Thursday, August 17, 2006

Only Love Can Break Your Heart, as performed by Saint Etienne

In the early nineties I wasn't very interested in Neil Young, but Saint Etienne offered this rendering that made his lyrics meaningful and touching. Only Love Can Break Your Heart became a maxim to live for, pretty much like "love will tear us apart" or "shyness is nice, but..." It was the cool keyboard loop and the danceable-yet-nostalgic beat. Along Everything But The Girl and His Name is Alive (very different projects that still found a common dancefloor in my very own internal Hertbreak Sound System), Saint Etienne evoked rainy Sundays, cobblestone roads and sad-yet-stylish breakups. She sang with childish ache:

When you were young
And on your own
How did it feel to be alone

Every heartbreak needs a soundtrack. Now, after fifteen years or so, I can finally listen to this song feeling "safe", somehow immune to its structural sadness while still able to enjoy it. This is a song to hold to but a song to leave behind, to grow: only love can break your heart, indeed, but only true love can put it back together.

1 comment:

Ivett said...

Wow, it's true! Love is always the answer to any heartbreaking question. Love can hurt but also heal. What a touching song...