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Released: 2024

“Broken by You” by Alexander Stewart is a profound exploration of unrequited love and the pain of separation. With haunting lyrics, Stewart delves into the paradoxical wish to endure heartbreak as long as the source of that pain is the person one deeply loves.

The song opens with Stewart grappling with the impending end of a relationship. Here, “starin’ at the bedroom door” evokes a sense of waiting and anticipation of a heartbreak. The lyrics subtly hint that he was more invested in the relationship, questioning “You were mine, but was I ever yours?” This conveys a sense of imbalance – a classic symptom of unrequited love.

As we dive further, the phrase “Pull me close, don’t say you’re sorry…I’ll let you haunt me” suggests that despite the pain, Stewart would rather have his lover’s presence, even if it’s in the form of a ‘ghost’, than face her absence. The line “I know how this goes, oh, I know” speaks to the cyclical nature of their relationship and his awareness of their recurring pattern.

Expressing the inevitable heartbreak, Stewart heralds, “If it’s inevitable, my heart breaks…And by the mornin’ you’ll say your mind’s changed”. This loaded line tells us that our protagonist, though aware, prefers enduring the pain rather than losing his love. The repeated line “If my heart’s gonna break, then at least I can say I was broken by you” encapsulates the song’s central theme: the bittersweet satisfaction of knowing that the one you love is the one who broke you.

Then arrives a plea for just one more minute, knowing it’s too late to repair the damage. The phrase “To put the pieces of us back in place” shows his yearning to return to happier times and rebuild their relationship, but he’s painfully aware that he can’t halt the inevitable.

As the song draws to a close, Stewart confesses, “Never been too good at goodbyes…But for you, I would say it a thousand times”. Here lies his willingness to face agonizing farewell only to relive their love, symbolizing an endless loop of love and pain. The closing repetition of “You, ooh”, a lyrical cry, leaves us with the echoing presence of the one who caused the heartache.

In summary, “Broken by You” masterfully captures the bittersweet experience of loving someone who doesn’t feel the same way. It’s a raw emotional journey, a testament to those who choose to love, even when it’s inevitably going to break them.

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