I love sad songs. When I asked my therapist friend why so many people seem to like sad music, she told me that sad music makes it possible for us to process sadness that we wouldn’t be able to face directly. That is, when you need a cry, it’s a lot easier to listen to Linda Ronstadt singing Shattered than dredge up some old hurt again (Note: There are links to videos of all songs in this post). I also love Don’t Leave Me Songs. I haven’t had a chance to ask my friend why we like Don’t Leave Me Songs but I suspect I know the reason … we all harbor some degree of fear of abandonment. So, assuming you buy my completely unsubstantiated theory, a good Don’t Leave Me Song needs some desperation. Chicago’s 1977 hit, If You Leave Me Now doesn’t qualify. You’ll take away the biggest part of me? Really? And Sergio Mendes’ Never Gonna Let You Go is too full of hope. We’re talking FEAR of abandonment here. Pink’s Please Don’t Leave Me is entirely too upbeat, as is KC and the Sunshine Band’s roller rink classic, Please Don’t Go. In I Can’t Make you Love Me, Bonnie Raitt is pretty desperate, begging for just one more night with her man (she’ll probably try the same ploy tomorrow).
So, OK, my favorite Don’t Leave Me Song was written by British songwriters Andy Hill and Peter Sinfield and recorded by Celine Dion on her 1993 Colour of My Love album. Although it never broke the Top 20 Adult Contemporary Chart in the U.S., it was a huge hit in the U.K. and went Number One all over Europe. The arrangement by Aldo Nova and Christopher Neil was more rock-influenced than most of Dion’s hits and featured lead guitar that contributes to the song’s desperate edge. And great lyrics … I look in your eyes, there’s a distant light, And you and I know there’ll be a storm tonight.
So, what’s your favorite Don’t Leave Me Song?