“Love Is A Losing Game” by Amy Winehouse

In order to understand the sentiment behind Amy Winehouse’s “Love Is A Losing Game” , think of gambling for instance. Yes, at first you may come out on top. But the game in and of itself is designed for players to lose, and at some point you definitely will. And that pretty much sums up how Amy Winehouse felt about romance.

And at the time she put this song together, she reportedly had good reason to feel so. As you may know, the talented singer was a troubled soul. And one of her main issues, according to many of those who followed the artist, was her relationship to one Blake Fielder-Civil, whom she was married to for a couple of years. In fact some people (as well as Winehouse’s own dad) actually blamed him for her untimely demise.

But anyway in relation to this song, the two of them had actually met in 2005. And considering that they tattooed each other’s names on their bodies, we can conclude that yes, they were in fact in love, pretty much from the onset. However, six months into the relationship, Blake left Amy and hooked back up with his ex (apparently the lady he dumped to be with her in the first place). 

The associated devastation, mixed with the songstress’s affinity for alcohol, led to her becoming “clinically depressed”. And it was during this time that she wrote the songs for her “Back to Black” album, including this one, which is said to be directly influenced by her relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil. 

In other words, she penned “Love Is a Losing Game” before they got back together and eventually married in 2007 (though she probably felt the same after they divorced in 2009).

Lyrics of “Love Is A Losing Game”

Thus in the lyrics, we have Amy portraying the role of someone who, upon first falling in love we can say, was naïve to the potentially-devastating emotional ramifications at hand. That is to say that, as implied in the first verse, she freely gave her all to her partner. But upon realizing that love is indeed a losing game, she wishes that she never went there in the first place.

Meanwhile the second verse serves the purpose of further reinforcing the titular idea. The singer asserts, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there’s no winning hand as far as romance is concerned. Or in reading underneath the surface, the whole premise of equating romance with “gambling” implies plenty in and of itself, as in one not being able to actually predict the outcome.

Then the best way of describing the third and final verse is as the narrator putting forth that the universe itself is against the concept of lasting love. And this, once again, bolsters the thesis sentiment at hand. And that is the singer’s belief that at the end of the day, romance is intrinsically doomed. 

Furthermore the implication is that it was her own foolhardy, or let’s say uninformed assumption otherwise which ultimately accounts for the singer getting her heart broken. That is to say that even if Fielder-Civil is as much of a jacka*s as the media tends to present him as, the vocalist never blames the dissolution of the featured romance on her partner per se. Rather her perception is that the game of love itself is rigged – so to speak – for participants to ultimately lose.

Lyrics of "Love Is A Losing Game"

When did Amy Winehouse release “Love Is A Losing Game”?

This song was released on 5 December 2007. It was the fifth and final single issued from what would be the last album Amy Winehouse put out during her lifetime, “Back to Black” (2006). 

It also holds the distinction of being the last single in which she served as lead artist which was released while she was alive.  And for the record, Winehouse’s life spanned from 14 September 1983 to 23 July 2011.

There is also an Original Demo version of this song present on the standard Deluxe Edition of “Back to Black”. And it features Winehouse rendering the tune acoustically. In fact it was the Deluxe Edition of the album (not the original) which managed to top the UK Albums Chart in early 2007.

Love Is a Losing Game

Popular Covers of “Love Is A Losing Game”

This track is known to be a personal favorite of the late George Michael (1963-2016). Also  another departed music legend, Prince, used to perform it live. In fact in one instance, he was joined onstage by Amy Winehouse to render the tune. 

There is also record of the Purple One doing an acoustic cover of this song, which he reportedly recorded in the wake of Winehouse’s death, being a genuine fan of hers. Additionally this particular tune is apparently a fan favorite – for instance being ranked Amy Winehouse’s 2nd ‘greatest song ever’ by Smooth Radio.  And lastly, Amy herself called it her “favorite song from” Back to Black.

Sam Smith also covered this tune via BBC Radio 1 in 2015. And in the process, he referred to the title as “possibly one of the most-relatable lyrics I’ve ever heard”.

Chart Performance

Meanwhile it wasn’t even amongst the biggest of Amy Winehouse’s hits. In fact of the five singles released from “Back to Black”, this one performed the least impressively on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 33 (after her passing, number 46 prior). 

However, it still managed to be certified gold across the pond. And it also earned Winehouse an Ivor Novello Award (Best Song Musically and Lyricallyin 2008.

Did Amy Winehouse write “Love Is A Losing Game”?

Yes, Amy did. This song was written exclusively by none other than her. The track was subsequently produced by renowned songwriter and music producer Mark Ronson. And according to Ronson, this is the first track they mixed for Back to Black (which he also produced).

Indeed the lyrics of this song are considered to be a real work of art. For instance, the world-renowned University of Cambridge has incorporated them into an exam as part of their curriculum for English students.

This song was put out by Island Records, the label Amy Winehouse was signed to throughout her career.

Brief History of Amy Winehouse’s relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil

Amy met then production assistant, Blake Fielder-Civil in 2005 at a London Pub. She was at the time beginning her music career, while Blake worked as a video production assistant. The two are said to have played a game of pool together and taken over the jukebox.

Though Blake was dating someone else during that time, he and Winehouse had become an item shortly within a month of their meeting. The singer went on to tattoo his name “Blake” on her chest, while he in turn inked her name behind his ear.

Six months later however, Blake ended their romance and went back to his ex-girlfriend. Winehouse went through a season of depression shortly afterwards as a result. It was during these times that she started drinking heavily presumably to deal with her pain.

Amy however, channeled the pain she felt from the breakup into her songwriting, penning some of the hugest hits on her Back to Black album. Though she briefly dated radio executive Alex Jones-Donnelly, Blake came back into her life early 2007. In April 2007, they had announced that they were engaged and shocked everyone else by eloping the next month, and getting married with just one officiating court clerk in Miami.

The relationship became more destructive, especially to Amy, after Blake had introduced her to self-harming, heroin and cocaine in 2008. The pair were particularly noted for their erratic behaviors and public fights.

Shortly after Blake was released from his 27-month jail term, he filed for a divorce from Amy which was finalized in 2009. The singer continued struggling with her drinking behavior and was found dead on July 23, 2011 as a result of alcohol poisoning.

1 Response

  1. Ché-Apollos Daniels says:

    Such an angel 😇 gone too soon, #R.I.P , love is a losing game, it really is 😢 💚xoxo

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