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."