Released on: This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours (Album #5) Epic Records, 14 September 1998
Also on: You Stole the Sun From My Heart (Single #23) Epic Records, 8 March 1999
Peak UK Chart Position: #5
Band Ranking: #20
‘You Stole the Sun From My Heart’ simply makes very little sense in the context of This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours. Almost everything about the song implies that it was written with the intention of having it become a hit single; while it was successful in this regard (as the third single from the album it hit #5 on the UK charts and is still played on the radio today) it has gone on to be one of the less popular Manics singles among fans. This is probably down to its sheer pop simplicity and outwardly sunny disposition.
Only outwardly, because the song was apparently actually written about Wire’s much-publicised dislike of touring, which by 1998 had obviously become very much a major part of life for the band members. Owing to this, there’s a definite tinge of bitterness to the lyrics which in retrospect, underline the irony of a song inspired by disliking touring becoming a live favourite known for its ability to get crowds moving. Touring was clearly not the only theme at work, however: Wire said that the lyrics were as much about “having the soul ripped out of you” and “being so fucked that you are past caring anymore”.
Wire also described the music as a mix of New Order and Nirvana – something you might be able to go along with if you really do the audio equivalent of squinting – and explained that the drum loop (yes, more drum machines) was sampled by Moore from the sound of a pinball machine, of all things. Beyond these interesting details, it’s hard to really like ‘You Stole the Sun From My Heart’. Despite its apparently deep lyrical undertones it comes across as something truly slight, an obvious single in the way Manics singles so rarely are. The really frustrating thing about the song, though, is the way it breaks up the atmosphere of its parent album; luckily, the impact is mitigated a little by its being placed as early as track three.
The video really plays up the dark/contrast inherent in the song by having the band play in a room while the weather violently alternates between sunshine and storms outside. Animated birds and real-life rabbits also make an appearance to distract the band, in a cute touch.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“I’ve got to stop smiling / it gives the wrong impression”
“There’s no real truce with my furies” – No Truce With the Furies is a book of poetry by the Welsh poet R.S. Thomas. A quote from the book is printed under the disc tray of This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours.