Please Be Happy

Album: The Tipping Point (2022)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Tears For Fears' Roland Orzabal married Caroline Johnston in 1982. She developed alcohol-related dementia in the early 2010s and her husband spent five years as her caretaker before her death in 2017. Orzabal wrote "Please Be Happy" during his wife's illness. It was "inspired by watching someone you love sitting in a chair all day, not doing anything, not moving," he told The Irish Times, "and when she does, she goes up the stairs with a glass of wine, and [the glass] crashes on the stairs."
  • Curt Smith does the vocals on "Please Be Happy." The first time Orzabal heard his bandmate sing the heartwrenchingly sad song, he really struggled. "I left the studio when we were doing the playback" he told The Sun, "because that song just demolishes me."
  • Caroline's illness inspired several songs on The Tipping Point, including the title track. "I needed some respite from the constant illness, the constant dysfunction, and, as per usual, as I've always done all my life, they went into lyrics and songs," Orzabal said.
  • Orzabel wrote the song with Sacha Skarbek, whom he met on an Ivor Novello Awards voting panel. Skarbek also co-penned James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" and Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Mark Arm of Mudhoney

Mark Arm of MudhoneySongwriter Interviews

When he was asked to write a song for the Singles soundtrack, Mark thought the Seattle grunge scene was already overblown, so that's what he wrote about.

Joe Elliott of Def Leppard

Joe Elliott of Def LeppardSongwriter Interviews

The Def Leppard frontman talks about their "lamentable" hit he never thought of as a single, and why he's juiced by his Mott The Hoople cover band.

Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles

Timothy B. Schmit of the EaglesSongwriter Interviews

Did this Eagle come up with the term "Parrothead"? And what is it like playing "Hotel California" for the gazillionth time?

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

Ramones

RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.

Jello Biafra

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.