Heartbreak is never easy to overcome, especially when the person responsible was motivated by malice. The pain of that betrayal is the main theme in Little Green Car’s lonely anthem, “My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me”.

Analysis

After the song opens with the background singers chanting “down to the river to silence me”, the main singer’s mournful voice wails out this chilling first stanza:

“My love took me down to the river to silence me,

and when he left, I could not speak.

I lay on the ground, I tried to scream…

…but no sound did come out, I could only bleed (blue)…”

This song immediately conjures a violent, heartwrenching scene of the woman lying on the ground, horrified and shattered after her love’s brutal betrayal of her. Probably the best example of this to underline the pain of the woman is the following infamous scene from the 2014 Maleficent movie:

Both the singer and Maleficent can only lie on the ground, in shock and agony, after being unexpectedly betrayed by the man they both poured out their hearts to.

The song goes on, with the singer explaining her understandable inability to move on:

“I waited for him ‘til the frost did come,

my skin, it turned blue, and my body was numb.

But my heart, it burned out ‘til it was no more…

…still I wait on the ground, I don’t know what for.”

Even after what that monster did to her, the singer can’t help but remain in the spot where he left her, waiting and aching for him to come back, despite inherently knowing that he’ll never return.

And of course, the song’s chorus brutally highlights this truth:

“This love’s killing me, but I want it to.

So long, you’re gone…just like I always knew,

but I’m still here, waiting for you…

…here, waiting for you…” 

No matter how much time passes, that monster of a man will never come back, no matter how desperately the woman wishes for him to.

In the song, the singer bemoans the damage her lover did to her, especially in this couple of verses:

“What he said to me, I could never say,

because it’s breaking my heart to this very day.”

 She remains rooted to the spot where she was abandoned, unable to move past the cruelty her man suddenly showed her, after she potentially thought he was taking her to the river for a far more romantic purpose.

The Lesson

Betrayal hurts, especially when the person who does it is the one you trusted the most. When you trust somebody, you don’t ever expect them to suddenly turn on you, vilify you and leave you feeling utterly broken. Moving on from that negativity takes Herculean effort, for obvious reasons.

It’s beyond important that you remember that their cruel choice was their wrongdoing, their sin, never yours. Never tell yourself “I let myself get fooled” or “I was stupid for believing that they would never do that to me”. Never insult yourself for sincerely believing in the good in people, and forgive yourself for trusting the wrong person; don’t take the blame for their choice against you.

It’s also important to avoid allowing your pain to define you, and twist you into a vengeful shell of your former self. Take for example Maleficent, whose justifiable fury over what her former lover did to her led to her becoming so cruel that she had zero qualms placing a curse on a defensless infant, and later had to confront her choice when Aurora learns about it.

Forgiving the one who hurt you is difficult but vital for our survival, just as forgiving yourself and refusing to blame yourself for what happened is. It’s so easy to get lost in your pain and refuse to let yourself move on properly, but doing so comes at great personal cost: your wounds will forever bleed and never heal. It’s ok to hurt; but it’s necessary for us to not let our pain hold us back from pursuing the happier future that we deserve.