August 6, 2018

“For My Broken Heart:” A Chronicle of a Failed Relationship

"For My Broken Heart:" A Chronicle of a Failed Relationship 1
Reba McEntire |Photo Credits:

About the Song

Released on September 30, 1991, “For My Broken Heart” was a number-one country single recorded by country music singer Reba McEntire. It was the first single and also the title track of her sixteenth studio album, For My Broken Heart. Country music songwriters Keith Palmer and Liz Hengber penned the song. On the other hand, McEntire co-produced this hit with longtime friend and record producer Tony Brown for MCA Records.

Topping the country music charts in both the U. S. and Canada, “For My Broken Heart” was a definite hit in 1991 – 1992. Two weeks after its release, it debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks at no. 64. It then went and peaked at no. 1 on December 7, 1991, and stayed on the charts since then. On the other hand, the song was also hailed the no. 1 country song in Canada’s RPM Country Tracks in the same year.

Originally, McEntire planned and was set to record the song as a duet with fellow country music artist Clint Black. However, he was not available during that time making McEntire record the song solo.

Song Story

As obvious as the title sounds, “For My Broken Heart” narrates about a failed relationship. The first verse of the song talks about a man who is packing up his belongings and then leaving. The woman, on the other hand, is left in the couch while she’s asleep. Despite being “so sure life wouldn’t go on” without him, she then wakes up and tells herself,

“I guess the world didn’t stop for my broken heart.”

Here are the first two stanzas of the song:

There were no angry words at all
As we carried boxes down the hall
One by one we put them in your car
Nothing much for us to say
One last goodbye and you drove away
I watched your tail-lights
As they faded in the dark
I couldn’t face the night in that lonely bed
So I laid down on the couch instead

Last night I prayed the Lord my soul to keep
Then I cried myself to sleep
So sure life wouldn’t go on without you
But oh this sun is blinding me
As it wakes me from the dark
I guess the world didn’t stop
For my broken heart

The Creation and Behind the Song

McEntire’s sixteenth studio album, For My Broken Heart,  was conceived out of sorrow and in memory of her touring band members who have lost their lives from a plane crash.

"For My Broken Heart:" A Chronicle of a Failed Relationship 2
Reba’s touring band who died from a plane crash in 1991. |Photo Credits:

While on a plane bound for Amarillo, Texas, McEntire’s touring band members Chris Austin, Paula Evans, Terry Jackson, Kirk Cappello, Michael Thomas, Anthony Saputo and Joey Cigainero and tour manager Jim Hammon didn’t know the fate that they will have on that one March morning. The story then broke out and headlines of the news then reported that the plane that they were in crashed along the US-Mexico border. Everyone aboard, including the pilot and the co-pilot, died on impact. Meanwhile, McEntire and her husband and manager Narvel Blackstock boarded on another airplane later but have not heard of the tragic incident before landing.

Upon hearing the sad news, McEntire was heartbroken. She could not believe what had just happened. In an interview with LA Times in 1991, spokeswoman Jennifer Bohler shared how the incident affected McEntire. She said:

“She was very close to all of them (the band members). Some of them had been with her for years. Reba is totally devastated by this. It’s like losing part of your family. Right now she just wants to get back to Nashville.”

With this, the said album and the songs in it came into existence. The song selection process became a healing agent as McEntire scavenged through the rubble of her life in an attempt to glue the pieces back together. With tears on her eyes, Reba McEntire dedicates this album to her late band members who have lost their lives in a fateful event.

“I guess the world didn’t stop for my broken heart. Clock still ticking, life goes on. Radio still plays a song. I try to put my scattered thoughts in place.”

WATCH the music video of Reba McEntire’s 1991 no. 1 hit “For My Broken Heart:”

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