Patsy Cline

I Fall to Pieces

Composed by Hank Cochran / Harlan Howard

Song Review by

"I Fall to Pieces" was one of Patsy Cline's biggest hits, ascending to #12 in 1961, and is probably her most famous song. For a country song, or a country-pop song as it might be more properly classified, "I Fall to Pieces" had an uncommonly lively and bouncy melody, particularly in the rippling descending notes and key changes of the guitar line following her declaration of the title phrase in the verse. That descension mirrored the sense of helplessness of falling in love described by the lyric, one which might play into stereotypes of femininity, but which is effective nonetheless. (And, incidentally, written by two men, Harlan Howard and Hank Cochran.) Another plus to the recording is its brisk walk-run tempo, where many country singers and arrangers would have opted for the more habitual sluggish ballads attached to lyrics such as these. "I Fall to Pieces"'s catchy and wistful melody, as well as its delicately echoed guitar lines that introduce and punctuate the tune, might have been its strongest musical attributes. But Cline also gifted it with a vocal delivery that refused to milk the sentiment and heartache of the words, maintaining dignity but at the same time making her hurt plain. Live Cline performances of the song from 1961 are also available on Live at the Cimarron Ballroom and Live at the Grand Ole Opry. Lynn Anderson, Wanda Jackson, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Michael Nesmith, Ray Price, Linda Ronstadt, Dottie West, and Faron Young are among the more renowned artists who have covered the song.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Patsy Cline Showcase 1961 Labelle 2:51
The Patsy Cline Story 1963 MCA 2:48
Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits 1967 Apo / Universal 2:49
No Image 1985
Various Artists
HBO/Cannon
MCA Records 30 Years of Hits (1958-1988) 1988
Various Artists
MCA 2:47
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Universal Special Products
No Image 1990 MCA
The Legendary Patsy Cline [Heartland] 1990 Heartland Productions, Inc.
The Patsy Cline Collection [MCA] 1991 MCA 2:49
No Image 1992 MCA
Great Ladies of Country 1992
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:47
Dreaming: 16 Original Greats 1993 Prism Entertainment 2:49
Country's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 1993
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:48
Country's Greatest Hits of the 60's, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:49
Trucker's Jukebox, Vol. 3 [Universal] 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:50
Unchained Melodies, Vol. 3 1995
Various Artists
Alex 2:51
Only Country 1960-1964 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:48
Sings Songs of Love 1995 Music Mill 2:51
The First Ladies of Country [Ranwood] 1996
Various Artists
Ranwood Records 2:28
The  Very Best of Patsy Cline 1996 MCA Nashville / Universal 2:49
Country Wildflowers 1996
Various Artists
Hip-O
Legendary Women of Country 1996
Various Artists
MCA 2:49
I Love Country: Hits of the '60s 1997
Various Artists
Priority Records 2:58
In the Country of Country, People And Places In American Music 1997
Various Artists
Compass / Compas Records 2:50
Back to Back [Universal] 1997 Universal Special Products 2:50
Country Heartaches 1997
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:50
Live at the Cimarron Ballroom 1997 MCA 3:17
Driver's Favorite Songs 1998
Various Artists
404 Music Group 2:47
Country Roads: 20 Driving Country Classics 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:48
Classic Country: Country Roots 1998
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:51
Naked Nashville 1998
Various Artists
BMG
Double Barrel Country 1999 Madacy 2:51
Classic Country: Early '60s 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:49
Universal Masters Collection 1999 Polygram / Universal Distribution 2:48
Queen of Country 1999 Universal Distribution 2:51
The Best of Patsy Cline: Walkin' After Midnight 2000 MCA 2:50
Crazy 2000 Performance
20 Golden Hits [TeeVee] 2001 Teevee Records 2:48
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 2:48
That's Country [Golden Stars] 2001
Various Artists
Golden Stars 1:58
The Best of Patsy Cline [Delta 2001] 2001 Delta Distribution 2:51
#1 Country Legendary Hits, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 2:51
