The Meaning Behind The Song: Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri - Old Time Music
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The Meaning Behind The Song: Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri

The Story Behind The Breakout Hit: Jar of Hearts

Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts” is one of those songs that immediately strikes a chord with listeners. Upon its release in 2010, it quickly climbed the charts and became a worldwide sensation. The lyrics are poignant, the melody is hauntingly beautiful, and the emotions conveyed are universal. In this article, we will explore the meaning behind the song and what inspired Christina to write it.

The Inspiration Behind the Song

In an interview with Songfacts, Christina revealed that “Jar of Hearts” was based on a personal experience. She had just broken up with her longtime boyfriend and was struggling to come to terms with it. When she sat down to write the song, she wanted to express the pain and anger she was feeling in a way that was relatable to others. She drew from her own experiences and those of people around her to create the heartbreaking lyrics.

The Lyrics

The lyrics of “Jar of Hearts” are filled with raw emotions that are palpable. The song speaks to the pain of a broken heart and the struggle to move on. The opening lines set the tone for the rest of the song:

“I know I can’t take one more step towards you
‘Cause all that’s waiting is regret
Don’t you know I’m not your ghost anymore
You lost the love I loved the most”

Verse 1

The first verse focuses on the narrator’s realization that she can no longer go back to the person who hurt her. She acknowledges that there is only regret waiting for her if she tries. This is a common feeling for those who have been hurt in relationships, and it sets the stage for the rest of the song.


The chorus of “Jar of Hearts” is perhaps the most memorable part of the song. The lyrics are simple yet powerful:

“And who do you think you are?
Running ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are?”

Verse 2

The second verse delves deeper into the pain the narrator is feeling. She addresses the person who hurt her directly, accusing them of collecting hearts like they are nothing more than objects. She also warns them of the consequences of their actions, saying that they will eventually be alone with only their cold soul to keep them company.

The Music

The music of “Jar of Hearts” perfectly complements the lyrics. The haunting piano melody is enough to bring tears to anyone’s eyes, but it is also backed up by a steady drumbeat that gives the song a sense of urgency. The bridge is particularly powerful, with Christina’s voice rising to a crescendo as she sings:

“I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time”

It’s a poignant reminder that once someone has been hurt, they can never go back to the way things were.

The Legacy of “Jar of Hearts”

Since its release, “Jar of Hearts” has become a cultural phenomenon. It has been covered on countless shows, including “Glee” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” It has also been used in movies and TV shows, such as “The Vampire Diaries” and “Pretty Little Liars.”

In addition to its pop culture impact, “Jar of Hearts” has also helped to break down barriers in the music industry. Christina Perri was an unknown artist when she wrote the song, but it launched her career and helped to pave the way for other female singer-songwriters.


“Jar of Hearts” is a timeless song that speaks to the pain of a broken heart in a way that is relatable to people of all ages and backgrounds. Its power lies in its simplicity and honesty, and it is a reminder that sometimes the most difficult emotions to express are the ones that resonate the most with others. Christina Perri’s ability to capture these emotions in a song has made her a household name and has ensured that “Jar of Hearts” will continue to be an important song for years to come.

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