Walking On Broken Glass

Album: Diva (1992)
Charted: 8 14
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Contrary to the lilting melody, the lyrics describe a woman who is anguished over a breakup. The guy in the song has smashed her to pieces, which now feel like broken glass beneath her feet.

    Lennox had been through some rather intense relationships, including a short-lived marriage in 1984, but in this song she was likely playing a role. In later years, she cited Diva tracks like "Why" and "Precious" as being very personal, but "Walking On Broken" glass doesn't fit that category. Explaining how she could get into character, she told Q in 1992: "I've always loved R&B and I had that in mind when I was singing. In fact, I'd think of myself as a very old black man - and I know I've got no right to imagine I know what that is - but, in my way, I stepped into that persona."
  • The video was based on the 1988 movie Dangerous Liaisons, with elaborate costumes inspired by film, which was set in France during the 1700s. John Malkovich, who starred in the movie, also appeared in the video, as does Hugh Laurie, who went on to star in the TV show House. With the string section and baroque sound, the music fit the theme.

    The MTV audience had little interest in Lennox or Dangerous Liaisons, but VH1, which went on the air in 1985, played it in heavy rotation.
  • The Diva album was Lennox' first as a solo artist; throughout the '80s, she was in Eurythmics, her extremely successful and inventive duo with Dave Stewart. In early 1990, Eurythmics split; Lennox took time off to work on charitable endeavors and focus on her home life. She got married in 1988, the same year her first child was stillborn. In December 1990, her daughter Lola was born. Work on the album was done at a studio constructed in her home so she could spend time with her.

    A lot of people believed in her, including Stewart and her manager Simon Fuller, but Lennox never seemed to believe her hype and often questioned her considerable talents. Fuller teamed her with up-and-comers who would be patient and nurturing: producer Stephen Lipson and keyboard wizard Marius De Vries. It worked: the Diva album was a critical and commercial smash, establishing Lennox as a solo artist. Released as a single following "Why," "Walking On Broken Glass" earned considerable airplay on Top 40 and Adult Contemporary radio.
  • The elaborate photography on the Diva album was done by Anton Corbijn, who also worked with U2 and Depeche Mode. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Annie Lennox recalled the song's video in a blog promoting her 2009 greatest hits album: "This was a wonderful video to create. There were some wonderful people involved - John Malkovich and Hugh Laurie (before he had an American accent)! That was tremendous fun. The idea of it being a period piece, like Les Liaisons Dangereux. The alternative title for 'Broken Glass' could easily have been 'Hell hath no more fury than a woman scorned.' The video is very wry and tongue-in-cheek. People can take me a little seriously sometimes, but I do actually have a rather radical sense of humor."
  • The music video was helmed by prolific director Sophie Muller, a frequent collaborator of Annie Lennox who cut her teeth directing several Eurythmics clips, including "I Need A Man," "You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart," and "Angel."
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Comments: 13

  • Logan from Anniston, AlThis is a neat song.
    IT has one of the best intros i've ever heard too. you gotta love the piano/violen. GREAT!!
  • Stephanie from Fairfax, Vai love walking on brokin glass
  • Eugene from Minneapolis, MnI think the woman that said it would be "so painful" and then bleed to death was most likely metaphoric as well. Her last statement is right on the money, because I've been through it especially when you're soooooo in love with someone. Talk about agony, man...
  • Regina from New York, Nyi know... she has amazing eyes, i a clip of an episode of Private Sessions on A&E and wow.. i wish i had those eyes. The episode is airing on March 8th at 9am EST...
  • Trist'n from Cheyenne/oak Harbor, WaThe movie is Dangerous Liasons... I believe, if not that the Black adder the third according to Wiki.
  • Michael from Lapeer, MiDoes anybody know what movie this appears in? It's driving me crazy!!!
  • Mik from Babylon,Annie Lennox is the best singer in the world because she sings walking on broken glass. Me and my friends jump and sing and do high knees every time we put it on which is like always (obvi). There is no better song in the history of songs than WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS. I love her so much that i would eat clams out of'er ass everyday for the rest of my life
  • Trist\'n from Cheyenne, WyShe says she doesn't want anyone but him... and having to be with out him, or seeing him with someone else is like walking on glass. It's too painful to leave him.
  • Meredith from Cheshire, CtI LOVE THIS SONG!!! I love this song so much because when I hear it every tuesday & saturday it reminds me of my colorguard compititions with my school. It also reminds me of my guard insturctures because they have taught me alot about colorgaurd and how to do my rifle toss!!! I love this song and try to listen to it everyday!!! I love u guys!!
    ~ meredith ,CT
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI thought it was actually a simile. As in "It feels just like I'm walking on broken glass."
  • Craig from Madison, WiAnnabelle: it's a metaphor. You're supposed to imagine metaphors. That's what they're there for.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrI can't imagine walking on broken glass. I believe that in reality it would be so painful, you would bleed to death!
  • Rich from Elkins, WvI like the way the intro music sounds like glass breaking...I'm sure that took a few minutes to figure out...it's a good tune ...lennox was hot, great eyes!
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