The Golden Age of American Rock 'N' Roll: Special Country Edition 2002
Various Artists
Ace 2:49
The Ultimate Classic Country Collection 2002
Various Artists
WEA International 2:50
Heart Full of Country 2003
Various Artists
Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 2:49
Pure Country Classics: The #1 Hits 2003
Various Artists
UTV 2:48
Country Complete 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
The Heart of a Legend 2003 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:51
The Definitive Patsy Cline: 1932-1963 2003 Universal/MCA
No Image 2003
Don Williams
Universal Distribution 2:58
The Definitive Collection 2004 MCA Nashville 2:48
Lifetime Of Romance: Falling In Love 2004
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:50
Gold 2005 MCA Nashville 2:48
Devoted to You 2005
Various Artists
Prism Platinum 2:48
Classic Country Gold 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:49
Sings Songs of Love/Anytime/Collector's Edition 2005 Madacy/Universal Special Products 2:51
Sweet Dreams Still: The Anthology 2005 MPI Home Video
Ultimate 16: Country Legends 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:49
Country's Greatest Hits, Vol. 4 2005
Various Artists
Universal Special Products
The Best of Classic Country: '60s 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music / TLS 2:52
The Ultimate Collection [Madacy] 2006 Madacy 2:51
Legends of Country: Classic Hits from the '50s, '60s & '70s 2006
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:50
The Greatest Country Hits of All Time 2006
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:49
Number 1's: Country 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:49
Introducing the Dwights 2007
Original Soundtrack
Milan 2:49
Vol. 6 Country Stars 2007
Various Artists
Gusto Records 2:48
Showcase/Sentimentally Yours 2008 Beat Goes On 2:51
Best of Patsy Cline: Green Series 2008 Universal Distribution 2:49
Playlist Your Way 2008 MCA Nashville 2:49
Sweet Dreams 2009 Forever Music / Musicpro
Pop Memories of the '60s: Hello Dolly 2009
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:50
Sweet Dreams: Her Complete Decca Masters (1960-1963) 2010 Geffen / Hip-O Select / MCA Nashville 2:49
Pop Memories of the 60s [Time-Life Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:50
Across the Airwaves 2011 Chrome Dreams / United States of Distribution 2:44
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: 1961 2011
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:50
Heroes of the Big Country: Patsy Cline 2012 DLG Digital 2:48
Simply Country [2012] 2012
Various Artists
Simply 2:52
No Image 2012
Various Artists
Legacy / Play 24-7 2:50
On the Air: Her Greatest TV Performances 2012 Island / Universal 2:46
No. 1 Country Hits Collection 2012
Various Artists
4:Squared 2:44
100 Love Songs & Love Ballads 2013
Various Artists
4:Squared 2:49
No Image 2013 K-Tel 2:50
No Image 2013 Sound and Vision 2:49
100 Country Hits & Greatest Country Classics 2013
Various Artists
4:Squared 2:44
20 #1's: Classic Country 2015
Various Artists
Umes / Universal 2:51
No Image
Various Artists
Rare Jazz Music Ltd 2:54
25 Country Greats
Various Artists
Music Digital
No Image
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:46
No Image
Various Artists
Madison Bay Records 2:54
Classic Country Songs/I Walk the Line... and More
Various Artists
New World Records / Zebralution 2:48
Country Ladies - Over 200 Vintage Country Music Hits
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:51
Country Sounds of the 60's, Vol. 2
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:51
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:50
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:50
No Image
Various Artists
Rare Jazz Music Ltd 2:49
No Image
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:46
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:55
It's Country [Play 27-7]
Various Artists
Play 24-7 / Play 27-7 2:50
No Image
Various Artists
BMG/Metacom
No Image
Various Artists
Rare Jazz Music Ltd 2:54
Oldies Hits A to Z, Vol. 8
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:46
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:55
No Image
Various Artists
Puzzled Records 2:51
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:50
No Image Proper
The Best of Patsy Cline [Pickwick] Pickwick 2:48
No Image MCA 2:48
No Image
Various Artists
Jasmine Records
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