57 songs that rhyme “heart” with “part” or “apart”

[Posted January 18, 2016]

There’s nothing wrong with rhyming the word “heart” with either “part” or “apart”. Shakespeare did it, Hal David did it, Bob Dylan has done it. But I’m always grateful when a lyricist avoids it and surprised when someone who has avoided it previously decides to use it. The recent Adele single “Hello” (yes, she’s back, she’s been on the phone) features the lines “I’m sorry for breaking your heart / But it don’t matter it clearly doesn’t tear you apart / anymore”. I was surprised to hear it. I don’t recall her using this rhyme before but she and her co-writer (Greg Kurstin) have gone with it on this song.

Over the years I have noted down, somewhere or other, most of the heart / apart rhymes that have come my way. Some days 2 or 3 songs in a row, on the radio, or an old episode of “Top of the Pops”, will feature the rhyme. Here’s my first listicle, with 57 well-known examples. It’s not a countdown, a “Top 57” as such, but the first 31 songs all got to #1 in the UK, though not always by the artist listed here. (Writer names, not yet complete, are in brackets if different from the artist listed.)

  1. “Coz I luv you”, Slade
  2. “Diana”, Paul Anka
  3. “Don’t let the stars get in your eyes”, Perry Como
  4. “First cut is the deepest”, Rod Stewart (Cat Stevens)
  5. “Frozen”, Madonna
  6. “Goodnight Girl”, Wet Wet Wet
  7. “Hello”, Adele (Adele and Greg Kurstin)
  8. “I can’t stop loving you”, Ray Charles (Don Gibson)
  9. “I feel you”, Peter Andre
  10. “Beautiful girls”, Sean Kingston
  11. “Break your heart”, Taio Cruz
  12. “I wanna be the only one”, Eternal (BeBe Winans and James Lawrence)
  13. “Love won’t wait”, Gary Barlow (Madonna & Shep Pettibone)
  14. “Mamma Mia”, Abba [rhymes “broken-hearted” with “the day you parted”]
  15. “Me and my broken heart”, Rixton
  16. “Nothing’s gonna stop us now”, Starship
  17. “Now you’re gone”, Basshunter
  18. “One day in your life”, Michael Jackson
  19. “Only the lonely”, Roy Orbison (Roy Orbison and Joe Melson)
  20. “Red, Red Wine”, UB40 (Neil Diamond)
  21. “Rise”, Gabrielle
  22. “Something’s gotten hold of my heart”, Gene Pitney
  23. “Three times a lady”, Commodores
  24. “Total Eclipse of the heart”, Bonnie Tyler (Jim Steinman)
  25. “Umbrella”, Rihanna
  26. “Welcome Home”, Peters & Lee (English Lyrics by Bryan Blackburn)
  27. “What becomes of the broken-hearted?”, Jimmy Ruffin [rhymes “broken-hearted” with “departed”] (James Dean, Paul Riser, William Weatherspoon)
  28. “Whole Again”, Atomic Kitten (Stuart Kershaw, Andy McCluskey, Bill Padley & Jim Godfrey)
  29. “You are not alone”, Michael Jackson
  30. “You win again”, Bee Gees
  31. “You’re not alone”, Olive
  32. “Devil in her heart”, Beatles, (Richard Drapkin)
  33. “Don’t be cruel”, Elvis Presley (Otis Blackwell & Elvis Presley)
  34. “Emotion”, Bee Gees
  35. “Friday I’m in love”, The Cure
  36. “Get what you give”, New Radicals
  37. “Heatwave”, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
  38. “Hungry Heart”, Bruce Springsteen
  39. “I say a little prayer”, Aretha Franklin, (Lyrics by Hal David, Music by Burt Bacharach)
  40. “I second that emotion”, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
  41. “I swear”, All 4 One
  42. “If you see her say hello”, Bob Dylan
  43. “If you’re looking for a way out”, Odyssey
  44. “It should have been me”, Yvonne Fair
  45. “Love me”, Elvis Presley (Mike Stoller & Jerry Lieber)
  46. “Love me tender”, Elvis Presley (Elvis Presley & Vera Watson)
  47. “Love shine a light”, Katrina and the Waves
  48. “Only love can break your heart”, Neil Young
  49. “Sky full of stars”, Coldplay
  50. “Stop”, Sam Brown
  51. “Teenager in love”, Marty Wilde
  52. “The best”, Tina Turner
  53. “Why do lovers break each other’s hearts?”, Showaddywaddy
  54. “Yesterday once more”, Carpenters,
  55. “You’ll never get to heaven if you break my heart”, Dionne Warwick (Lyrics by Hal David, Music by Burt Bacharach)
  56. “You’re a big girl now”, Bob Dylan
  57. “Your love is king”, Sade

Special mention to “These foolish things (remind me of you)”, by Eric Maschwitz and Jack Strachey for rhyming “apartment” with “heart meant”: “A tinkling piano in the next apartment / Those stumbling words that told you what my heart meant”.

[An update from February, 24 2016]

Three more #1s that use the rhyme: “Woman” by John Lennon, “Everlasting Love” by Love Affair and “You to me are everything” by The Real Thing.