“Hello My Old Heart:” the loss and mourning of love

by Ian Maddox

“Hello My Old Heart” by The Oh Hellos is a song about the loss of love. Not just the loss of a love, but the idea that the emotion as a whole can simply leave. 

The song is a conversation between someone and their heart. Simply pleading to be able to love again. That they may feel something, if anything again. 

The Oh Hellos are an American Indie Folk Rock group consisting of siblings Tyler and Maggie Heath, and is usually accompanied by a larger band when performing live. They have a very emotional sound, one to me that is very sincere, honest, and easy to listen to. 

The version of “Hello My Old Heart” I listened to for this article was their Ten Year Anniversary remake published in 2021. 

Compared to the original, you can tell how much they’ve grown as musical artists and how they’ve become more comfortable as performers and storytellers over the years. The original, published in 2011 in an EP called “The Oh Hellos,” is more cheerful in tone and musicality, a nice juxtaposition between the darker content the lyrics hold. 

The remake keeps a somber tone throughout, pulling at the heart as if to try and make the listener understand the desperation the singer feels.

“Hello My Old Heart” is a story of deep pain, and the measures taken to avoid that pain. The singer has a one-sided conversation with their heart, pleading to once again feel something. Pleading that they may find love again. 

At one point they sing “Don’t you worry, in there you’re safe / And it’s true, you’ll never beat / But you’ll never break.” These lines are scarily relatable. At one point in most of our lives, we’ve likely considered whether it would simply be better to stop loving as a whole, to stop feeling. Maybe life would be easier that way? 

At the end of the song, after pondering all these questions and thoughts on love, wondering if they may ever love again, they come to a conclusion. 

The walls you build up around your heart aren’t a long-term solution. Too much pressure on a dam, and it will break. Too many emotions held back, and they will spew forth. “Nothing lasts forever / Some things aren’t meant to be / But you’ll never find the answers / Until you set your old heart free.”

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