They’re not the only ones, either: Lily Allen, Ed Sheeran, and Jay Z have also written about miscarriages. For Allen, it was her own; for Jay Z, it was Beyoncé’s; and for Sheeran it was a close friend’s.
It’s a topic most people don’t talk about, much less put to music. And that’s powerful. If that’s not strong, I don’t know what is.
When I think about Pink’s and Beyoncé’s music, the word vulnerable doesn’t immediately come to mind. That’s not to say their songs aren’t personal-both artists have expansive catalogs of powerful music-but I associate their work with strength, not sadness.
It turns out, though, both Beyoncé and Pink have tracks in their libraries that couldn’t be more vulnerable. Sandwiched in between the bops and bangers, both artists have songs about miscarriage.
Pink is arguably the most vulnerable she’s ever been on the song “Happy,” from her most recent album, Hurts 2B Human. She sings, “Since I was 17, I’ve always hated my body, and it feels like my body’s hated me.” Those lyrics, as it turns out, partially derive from Pink’s having had a miscarriage at 17 years old. “The reason I said [that lyric] is because I’ve always had this very tomboy, very strong gymnast body, but actually at 17 I had a miscarriage,” the singer told USA Today earlier this year. “And I was going to have that child. But when that happens to a woman or a young girl, you feel like your body hates you and like your body is broken, and it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do.”
Jay Z, “Glory”
Jay Z released “Glory” in 2012 to celebrate the birth of his and Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy. But in the song he also sings about the miscarriage the couple experienced before becoming parents. “Last time the miscarriage was so tragic. We was afraid you’d disappear. But nah, baby, you magic,” he raps on the track. This comes after he alluded to the situation at the top of the song: “False alarms and false starts. All made better by the sound of your heart. All the pain of the last time. I prayed so hard it was the last time.”
In her 2013 HBO documentary, Life Is but a Dream, Beyoncé reveals she recorded a song shortly after going through her miscarriage. “I went into the studio and wrote the saddest song I’ve ever written in my life,” she said. “And it was the best form of therapy for me, because it was the saddest thing I’ve ever been through.” The song, called “Heartbeat,” was intended for her 2013 self-titled album but didn’t make the cut. But a snippet and some lyrics have been made public.
“I guess love just wasn’t enough for us to survive,” she sings. “You took the life right out of me. I’m so unlucky I can’t breathe. You took the life right out of me. I’m longing for your heartbeat.”
Ed Sheeran, “Small Bump”
Sheeran wrote his 2011 song “Small Bump” about his friend who had a miscarriage. “’Cause you were just a small bump unborn for four months, then torn from life,” he sings. “Maybe you were needed up there, but we’re still unaware as why.” Sheeran talked about the track’s story in 2011 with Interview magazine. “It was quite a difficult subject to tackle,” he said. “I wrote it from their perspective. It was my perspective looking on them to begin with. It’s quite a touchy subject, so I wrote it from the perspective of actually being the parent.”
Lily Allen, “Something’s Not Right”
In 2010, Allen experienced a stillbirth, which she then wrote about in a song for the 2015 movie Pan called “Something’s Not Right.” “Five years ago today I was admitted to hospital. 4 days later I delivered a beautiful baby boy, but sadly he didn’t make it,” she tweeted in October 2015. “It’s unlike me to discuss this sort of thing so publicly but I wrote this song in his memory when writing something for @panmovie.”
The lyrics to the song are quite emotional: “We had forever. We never got it together,” Allen sings. “I waited for you. For you, I made it better.”
Jay Z, “4:44”
In his 2017 song “4:44,” Jay Z reveals that he and Beyoncé experienced more than just one miscarriage while trying to conceive: They had multiple. “So I apologize. I’ve seen the innocence leave your eyes,” he raps. “I still mourn this death. I apologize for all the stillborns. ’Cause I wasn’t present, your body wouldn’t accept it.”
Daughtry, “Gone Too Soon”
According to songfacts.com, Chris Daughtry wrote “Gone Too Soon” following the birth of his twins in 2010. But the song took on a double meaning when he realised his brother and wife had experienced a miscarriage.
“The song is about realising that today could have been the day that someone would be blowing out the candles,” he said, per songfacts.com. “It just hit me pretty hard. I remember playing the demo for my brother, and I turned around and he was bawling. I didn’t realise that my brother’s wife had suffered a miscarriage years before. It was a pretty emotional moment.”
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you,” the lyrics read. “I’m always asking why this crazy world had to lose. Such a ray of light we never knew.”
Hillary Scott, “Thy Will”
Scott, who is the co–lead singer of Lady Antebellum, put pen to paper and created “Thy Will” after going through a miscarriage in fall 2015. “Goodness gracious,” she told Good Morning America in 2016, according to cmt.com. “There’s this pressure that you’re just supposed to be able to snap your fingers and continue to walk through life like it never happened.”
The lyrics of the song touch on the roller coaster of emotions Scott felt at this time. “I’m so confused. I know I heard you loud and clear,” she sings. “So I followed through. Somehow I ended up here.”
Coby Grant, “Winter Bear”
The Australian singer-songwriter wrote “Winter Bear” for an expecting couple she knew who had a stillbirth. “The song is about this family’s son, but when I wrote, I thought of my mum and friends who have lost babies through miscarriage, stillbirth and SIDS,” she told Kidspot.
In the lyrics, Grant sings, “I knew you before I knew your name. I loved you before I saw your face. I longed for you for all of that time. And I held your heart in mine. I kissed you you a hundred million times. I tasted the tears that I cried. I held you my beautiful child. And I’ll keep your heart in mine.”