Heartbreak House

Album: The Common Thread (2008)

Songfacts®:

  • As lyricist for Procol Harum, Keith Reid wrote the words to their hit "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." He moved to America in 1986, and in the mid-'00s started writing songs for what would become The Common Thread. He wrote this song with the Swedish songwriter Michael Saxell, who handles the vocals. The song is about a woman whose husband is killed when he is sent overseas to fight a war. Says Reid: "That song I wrote in Sweden. But it felt American to me. The military guy, to me it was an American. I think the characters, although I actually wrote it somewhere else, it felt like an American situation. The idea for that was, 'even the floorboards ache in the Heartbreak House.' I got that idea, and it seemed to me very powerful, you know, even the floorboards ache. That was an example of knowing how this song ended up, but how did it start? And looking for a way to begin it."

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