Goodbye My Lover

Album: Back to Bedlam (2005)
Charted: 9 66
Play Video


  • This song is about a girl Blunt dated, but he wrote it years after the relationship ended. When he appeared on the UK show Songbook, Blunt explained: "I guess it's a realization that you'll never be with someone, but the frustration that they are still alive and out there in the world. It can be an incredibly painful idea - I sat with the song for quite a long time. But for me, it's probably my most personal song. Whereas 'You're Beautiful' is about a moment, one second in time of passing that person, the song 'Goodbye My Lover' is about a lifetime's worth of emotion, the fact that that relationship is over, and that life continues. And yeah, it's the most personal song on Back To Bedlam."
  • James Blunt lived with actress Carrie Fisher while he recorded Back To Bedlam; he met her through a family friend. In the Radio Times February 10, 2006, James Blunt described how he recorded this song in Carrie Fisher's bathroom: "For 'Goodbye My Lover,' we needed a piano. There wasn't one in the home studio we recorded in but Carrie had one in her bathroom. So I said, Let's get the home studio and spend the night in there. It was a good acoustic - that's why people sing in the shower. And it sounds great to me - that's what's on the album."
  • If you think the person Blunt is singing about in this song is dead, you're not the only one; Blunt says he gets asked that a lot. He says the girl he's singing about is very much alive, but the grieving in the song gives the impression of death.
  • This was the fourth single from Back to Bedlam, and in the UK it caused a bit of Blunt-fatigue. In May 2006, the UK radio station Essex FM banned this and all of Blunt's other songs because "We appreciate his success but we need a break."
  • A 2006 UK survey by The Bereavement Register revealed this to be the year's most requested funeral song.
  • Carrie Fisher was the reason for naming the album Back to Bedlam. "Fisher was my American mother, and a real inspiration," Blunt explained to The London Times. "My first album was called Back to Bedlam because I lived in a madhouse with her. She put a cardboard cutout of herself as Leia outside my room, with her date of birth and date of death on her forehead. I'm trying to remember what the date was, because it was around now - and I remember thinking it was too soon."
  • This was used on The Office in the season 3 episode "A Benihana Christmas." Michael plays a sample of it on repeat after his girlfriend dumps him. When Dwight asks him why he doesn't just buy the whole song, he replies, "I don't have to buy it. I just wanna taste it."

Comments: 33

  • Mlungisi Mabaso from Cape Town,south AfricaThis song will always remind of my late Sister, Nothemba...She used to play it back in the day...I hope She is in a better place..So long my Sister
  • Ismael from Namibia I lost my wife and daughter in the same week. Devastating
  • Fandi Ernest P from CameroonI listen to this song every moments of my life. Seriously when I heard of this song by James Blunt I thought He lost his Lover but its not the case.Oh God it's so touching. I cry always when I listen to this song cus I had a lover & we dated for 9 years but when it was time for us to get married,her parents told me over their death body and we tried to no avail. She was an angel. She lives in me. This song means alote to me,only God can understand!
  • Hafento from NigeriaI listen to this song to feel what James blunt felt cuz am going through the same emotional pain loving someone then disappointing her and now you can’t get her back
  • Louise from CanadaHe is singing about losing his twin flame.
  • Ini John from Nigeria....f.c.tEach time I listen to this song it makes me remember my lover who left...this song is amazing,so touching.
  • Nevintnyakurukwa from Zimbabwe HarareVery very touching
  • Fay from Cape TownPerfect song. Just came to mind, as I was going through lots of emotions after my husband had an affair with my daughter.
  • Cassio from BrazilThis song reminds me a girl I used to date, we date for 3 years but I was so fool at that time, I hurt her feelings and she left me. After that is almost like be with someone makes no sense if that person isn't she. Everytime I listen this song I start to cry. Beautiful song that describes exacly how I feel
  • Thang from IndiaI watched the live performance of James Blunt at the oxford union on youtube. His expressions reveal that he still loves his lover. Heart touching and very emotional performance. It reminded me of a girl that I dated more than ten years ago. Everytime I listen to this song, I always remember her... must have been very painful for James Blunt.
  • Aferdita from Pristine, AlbaniaI am from Kosovo I don't know it's true or not, but I have heard that James Blunt was in Love with Albanian women while, he was servicing during his mission in Kosovo, and the Song you are beautiful was dedicated to that girl. AS Kosovo Albanian I am so thankfully to Mr James Blunt for his service in Kosovo, and I wish to him all the best.
  • Stanley Rizzolo from Somerville, NjAlthough I did not believe this song was written about a lover who had died, I always think of my wife, Taylor, and cry when I hear this beautiful song. Stanley Rizzolo
  • Jason from Bedell, NbThough I know the song is about a love lost but the person is still around, it is still the closest thing I've heard that comes to the pain of loosing your "ONE" suddenly to death. My wife (my best friend) died in a accident, we were together for 6 years, 2 years we were married. She gave me a beautiful daughter who was just over 1 years old. I fell for her the moment I met her, I knew I was going to marry her. Our life was perfect together, then the next moment she is gone. Its been 6 years and there isn't a day I don't miss her, think of her and long for her. My daughter is the greatest gift she ever gave me, because in many ways she is her mother. I know she is never far from me and even though she isn't here, a part of her is always with me through my daughter. People, never hold off till tomorrow, never believe there is always a tomorrow, Live, Love and never live with regrets!! If you find that one, grab hold and never let go. Even though my wife is gone and the pain is still there, I still think I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I had the love of my life with me for 6 years. I know some never experience that in their whole lives.
  • Kieran from Gosford, AustraliaI know the true meaning.

