You might know Sam Smith from his hits, Stay with Me, I'm Not the Only One, and Lay Me Down, from his acclaimed debut album, In the Lonely Hours. However, my favorite Sam Smith song happens to not be the three chart toppers listed prior, but a lesser known track that was also recorded in his debut album by the title, Leave Your Lover. (I'm Not the Only One is my second favorite song from the album.)
I love a good ballad, and Leave Your Lover is one hell of a ballad. What distinguishes Leave Your Lover from other love songs is its message. There are plenty of love songs center on the topic of heartbreak, taking the common stance of feeling sad, or staying strong and finding someone else. Leave Your Lover walks an alternative route, where Sam is emotional and vulnerable, boldly pleading the man he loves to "leave your lover... for me." Instead of writing and singing an empowering song on the ground of I-will-be-okay-without-you, Sam serves up his heart on a silver platter to his unrequited lover. His fearlessness to showcase his weakness is what I love the most about this song.
I wanted to find a screenshot from the music video to use as cover art for the post. However, I had no luck. The current cover art is from a Taiwanese movie, 盛夏光年 (Shèng Xià Guāng Nián). The film goes by the English title, Eternal Summer. The story tells the complicated relationship between the three main characters pictured above, from left to right, Kang, Hui, and Yu .
During a trip to Taipei, Taiwan, Kang and Hui attempted to have sexual intercourse at a hotel. Kang felt uncomfortable, and eventually left the room. Soon after, Kang realized that he did not have feelings for Hui, but rather his childhood best friend, Yu. Terrified of his newly unearthed feelings, Kang began to ignore Yu, and as a result, frequently leaving Yu alone with Hui. Hui and Yu quickly developed feelings for each other .
One night, Kang and Yu went out for a motorcycle ride, where Yu, oblivious to Kang's feelings, disclosed to Kang his freshly kindled relationship with Hui. Kang, could not bare to hear the news, stormed off. Kang ended up in a park, where he was picked up by and spent the night with a strange man .
Kang felt awkward, not sure how to act around Yu. Just before leaving a party Kang and Yu were both attending, Kang screamed at Yu that he never wanted to be Yu's friend and that he was "forced" by his elementary school teacher to be Yu's friend, because Yu was a troubled student. Yu, saddened by Kang's words, left the party on his motorcycle, and ended up in an accident .
Kang, upon receiving the news of the accident, picked up Yu at a police station. After the duo returned home, to Kang's surprise, Yu began to kiss Kang. The two spent the night together .
In a last scene, the trio arrived at a beach. Yu confronted Kang that Yu thinks Kang is hiding a secret. The conversation turned physical. After a brawl on the beach, Kang revealed his feelings to Yu. In return, Yu shared with Kang his loneliness while growing up. Yu told Kang how much he valued Kang as a friend. "You will always be my best friend," said Yu .
While Kang never wished Yu to leave Hui for him, the way Kang handled Yu and Hui's relationship well captured the essence of the song.
Here is Leave Your Lover's music video that I found on YouTube. Have a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below!
The picture that was featured above was found here. It was edited using Afterlight and Over.