had ever heard. It was a point of view that I had been on both sides of, and it struck me deeply. I knew immediately I wanted to sing it.” Getting the news that someone doesn’t love you anymore is devastating, but Raitt felt that delivering it is worse.

“I love that song,” Raitt said, “and so does the audience. So it’s almost a sacred moment when you share that, that depth of pain with your audience. Because they get really quiet, and I have to summon … some other place in order to honor that space.”

Here are the lyrics to “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”

Turn down the lights
Turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me
Tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don’t patronize
Don’t patronize me

‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

I’ll close my eyes, then I won’t see
The love you don’t feel when you’re holding me
Morning will come and I’ll do what’s right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight

‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

15 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Breaking Up is Hard to Do

  1. Terveen Gill July 18, 2021 / 3:07 am

    Breaking up is hard to do. Hope neither sticks like crazy glue. May have to work around that.
    The lyrics are deep and really sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pensitivity101 July 18, 2021 / 3:37 am

    A beautiful choice Fandango. I heard a contestant sing this on one of the X factor type shows years ago when we had a TV, but never knew who sang the original. The guy got through to the next round, then disappeared off the entertainment circuit altogether, which was a shame as he had a fabulous voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Irene July 18, 2021 / 6:28 am

    My favourite Bonnie Raitt song since the 90s!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. newepicauthor July 18, 2021 / 6:30 am

    I hope that somebody does the Neil Sedaka classic, but I am always up for Bonnie Raitt. You did a fantastic writeup on this lovely tune today Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen July 18, 2021 / 7:45 am

    The writers and Raitt classed it up from the version delivered by the drunk guy in the newspaper. Same moral across the board… can’t do it. That album was an example of a country singer getting into my field of vision. Excellent singing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 18, 2021 / 10:42 am

      Thanks, Christine. Yours was a good choice when it comes to retribution. 😂

      Like

  6. aisasami July 25, 2021 / 7:13 am

    I thought you would use the Chicago song “Hard Habit to Break” because it has a similar line. But the Bonnie Ratt song is good too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. leigha66 July 31, 2021 / 10:16 am

    Bonnie Raitt is a great singer… loved this song for years!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.