♫ How Can You Mend A Broken Heart ♫

I was so so so wrong about this song!  I could have sworn it was Al Green’s and that the Bee Gees covered it, but it turns out the Bee Gees wrote and were the first to record the song, with Al Green’s version coming a year later!

Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees wrote this in August 1970, along with Lonely Days when the Gibb brothers had reconvened following a period of break-up and alienation.  According to Barry Gibb …

“Robin came to my place, and that afternoon we wrote How Can You Mend a Broken Heart and that obviously was a link to us coming back together. We called Maurice, finished the song, went to the studio and once again, with only ‘Broken Heart’ as a basic structure, we went in to the studio with that and an idea for ‘Lonely Days’, and those two songs were recorded that night.”

They originally offered the song to Andy Williams, but ended up recording it themselves, although Williams did later cover the song on his album You’ve Got a Friend.

The song was sung live for the first time in 1971, in a performance that was notable as drummer Geoff Bridgford’s first appearance with the band. Although failing to chart on the UK Singles Chart, the song became the Bee Gees’ first US number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also reached number four on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 5 song for 1971. In Spain, it was released under the title “Cómo Puedes Arreglar Un Corazón Destrozado”.

Al Green recorded the song a year later, in 1972, and it was his version that was used in the 1999 movie Notting Hill.  Because it was the Al Green version I initially set out to play, and because I like both, though very different versions, I shall play both.

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? 
Al Green

I can think of younger days when living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do
I could never see tomorrow, but I was never told about the sorrow

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend a this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again

I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow, no one said a word about the sorrow

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Barry Gibb / Robin Gibb
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? – Notting Hill lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

13 thoughts on “♫ How Can You Mend A Broken Heart ♫

  1. Al Green is incredibly blessed, he can take any song and totally own it. I had no idea the Bee Gees wrote and performed this classic, not as memorable as Al’s soul stirring version. I can’t think of anyone covering this any better, just so satisfying. Great share!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like you, I didn’t realize the Bee Gees had written it, and while I knew they had recorded it, I didn’t know they were the first. Al Green remains my fave, but I like the Bee Gees’ version as well. Glad you enjoyed it!

      Like

  2. Jill, before Saturday Night Fever, the Bee Gees wrote many heartfelt ballads, this being a good example. Their harmonies are marvelous. It is not a question of whether Al Green sang it better, as he has a wonderful voice, but the fact he did cover it as it is a great song. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

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