No More “I Love You’s” by Annie Lennox

It has been noted that the lyrics of No More “I Love You’s” are a bit scatterbrained in their approach. It’s easy to simply conclude, based on the title, that the singer is breaking up with a lover, that being the addressee. However, the original version of this track has been described as one in which “the singer had lost language function”. In other words, the reason he couldn’t say “I love you” was because he couldn’t speak. And likewise, there is no clear indication in Annie Lennox’s version that she is actually parting ways with the addressee. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Annie Lennox's No More “I Love You’s" at

That being said, there is a whole lot of other stuff going on in the background. For instance, she references “demons” in an internal sense and “monsters” in an external way. The former seems to allude to the notion that she was dealing with some type of depression, while the latter the fact that “people are being real crazy”. Moreover in terms of the “monsters”, it has been put forth that she is speaking to an overall unsatisfactory view of the outside world. And with that in mind, it may be that this is not a romantic song at all. Rather what the singer is potentially proclaiming is that people in general are becoming less loving (i.e. “no more” exchanging “I love you’s”).

Music Video

Lennox herself served as a co-director of the music video to No More “I Love You’s”. And its other director is Joe Dyer. And concerning said visual, Lennox herself has let it be known that she is really feeling it.

Facts about No More “I Love You’s”

The writers of this song are British musicians Joseph Hughes and David Freeman. And originally the track was recited by a band from England called The Lover Speaks back in 1986. Contrary to what many assume, Lennox didn’t write No More “I Love You’s”.

However, her version was significantly more successful than the original. It came out on 6th of March 1995. It was a product of her album “Medusa” (and also served as the project’s lead single). And her rendition had Stephen Lipson as its producer.

The reason Lennox decided to cover No More “I Love You’s” is because she was impressed by its lyricism. Moreover she expressed a sentiment akin to believing the message contained therein needs to be heard, and such was not accomplished the first time around since The Lover Speaks’ rendition didn’t really hit.

In terms of the track’s massive success, it charted in at least 20 countries. This includes reaching number one in a handful of them, such as on Canada Top Singles and Billboard’s US Dance Club Songs. Additionally it reached the number two position on the UK Single Chart (marking the highest position Lennox has ever achieved on that list, even over decades later). And it also achieved Silver certification in the United Kingdom. And as far as awards are concerned, it earned the singer a 1996 Grammy. This was in the category of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Moreover the track has been covered by a few popular artists, including Nicki Minaj on her 2010 track “Your Love” (which itself went Platinum in the US). Hailee Steinfeld also covered this classic in a 2020 song entitled “I Love You’s”.

8 Responses

  1. preston says:

    Perfectly captures the angst of trying to please your special someone, only to have those attempts fail…repeatedly, until one day, you exorcise those monsters and live the authentic life. Letting go of fairy tales is a part of becoming awake.

  2. Anonymous says:

  3. P says:

    I agree totally. And the “I love you” wasn’t authentic anymore. Its true meaning was gone. Not saying it anymore was freeing.

  4. Will :) says:

    I think these lyrics speak to someone reflecting on a series of chaotic relationships in adult life, which may stem from a turbulent childhood and/or an idealised and unrealistic notion of love which is commonly learned in childhood and portrayed in popular media. Multiple chaotic relationships as a pattern are common in the life cycle of people who experienced various types of abuse as children. It is to be hoped the lyricist is returning to the silence of their forgotten child, to love them and heal truly rather than looking for or indeed giving out false “I love you’s” to fill an old void. It’s a brilliant work of art, this song.

  5. 1branch says:

    For me as a child, I relate to this song as the loss of our childhood innocents, & being thrown into a world of crazy emotions. And maybe written for many (like me as a kid), whom just weren’t hormonally advanced enough to relate around their peers just yet. For instance the breakdown goes as follows:

    -“I used to be a lunatic from the gracious days” (well I am an Aspie, and from elementary/middle school I was a social reject, and frankly a lunatic! Horrible at making friends, getting into trouble pranking, drawing pictures of horrifying images of revenge for my peers, that kind of Calvin & Hobs stuff, during those “gracious days” of my youth.)

    -“I used to feel woebegone and so restless nights” (by middle school, kids had socially/hormonally advanced on without me, going from their innocent childlike friendships, into to hormone induced emotional relationships. But not me so quickly, my “love” was still childlike puppy love, & I was quickly becoming lost and feeling restless as my peers passed me up.)

    -“My aching heart would bleed for you to see” (a boy myself, often having been labeled as being “Gay,” and even though I was attracted to girls, I also was socially attracted to anyone who was still youthfully innocent and kind to me, this meant often socializing with girls or gentle guys. I wasn’t ready for growing up, and my aching heart would bleed, hoping anyone would see my pain, meanwhile attempting to be invisible.)

    -“Oh, but now I don’t find myself bouncing home, Whistling buttonhole tunes to make me cry.” (Home was my world during this phase, I would ride my ATV, bouncing around the hilltops of KY, blasting music loudly like this Annie song, and later crying under the stars to songs like Fade into you by Mazzy Star, being free to be me & cry without worry of my peers watching! After my hormones started to kick in, I was still a bit lost, but it was soon getting socially serious, and time to grow up, my bouncy mental escapes, and coping mechanisms were changing.)

    -“No more I love you’s, The language is leaving me, changes are shifting outside the words.” (the innocents of our childhood and the gentle puppy love “I love you’s,” gone! Replaced by the countless complexities of young adulthood love languages!)

    -“The lover speaks about the monsters” (same as above, the language of love has different meanings, and now love speaks of monsters: lust, one night stands, unprotected sex, rape, out of wedlock, straight-gay LGBT-Qrs-tuv…)

    -“I used to have demons in my room at night, Desire, despair, desire, so many monsters” (yep, self explanatory, I did suffer from many of those demons during this phase)

    -“Oh, but now, I don’t find myself bouncing around, Whistling my conscience to make me cry. No more I love you’s, The language is leaving me, No more I love you’s, The language is leaving me in silence
    No more I love you’s, Changes are shifting outside the words!”(Eventually, full blown teenage hormones had me thinking of sexual courtship & relationships, time to figure it out, you can’t just say “I love you” anymore, now it is flirt, relate, joke, smile, gaze, kiss, touch, etc., the simple & direct language of “I love you – is leaving me in silence,” and oh yes it did leave me in silence, while trying to figure this all out. I was still shy, still a little scared & timid, still labeled “gay….” For much of my teenage youth.)

    -“They were being really crazy, But they will only come, and you know what, mommy? Everyone was being really crazy, the monsters are crazy, there are monsters outside.” ( Can anyone say that teenage and college years were NOT crazy? Everyone is crazy, competition & fighting, love & sex, it is all crazy for a childlike mind, so so many monsters outside! But eventually the new words “will only come,” and so will love, and so will the monsters come with it too! Can you imagine what all this would look like to a child, there are so many monsters outside! That’s why we protect our children so closely inside.)

    Clearly the singer tries to shift her voice, hinting to echos of childlike laughter and innocents in the song… So for me, it is a song simply about the transition into adulthood, and the loss of that innocents!

    I love it, always will, and it still to this day takes me back to that time in my youth, for better or worse!

    Thank you Annie & writers!

  6. liz says:

    the song was played at a funeral yesterday. I am trying to understand why it was chosen with what seemed like unappropriate words!

    • susan says:

      to me “no more I love yous, language is leavng me” is the thought of someone who has dementia and/or is dying. hAt makes it appropriate to me. The rest of the song seems unrelated.

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