On This Day in Pink History… 31st March 2009, Please Don’t Leave Me was released
Please Don’t Leave Me was released on mainstream airplay in North America on 31st March 2009.
It is the third single from Pink’s fifth album Funhouse, written by Pink and Max Martin, who handled the production as well for the track. It is one of four songs from the album produced by Max Martin, with the number one single So What being another of the four. The song is a mid-tempo track that details a love-hate relationship. Pink sings of someone having a bad effect on her, yet not being able to let go of the person. She insists during the chorus, “I always say how I don’t need you, but it’s always gonna come right back to this, please don’t leave me.” The song was one of the first three to be heard and performed from Funhouse, being performed along with So What and second single, Sober, live on Much Music, prior to the album’s release.
Digital Spy gave the song a positive review: “A really good video can make you realise a song’s better than you originally thought – a case in point being the new Pink single. Within the context of her Funhouse album, ‘Please Don’t Leave Me’ seemed like a quite good angsty break-up song – one of many quite good angsty break-up songs on there – but after watching the Misery-inspired promo it becomes something far more memorable. “I can be so mean when I wanna be, I am capable of really anything,” sings Pink here, one of several lines that resonate harder once you’ve seen her brandishing a golf club, chucking her invalid boyfriend out of his wheelchair and chasing him round the house with an axe. Still, entertaining as the video is, it’s Pink’s bruised vocals – which convey the combination of bitterness and regret in her lyrics perfectly – that leave the biggest impression”.
“Please Don’t Leave Me” made a #46 debut on the Australian ARIA Charts the chart week of 19 January 2010. On the Official Australian Airplay chart, the song debuted at #8, making it the second-highest debut song ever on the chart behind Delta Goodrem’s, “In This Life” which debuted at #6 in September, 2007. In its third week on the Airplay Chart it managed to peak at #1, making it Pink’s third consecutive single to do so, and making it the first song to peak at #1 in that many weeks. In the UK it debuted at 162 in November 2008 due to the downloads of the song from its parent album (Funhouse), which was newly released that week. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 28 in February 2009, and has peaked at number 19. The song peaked at number one in Poland. In the United Kingdom the song re-entered the chart in March 2009 at 171 due to digital sales from ‘Funhouse’ and has since reached a peak of number #12, making it her 17th top twenty hit in the UK. “Please Don’t Leave Me” climbed relatively slowly after its release in the United States. But after weeks of release spent on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Chart, the song debuted on #66 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has peaked at #17, giving Pink her third top 20 hit from Funhouse, as well as her sixth consecutive top 20 on the chart. The song has sold well digitally, entering the Hot Digital Songs chart at #70 and rising 26 spots to #44 the following week.
The music video for “Please Don’t Leave Me” was shot in late 2008, leaked to the internet in January 2009, and officially premiered on Pink’s YouTube channel soon after. It was directed by Dave Meyers. The video draws influences from the 1990 Stephen King based film Misery, as well as other similar thrillers, including Cujo, The Shining and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. It utilizes both the horror/thriller genre, while also being interpretable as a dark comedy. In February the video was named Channel V’s ‘Ripe’ clip of the week. The male lead in the video was portrayed by actor Eric Lively. Brian Christensen served as stunt coordinator, Nikki Hester as stunt double for Pink, and Justin Sundquist as stunt double for Eric Lively.
The video begins inside Pink’s house, where after a fight with her boyfriend, she is shown trying to stop him from packing his stuff in preparation to leave. He exits the bedroom with his bags, and as he reaches the stairway Pink pleads with him to stay. He refuses and turns to leave. As he does so, he slips on some marbles on the floor and endures a rough fall down the stairs. He sees Pink coming towards him down the stairs, with an innocent expression on her face, and blacks out. He awakens, bruised and swollen in bed with Pink dressed in a nursing type of uniform, stitching up one of his wounds. She dances suggestively for him, while he tries to grasp for the telephone at the bedside, only to have Pink smash his kneecaps with a golf club (a direct imitation of one of the scenes from the aforementioned movie Misery).
Pink is then shown in the kitchen preparing a salad, rapidly and angrily chopping the vegetables with a large knife. Her boyfriend awakens in bed, and attempts to sneak out through the door, but Pink catches him at the doorway. She gives him a bewildered look while holding the bowl of salad, as he debates whether or not he can escape. He opens the door, only to be instantly attacked by one of Pink’s dogs. He is next shown opening his eyes to Pink’s face yet again, as she paints his face with clownish makeup, while he sits in a wheelchair. She is wearing another lavish outfit. His hands are tied, and he is bruised and battered almost beyond recognition. Pink grabs his wheelchair, spins it around a few times and pushes it off a high step, seeming to enjoy herself in the process. He flies out of the chair, into a room filled with carnival themed objects such as horses used in a merry go round and various dolls. Pink lies on top of him, acting completely innocent, and kissing his cheek.
He manages to crawl out from under and begins to attempt another escape. Pink chases him into the garage, where she grabs an axe and continues to stalk him through the house. He reaches the upstairs bathroom, and shuts the door just in time to block Pink charging psychotically down the hallway with the axe. The axe breaks through the wood, leaving a hole in the door. Pink looks in though the hole (a direct imitation from the Stephen King-based film The Shining), as the man grabs a spray can, spraying her in the eyes. Blinded, she flails backwards, and slips on the marbles from the beginning of the video, falling over the upstairs railing. The final scene shows the paramedics taking the man out on a stretcher, and Pink lying on the floor with her leg broken and the axe beside her. She gives him one final look of desperation not to leave as he is wheeled out, before blowing a kiss to the camera with a comically psychotic look on her face.