    Him and a girl loved eachother very much. However, some people aren't prone to marriage or commitment. He wanted more than she could give.
    She loved him to death, but right from the start he knew it wasn't forever.

    He knew he'd won, meaning shes give up and leave him.

    It's such a very sad song.
    The only other context i'd put it in, would be falling for someone with a terminal illness, like cancer and knowing your lose them. However, the film clip shows it's not about death.

    More the loss of a loved one. And realisation all along that one day you'll lose them

    how I know.
    Happened to me. And I listened to this when I first fell for this girl, she fell for me. We were meant to be. But I knew she couldn't commit. and when she realises what shes lost, she'll look back in regret. But I know she'll be relatively happily married one day.
  • Tom from Stoke-on-trent, United KingdomIn the live performance at Koko in London at the end of the song, he says something along the lines 'Its the number one song played at funerals' and its understandable where people would choose it if a loved one had died. I think many people could use the song in different ways and apply it to different heart-aches such as the end of a relationship, maybe with a lover or an animal? or at death. Nevertheless, its one amazing song, which over took You're Beautiful as my favourite James Blunt song.
  • Tori from Partyin Mardi Gras Style, Lai luv this song. james blunt is really good. another song i liek of his is Tears and Rain. honestly, i think its both songs (tears & rain and goodbye my lover) are much better than you're beautiful. i don't understand y tht 1 got so much more publicity than the other 2 songs i mentioned.
  • Adam from Uralla, United StatesBec, How many times have you actually listened to this song, it has extreme emotional depth beyond
    "chuck a few words like goodbye,lover etc etc together and sing it in a slow mopey tune and everyones bound to think its so tragic"
    his regret at losing his gf & friend but longing to be with her despit e circumstances seem to be fairly deep. eg: below
    "So I took what's mine by eternal right.
    Took your soul out into the night.
    It may be over but it won't stop there,
    I am here for you if you'd only care."
    Alexadnre: get your testosterone levels checked or something because this song is good, but it's not that good!
  • Alexandre from Santos, BrazilI burst into tears when I saw the video for the very first time! Great lyrics, great song! I've fallen in love with a workmate of mine and she knows about my feelings. Whenever I listen to "Goodbye My Lover" I use to think about her...Just don't know what to do...This songs really touches me...Albertoni, Santos, Brazil.
  • Alex from Princeton, NjThis song seems to be about a breakup that just happened. Judging from the video, in which both are longing for each other, the breakup may have been inevitable (neither of them dumped the other, they just couldn't be together).
  • Walleigh from Ider, AlWhat exactly does this song mean? I've heard that a guy wrote it for his partner, it was about a gf and unborn child...I want to know what it is really about. anywayz... I love this song, and I'm not really n2 secular music. I don't even to have say how wonderful this song is. Yall already have. -Walleigh
  • Chryssie from Canberra, AustraliaTo Nicole - How on earth is this about drugs & recovery?

