Paramore’s Hayley Williams is joined by Joy Williams (formerly of The Civil Wars) for the music video of “Hate To See Your Heart Break.” This video stands out because they sound like twin daughters of different mothers (no, they’re not related), they portray friendship in it without beating you over the head with their relationship and their controlled passion suggests they know something about heartbreak This all speaks to a genuine warmth between the two expressed through beautifully matched voices.
And what a song but y’all know that. The opening lines tell it all: “There is not a single word in the whole world / That could describe the hurt / The dullest knife just sawing back and forth / And ripping through the softest skin there ever was.” Who hasn’t experienced those times and who hasn’t appreciated the one who “is there for you.” This is a particularly apt description since most heartbreak doesn’t come cleanly, but slowly over time like a dull knife.
But the wound isn’t just yours, but your family and friends as well: “And I, I hate to see your heart break / I hate to see your eyes get darker as they close.” It is a shared agony, wounding, to a more or lesser degree, those who care about us. That’s, of course, when the support kicks in. We share the pain and the journey back. We’ve seen our friend go through this before: “For all the air that’s in your lungs / For all the joy that is to come / For all the things that you’re alive to feel / Just let the pain remind you hearts can heal / Oh how were you to know?”
I love some of the small touches, texting and talking, chatting over the table, the candle light overtaking Haley and then revealing Joy as she joins in. I’m not sure why they shot in black and white, but it works well. Ultimately, this is a song of hope, a song about a way through the pain: “For all the air that’s in your lungs / For all the joy that is to come / For all the things that you’re alive to feel / Just let the pain remind you hearts can heal / Oh how were you to know?” It’s a great collaboration and it works well in this video and song.