Country music isn’t shy of showing emotion and vulnerability. There are a lot of heartbreak anthems all across the spectrum of country music, and one that stands out is Crystal Gayle‘s “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.”
Crystal Gayle’s Heartbreak Ballad
Gayle’s soft voice is a contrast to the lyrics of the song. “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” captures the stages of heartbreak – from denial to bargaining, to the dawning feeling of losing something good in your life.
Tell me no secrets, tell me some lies
Give me no reasons, give me alibies
Tell me you love me and don’t let me cry
Say anything but don’t say goodbye
I didn’t mean to treat you bad
Didn’t know just what I had
But honey now I do
And don’t it make my brown eyes
Don’t it make my brown eyes
Don’t it make my brown eyes blue
What makes it unique is the jazzy undertones of the song. Sure, it may be filed under what a traditional country song would sound like. But, the integration of the jazz notes makes the song sound sweeter and sadder.
“Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” provokes powerful emotions and that was what got people around the world hooked on it. The song became an international success. It topped the Billboard country music chart. In addition, it became Gayle’s first, and biggest, crossover pop hit. Her album received Platinum status, and “Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue” instantly became her signature song.
She even won a Grammy for it! In 1978, Gayle won the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
Hunting down its origins, the song is actually meant to be a sequel to “I’ve Cried the Blue Right Out Of My Eyes” – a heartbreak ballad in its own right! This song was originally written by her older sister, Loretta Lynn.
Watch Gayle perform it live here!