You Don't Have To Say You Love Me

Album: Dusty Springfield's Golden Hits (1966)
Charted: 1 4
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  • Originally, this was a Italian song composed by Pino Donnagio. Springfield heard Donnagio perform it at the San Remo festival and asked her friend Vicki Wickham, who produced the British TV show Ready Steady Go, to write some English lyrics for it. With the help of Yardbirds manager Simon Napier-Bell, she did.
  • In the book 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, Simon Napier-Bell is quoted as saying: "Vicki and I used to eat together, and she told me that Dusty wanted a lyric for this song. We went back to her flat and started working on it. We wanted to go to a trendy disco so we had about an hour to write it. We wrote the chorus and then we wrote the verse in a taxi to wherever we were going. It was the first pop lyric I'd written, although I've always been interested in poetry and good literature. We'd no idea what the English lyric said. That seemed to be irrelevant and besides, it is much easier to write a new lyric completely."
  • Springfield didn't read much into the lyrics of her previous hits "Wishin' And Hopin'" and "I Only Want to Be With You," where she sang from the perspective of a woman who was perhaps a little over-devoted to her man. This song had a much more profound effect on the singer. She said that he cried when she first heard the song.
  • Other hit versions in the UK were by Elvis Presley (1971 #9), Guys And Dolls (1976 #5) and Denise Welch (1995 #23). As part of a series of re-releases of Elvis songs in the UK in 2007, Presley's live version re-entered the UK chart at #16.
  • This one didn't come easy for Springfield - it took her 47 takes to record.
  • Elvis Presley's version reached #11 in the US in 1970. Maureen McGovern also recorded it for her 1992 album Baby I'm Yours." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 2
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Comments: 8

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1966 {April 15th} Dusty Springfield performed "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" on the British ITV network television program, 'Ready Steady Go!'....
    At the time song was at #10 on the United Kingdom's Official Top 50 Singles chart, two weeks later it would peak at #1 {for 1 week} and it spent thirteen weeks on the Top 50...
    Between 1963 and 1995 the London native, as a solo artist, had thirty records on the UK Singles chart, eleven made the Top 10 with one reaching #1*, the above "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me"...
    Sadly, Ms. Springfield, born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, passed away on March 2nd, 1999 at the young age of 59...
    May she R.I.P.
    She just missed having a second #1 record when her "What Have I Done To Deserve This" {with the Pet Shop Boys} peaked at #2 {for 2 weeks} in 1987, the two week it was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 15th 1966, "You Don't Have To You Love Me" by Dusty Springfield entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #76; and on July 10th it peaked at #4 (for 1 week) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    It also reached #4 in Canada and Ireland...
    Between 1964 and 1970 she had eighteen records make the Top 100; with three making the Top 10, the other two were "Wishin' and Hopin'" (#6 in 1964) and "Son-of-A-Preacher Man" (#10 in 1969)...
    In 1987 she recorded "What Have I done To Deserve This" with the Pet Shop Boys; and it peaked at #2 in both the U.S. and U.K.
    Ms. Springfield, born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, passed away on March 2nd, 1999 at the young age of 59...
    May she R.I.P.
  • Darrell from Eugene, United StatesI don't know for sure if it is the same song, but Nadia Turner from American Idol (the tall curvaceous African-American lady with the huge afro) recorded a song called "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" that appeared on an American Idol-themed mixed disc, which I cannot recall the title or record label of.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoI think the message of the song is clear. It's about unrequited love and figuring that half a loaf is better than none. To be explicit, the protagonist loves someone who no longer returns that love. The protagonist asks (nay, begs) the love object to continue the relationship despite the object's lack of feeling for the protagonist. The protagonist assures the object that she/he will not hold this lack of returned feeling against him/her, if only the protagonist can have the object's company. If you're asking what the "message" is in a broader sense, I would say it's about the total consumation of true love, that one would put oneself in such a position if one loved another powerfully enough. It's a common theme in songs of the era. "When A Man Loves A Woman" comes to mind. Whether it's a "good" message is debatable, but I think this is clearly what the song is about.
  • Susy from New York, NyI really don't understand the message.
    I agree Deana!
    What's really being said?
    I teach English as a foreign language (to Italians)
    and was going to use this but ....
    Thanks for comments from anyone.
    Susan
  • Paul Anthony from Readington, NjThis song was also recorded in Italian by Pino Donaggio titled "io che non vivo"
  • Homer from Versailles, IlI don't know about other people, but I find Dusty Springfield's version of this song too overproduced and loud. Elvis Presley's version, being live, had much a more toned down musical production. He sings it in a much more straightforward manner, too.
  • Deana from Indianapolis, InAren't the lyrics of this song sending conflicting messages?
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