Amy Winehouse’s Suffering: “Back to Black”🎶

Back to Black” is a song from Amy Winehouse’s second and final studio album of the same title released in 2006. Its success threw her into the mainstream, making her an international star.

The whole album ìs predominantly based on her tumultuous relationship with then-ex-boyfriend and future husband. Blake Fielder-Civil, who had temporarily left her. Like most of her work, is deeply personal, coming from her own suffering from that breakup: the lyrics are written by Winehouse herself while the music for the single by Mark Ronson

There are different interpretations of the titular “black” which represents the dark moments of depression she went back to and may hint at her reliance on alcohol and drugs to cope with her heartache.
Despite having sometimes been considered as a reference to heroin, this seems inaccurate as Winehouse’s heroin use did not begin until after her marriage to Blake, who admitted to introducing her to consume cocaine, crack, and heroin.

He left no time to regret
Kept his dick wet
With his same old safe bet
Me and my head high
And my tears dry
Get on without my guy

You went back to what you knew
So far removed
From all that we went through
And I tread a troubled track
My odds are stacked
I’ll go back to black

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to
I go back to us

I love you much
It’s not enough
You love blow and I love puff
And life is like a pipe
And I’m a tiny penny
Rolling up the walls inside

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to

Black, black
Black, black
Black, black
Black
I go back to
I go back to

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to black

“Black to Black” was inspired by Amy’s breakup with Blake, who had left her for a former girlfriend.
By the time the album was released, the couple had reunited and were married from 2007-2009: it was a tumultuous relationship involving drink, drugs and heroin abuse.

In this song, Winehouse expresses feelings of anguish and bitterness from being left abruptly (“He left no time to regret”) by her partner who has again started having sex his former girlfriend, a sexual affair considered less dangerous, more comfortable for him (“Kept his dick wet, With his same old safe bet”), but very different from their own passionate relationship. However, she “remains strong”.
After referring to her lover as “he”, Amy soon addresses him directly as “you,” taking on a tone of accusation.

While he has gone back to his ex-girlfriend, she really has nothing else to go back to, so she returns to the emptiness of a life without him, to drinking and darker times.
The future looks bleak, her “odds are stacked”, and this pessimism is further stressed in the image of her travelling a lonely path full of dark feelings, an idea further underlined by the use of alliteration in “I tread my troubled track” .

In the chorus she states that simply saying the word “goodbye” does not constitute an official ending, yet these words are so painful that they make her feel like she dies a hundred times.
She repeats that while the man goes back to the ‘safe bet’ mentioned in the first verse, she is painfully stuck with her memories of their relationship and her destructive habits.
They really loved each other, but they were different and love wasn’t enough to overcome the dissimilarities between them: he’s a cocaine user (blow) and she smokes marijuana (puff), These words illustrate the prominent role that drugs played in Amy’s life and relationships.

The simile “life is like a pipe”, besides hinting at drug consumption, depicts her misery, being stuck in a round object from which she cannot escape.
Also the ‘penny rollin’ up the walls‘ gives the idea of being aimless and without any control over her life: even if a penny rolls endless times on the walls of a pipe, it always falls back, with no possibility of escape

In the end, the repetition of the word black over and over underlines the fact that her depression and sadness are and will be always there: she can’t avoid her unstable emotional state and the anguish that is trapping her in her personal Hell, that deep, depressive black.

The black-and-white video, shot in Abney Park Cemetery in London, features the singer attending a funeral complete with a tiny coffin, hearse, procession, lilies, and burial ritual, in which she mourns over a grave that reads “R.I.P. the Heart of Amy Winehouse”, a shot that was removed after her death.

Torno in lutto

Non ha lasciato tempo ai rimpianti
si è tenuto il ca**o bagnato
con la solita vecchia scommessa sicura
io e la mia testa alta,
e le mie lacrime asciutte
vado avanti senza il mio uomo

Tu sei tornato da quello che conoscevi
così lontano da tutto ciò che abbiamo passato
e io cammino per un terreno pericoloso
le mie probabilità sono sfavorevoli
Ritorno in lutto

Ci siamo detti addio solo a parole
io sono morta un centinaio di volte
tu torni da lei
e io ritorno da…
io ritorno da noi

Ti amo così tanto,
ma non è abbastanza
tu ami sniffare e io amo fumare
e la vita è come una tubo
e io sono un minuscolo centesimo
che prova a risalirne le pareti

Ci siamo detti addio solo a parole
io sono morta un centinaio di volte
tu torni da lei
e io ritorno da…


Ci siamo detti addio solo a parole
io sono morta un centinaio di volte
tu torni da lei
e io ritorno al…
lutto, lutto lutto

LZ

48 thoughts on “Amy Winehouse’s Suffering: “Back to Black”🎶

  1. THANK YOU LUISA GREAT POST . IM NOT REALLY INTO HER MUSIC BUT I CAN CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND HER STYLE AND AMYs TALENT .DIDN’T WANT TO BE THAT SWEET LITTLE JEWISH GIRL REALLY DID THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX . UNFORTUNATELY DRUGS AND ALCOHOL ARE PREVALENT AMONG MUSICIANS AND CERTAINLY DOES ALTER THE BEST OF THEIR BEHAVIOR . GENO MY GREAT MUSICIAN HUBBY HAD HUNDREDS OF STORIES ABOUT THE MUSIC WORLD AND THE AMAZING THINGS HE WITNESSED WITH FAMOUS WELL LOVED GIFTED PEOPLE AND HOW LOW THEY WOULD STOOP FOR A FIX . MY OWN BROTHER WAS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF THIS. YOUNG PRECIOUS GIFTS AND LIVES LOST ,🎤🎸🎹🥁🎶

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I sincerely thank you for this precious reflection on musicians, singers and successful people, which I fully share.

      I am much obliged as always for your visit and inspiring comment my lovely friend. 🥰🤗🙏💖😘

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh,I remember your great blogs about music. Alas,my anti-social habits have led me to use wordpress scarcily in the last few years. Somehow I have stumbled upon the feed and I saw Back to Black in the title and what a pleasant read it has been . I have been listening to Amy lately. This album is a masterpiece indeed.Phenomenal talent that left us too soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bella e brava. Peccato abbia sofferto così tanto ma, forse, la sua sensibilità e proprio il suo disagio le hanno permesso di interpretare testi profondi con così tanto pathos.
    Grazie Luisa per averla ricordata ed omaggiata

    Liked by 2 people

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