    To Leon & Alice - As far as I know, the girlfriend didn't die. She was the girl he thought he would marry, and she left him, but didn't die.

    To Hadley - ...?
  • Alice from Bacup, EnglandThis song is the world greatest songs, it describes how he feels beatuiflly and you really feel what he is going through. I have heard this song is about a girlfriend that he lost due to a car crash, don't know if it is true or not anyway it's a fantastic song.
  • Hadley from San Diego, CaThis is one of the most beautifully written songs, ever. It should be understood, however, that, neither James Blunt nor Sacha Skarbek wrote this song of love, loss and sacrefice eventhough they are credited. The song was, in truth, written by and purchased from Jeremy Michael Hutchison who wrote the song for his partner of 17 years whose untimely death left Jeremy living in the depths of all the emotion and truth you hear poured out and merely echoed in Blunts voice. I know the man who lived and wrote this song. You would also be blessed to know him as well.
  • Jade from Franklin, KyAnd I would have to agree with GuitarGod, Melbourne, Australia...he does remind me of John Lennon.
  • Jade from Franklin, KyI really like this song, and I like James Blunt. My favorite part about him is that he seems really down to earth. His voice is pretty unique, and I also like that about him. I saw him on Oprah not too long ago, and he played this song...and it sounded wonderful. I would have to say it is my favorite song by him.
  • Polly from London, EnglandA cleverly written song caught between "Goodbye" and "I Love You".
    I relate to this song, I cry everytime I hear.I am in turmoil right now.
  • Guitargod from Melbourne, AustraliaJames Blunt reminds me in so many ways of John Lennon with his nuances and songwriting similarities. If you listen to his entire album you will notice that he is a genius with teh way he puts words together - don't judge him on one or two songs. He has serious talent.
  • Bec from Perth, AustraliaOk I'll admit he does have quite a good voice,but come on the lyrics are that weak with no emotional depth whatsoever,I just can't understand why everyone thinks his songs are just 'beautiful' No they're not, chuck a few words like goodbye,lover etc etc together and sing it in a slow mopey tune and everyones bound to think its so tragic,honestly buttt just my opinion..
  • Anindya from London, Francethis song is in my top 10.. it rocks!!.. sooo cool!
  • Ilse from Oxford, EnglandI MEANT RELATIONSHIP
  • Leon from Waterbury, CtFrom what I've read and heard, this song is a "death march". It's about a longtime girlfriend that he once had and how they broke up and soon got back together and everything was going very well. He then got her pregnant and both her and the baby died during childbirth.
  • Carissa from Seattle, WaI absoultely love this song. It is one of my most favorite songs right now. I think it almost as good if not better than You're Beautiful.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The Real Nick Drake

The Real Nick DrakeSong Writing

The head of Drake's estate shares his insights on the late folk singer's life and music.


KissFact or Fiction

Kiss is the subject of many outlandish rumors - some of which happen to be true. See if you can spot the fakes.


DevoSongwriter Interviews

Devo founders Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale take us into their world of subversive performance art. They may be right about the De-Evoloution thing.

Gavin Rossdale On Lyric Inspirations and Bush's Album The Kingdom

Gavin Rossdale On Lyric Inspirations and Bush's Album The KingdomSongwriter Interviews

The Bush frontman on where he finds inspiration for lyrics, if his "machine head" is a guitar tuner, and the stories behind songs from the album The Kingdom.

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus WainwrightSongwriter Interviews

Rufus Wainwright on "Hallelujah," his album Unfollow The Rules, and getting into his "lyric trance" on 12-hour walks.

Leslie West of Mountain

Leslie West of MountainSongwriter Interviews

From the cowbell on "Mississippi Queen" to recording with The Who when they got the wrong Felix, stories from one of rock's master craftsmen.