George Strait, ‘The King of Broken Hearts’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Jim Lauderdale is a prolific singer-songwriter, with many of his famed songs being cut by the King of Country Music, George Strait. Strait recorded Lauderdale's self-penned tune, 'The King of Broken Hearts,' as part of the soundtrack for 'Pure Country' back in 1992, but the song goes back further than that.
"I was reading a biography about Gram Parsons," Lauderdale tells Taste of Country of how the lyrics came to be. "There was a story about how Graham was having a party in California, and he was playing some George Jones records for people who had never heard him. He started crying. He said, ‘That’s the King of Broken Hearts.’ When I read that, it gave me chills. Then this melody started coming."
"The king of broken hearts doesn't ask much from his friends / And he has quite a few of them / They know he will understand / That's just the way it goes / The king of broken hearts doesn't know he's a king / He's trying to forget other things / Like some old chilly scenes / He's walking through alone," Lauderdale wrote in the song's opening lines.
"I made a trip out to the desert in California where I go write … a place called Joshua Tree National Park," says Lauderdale. "I went to this place called Cap Rock where Graham was cremated. There was a full moon, and the rest of the melody came to me."
The lyrics of the chorus continue:
"He talks to angels and the stars start to spin / He thinks of troubles that he's gotten in / He recalls how his heart got broken / And how it's still that way."
"It’s a tribute to both George Jones and Graham Parsons," notes Lauderdale.
'The King of Broken Hearts' was featured in both the film 'Pure Country,' as well as the movie's soundtrack.
Watch Jim Lauderdale Perform 'The King of Broken Hearts' Live