Artist – The Everly Brothers
Album – The Everly Brothers
Year – 1957
Genre – Rockabilly
Due to the death of Phil Everly yesterday, the song I chose is by The Everly Brothers and is one of the greatest songs about lost love ever written, albeit not by them. However, their performance of the song “Bye Bye Love” is so melodic and iconic that it remains the definitive version even today. Rest in peace Phil Everly, your music will live on.
The first thing I should do is credit the actual songwriters of this track. Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, a country songwriting couple who wrote many songs for artists like The Everly Brothers. This is new knowledge to me as well. I only found this out today while researching the song. In any case, Mr. and Mrs. Bryant have written a lost love song so unpretentious and honest, that in my opinion it’s one of the best ever written. The chorus alone is not only of the catchiest songs from that era, but also one of the most emotional and most sincere.
Bye bye love
Bye bye happiness
I think I’m-a gonna cry
Bye bye love
Bye bye sweet caress
I feel like I could die
Bye bye my love goodbye
Has a simpler, yet more affecting chorus about lost love ever been written? I don’t think so. The lyrics throughout this song are a prime example of simple and honest songwriting being the most affecting.
What makes this song what it is, however, are the beautiful melodies of Don and Phil Everly. The main vocal duty is taken by Don, who’s youthful, crystal clear and sweet voice give the sense of innocence and true compassion.
There goes my baby with someone new
She sure looks happy, I sure am blue
She was my baby till he stepped in
Goodbye to romance that might have been
As these lines are sung, you can’t help but feel the sadness in his voice as Everly truly sounds like his happiness has been taken away. The quaintness and candidness of this verse in particular add to the emotional quality in a sense, as you genuinely feel bad for the brothers as they pour their feelings out.
Despite the heartbreaking lyrics, this is a rockabilly song through and through. The guitars are jangly and sunny, creating a wonderful acoustic texture with just a tad bit of electric in the background when it’s needed. Instrumentally, it’s about as raw as you can get, but like I said earlier, it’s the harmonies of the brothers Everly that make the song what it is. They work together, well, like brothers. They’re so in sync and their harmonies are catchy and totally singable. Seriously, I bet you can’t fight the urge to sing along.
In short, this is a song about losing your girl. But it’s the most honest and candid capture of loneliness perhaps ever captured in song. We have the Bryant couple to thank for it, but we have the Everly Brothers to thank for making it what it is. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand times more; honesty and simplicity create the best songs because though it may come across otherwise, we feel no pretentiousness in our emotion, so why should are songs be that way? This is a beautiful little song that deserves your attention no matter what. And to Phil Everly, thank you for making this song so iconic and for your career in music.
Let me know what you think of the song and review in the comments below!