Today’s song is ‘Love Hurts’. This song was written and composed by the American songwriter Boudleaux Bryant. It was first recorded by the Everly Brothers in July 1960 and the song is also well known from a 1975 international hit version by the Scottish hard rock band, Nazareth. It was also a top-five hit in the UK in 1975 by the English singer Jim Capaldi
The most successful recording of the song was by the hard rock band, Nazareth. They took the song to the U.S. Top 10 in 1975 and had a Number 1 in Norway and the Netherlands. In the UK the most successful version of the song was by former Traffic member Jim Capaldi, who took it to Number 4 in the charts in November 1975 during an 11-week run. The song was also covered by Cher in 1975 for her album ‘Stars’. Cher re-recorded the song in 1991 for her album of the same name. Rod Stewart recorded the song in 2006 for his album ‘Still the Same-Great Rock Classics of Our Time’ which was Number 1 on the ‘Billboard 200 Chart’. Roy Orbison covered ‘Love Hurts’ in 1961 and issued it as the B-side to Running Scared’. While ‘Running Scared’ was an international hit, the B-side only picked up significant airplay in Australia. Consequently, chart figures for Australia show ‘Running Scared’/’Love Hurts’ as a double A-Side, with both sides peaking at Number 5. This makes Orbison's recording of ‘Love Hurts’ the first version to be a hit.
I was in my early thirties and working as a Probation Officer in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire when this song was first released. Over my 26-year Probation-Officer experience, I don’t think there was one day when I didn’t witness or experience the hurt of one individual or another. Sometimes I could help alleviate their hurt in some measure but often the best I could do was to understand it and share it empathetically with them.
We all experience hurt over our lifetime and the one thing I have learned about love, as the song says, is that ‘Love Hurts’. Love can hurt by being ‘too little’, leading one to feel unloved and inadequate. Love can also hurt by being ‘too much’, that it becomes overpowering and too controlling to the recipient of it. Love can hurt when distance separates the couple; especially if such distance is enforced like army service call-up for instance or working away from home with one’s occupational duties. Love will hurt when love is lost as a result of one side betraying the other through an act of unfaithfulness. Love hurts when bereavement leads to a more permanent separation. Love used to hurt so many men and women of homosexual nature before same-sex coupling was accepted by society. At a time, when to show such love led to imprisonment, their love was kept concealed from the rest of family and society. Love of one’s religion can also hurt the individual when it leads to discrimination or being ostracised by one’s family, friends or community. Love of a favourite sport, pleasure, occupation or any activity that preoccupies both one’s time and attention will almost certainly hurt the loved ones who frequently feel less loved by the absent one. Love hurts if one cannot find a loving partner, despite all of one’s efforts to secure a lifelong mate.
When the norm in society is to have several attempts in securing a satisfactory, loving and lasting relationship before one hopefully gets it right, not being able to have at least one stab at it can seem grossly unfair. When you are a person who has never had a steady boyfriend or girlfriend because something about you lacks the right currency to strike a purchase in the marriage market, you start to doubt your own sense of worth.
There is no doubt that something so valuable as feeling love for someone and being loved in return is simply ‘as good as it gets’. It ought to be of no surprise, therefore, that if one ‘never gets’, they instinctively know they are missing out on the greatest feeling of all; and just as love for some people can hurt, the absence of love for others hurts far more.
I jointly dedicate my song today to four Facebook friends, each of whom celebrates their birthday today. They are, Denise Gibson from Oxenhope, West Yorkshire (very near to where I currently live) : Robin Wegman from Waterville, Ohio in America ( a place I have never been but was in nearby Chicago in the American Midwest once) : Wendy Dunlop who lives in Northampton, Northamptonshire (where I once spent the most enjoyable of romantic weekends with a total stranger) and Eva Flavin from Portlaw, County Waterford in Ireland (the village where I was born). Happy birthday everyone. I hope that you all have a smashing day. Thank you all for being my Facebook friends.
Love and peace. Bill xxx