Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Peter Laughner Lyrics


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Janie, with your ragged eyes
Oh lord how they seem to shine
Janie, with your ivory smile
Like a treasure from Solomon's mine

Oh Janie, Janie, Janie, Janie, Janie, Janie
Janie, Janie, Janie, Janie, Janie, Janie, Janie
Janie, Janie, Janie, Janie
Janie, Janie, Janie, baby, Janie

Well I've been drinking all night long
Because I'm no excuse for a man
But I need to tell you about this dream I dreamed of you
Janie won't you try to understand

Janie won't you come on down
Help me find the sky
I've been living long, long in town
I'll follow in your footsteps if you'll try




And I'll follow in your footsteps if you'll try
And I'll follow in your footsteps if you'll try

Overall Meaning

The song "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Peter Laughner conveys a message about love and its power to affect individuals. This song is about a man's perspective on his love for a woman named Janie. It is a heartfelt message of hope for the possibility of love in the face of adversity. The song opens with lyrics that describe Janie's physical beauty, which seems to be both captivating and mesmerizing to the man. The singer is filled with admiration for her "ivory smile," which he likens to "a treasure from Solomon's mine."


However, it's clear that the singer is struggling with feelings of inadequacy, as he drinks to excess to cope with his own shortcomings. He feels that he is "no excuse for a man" but is compelled to share with Janie nonetheless. It is clear that Janie has a profound impact on him, and he implores her to help him find his way. He asks Janie to come down and help him "find the sky," a metaphor for hope or salvation. The man longs to escape his current life and start anew, and he hopes that Janie will be the catalyst for this change.


In the end, the man's message is one of hope and perseverance. He acknowledges that "only love can break your heart," acknowledging the pain that can come from opening yourself up to love. But he also recognizes the transformative power of love, the ability to unite and elevate people. In the final lines of the song, he pledges to follow in Janie's footsteps, indicating his willingness to put himself on the line for her love.


Line by Line Meaning

Janie, with your ragged eyes
Addressing Janie with admiration, noting the uniqueness of her eyes


Oh lord how they seem to shine
Continuing to admire Janie's eyes, describing them as shining and special


Janie, with your ivory smile
Complimenting Janie's smile, comparing it to treasure from a famous mine


Like a treasure from Solomon's mine
Expanding on the previous line by referring to the biblical story of King Solomon's wealth


Well I've been drinking all night long
Admitting to being under the influence of alcohol for some time


Because I'm no excuse for a man
Acknowledging a sense of failure or unworthiness


But I need to tell you about this dream I dreamed of you
Explaining the motivation behind sharing a dream with Janie


Janie won't you try to understand
Making a request for Janie to be receptive to what is to follow


Janie won't you come on down
Inviting Janie to join the artist or come closer


Help me find the sky
Requesting Janie's help in finding something aspirational or metaphorical


I've been living long, long in town
Describing how the singer has been in one place for a long time without much change


I'll follow in your footsteps if you'll try
Offering to follow Janie's lead if she is willing to try something new or different




Contributed by Blake B. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

@FungusMossGnosis

This is a grand discovery for me.

@peterora3190

A great lost soul.

@menschmadel3045

breaks my heart every time

@royalslackest

Me too. We aren't all cut from the same cloth. I feel badly for him. He was really talented.

@catcat1517

A true poet

@E.C.2

"From the Velvets to Voidoides: A pre punk history." Buy this book. Peter you were an amazing talented artist & helped create punk rock heavy metal culture. Requiescat in Pace my friend.

@Hister333

He was what, 24? I'm a heavy drinker, and I'm 37. How much was he drinking?

@vardziegirl

ohh...drinking, meth, and every other drug one could get ahold of. up on the meth....bring himself down with the booze. oh DAMM peter.

@italiannameportugueseguy5400

Happy 42nd anniversary !!!

Drink on mate!!!!

@nhmooytis7058

Hister333 he had pancreatitis from drinking, was doing heroin, died of an overdose of Dilaudid in June 1977. I talked to him the night before he died, he was a high school friend.

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