How Can I Help You Say Goodbye

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"How Can I Help You Say Goodbye"
How Can I Help You Say Goodbye.jpg
Single by Patty Loveless
from the album Only What I Feel
ReleasedMarch 19, 1994
Producer(s)Emory Gordy, Jr.
Patty Loveless singles chronology
"You Will"
"How Can I Help You Say Goodbye"
"I Try to Think About Elvis"
"How Can I Help You to Say Goodbye"
Laura Branigan - How Can I Help You to Say Goodbye.jpg
Single by Laura Branigan
from the album Over My Heart
Producer(s)Phil Ramone
Laura Branigan singles chronology
"It's Been Hard Enough Getting Over You"
"How Can I Help You to Say Goodbye"
"Dim All the Lights"

"How Can I Help You Say Goodbye" is a song written by Karen Taylor-Good and Burton Banks Collins. It was first recorded by Patty Loveless for her 1993 album Only What I Feel and released in March 1994 as the fourth single. A version by Laura Branigan was released later the same year on her final studio album Over My Heart, also being released as a single. The song was later included on Branigan's 1995 greatest hits album The Best of Branigan.


In the three verses, the narrator describes with florid imagery three experiences of loss in her life: moving away from her best friend as a young girl, separating from her husband as an adult, and her mother's death. Each time, in the repeating chorus, her mother seeks to comfort her, asking "how can I help you to say goodbye?"


Loveless' album, "Only What I Feel" had sold over 650,000 copies and had been certified as an RIAA Gold Album. Sony/Epic was receiving requests from radio stations that this song be released as a single, and in March 1994 it was released. This song climbed up the charts, reaching #3 in June. It was also nominated for the 1995 Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song. The accompanying video was also nominated by both the CMA and the ACM as 1995 Video Of The Year.

The song charted for 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart, reaching #3 during the week of June 4, 1994.

Burton Collins, who was an actor at the time, had never written a song before "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye". He told Country Weekly that the title was spoken to him by his grandmother shortly before her death in 1988. After being introduced to Karen Taylor-Good by a mutual friend, he wrote the song with her. Collins said that he and Taylor-Good wrote the song in three hours.[1]

Track listing[edit]

7" single[2]
1."How Can I Help You Say Goodbye"5:00
2."How About You"2:41

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[3] 19
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 3

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 48


  1. ^ Flans, Robyn (April 12, 1994). "The Story Behind the Song". Country Weekly. 1 (1): 14. ISSN 1074-3235.
  2. ^ "Patty Loveless – How Can I Help You Say Goodbye / How About You (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  3. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2503." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. June 13, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  4. ^ "Patty Loveless Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Best of 1994: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.

External links[edit]