"When I Was Your Man" (CD Single)

Music review by
Grace Montgomery, Common Sense Media
"When I Was Your Man" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
A melancholy but clean breakup ballad.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

The song shows the consequences of having too much ego and not appreciating what you have in a relationship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mars owns up to his mistakes -- "My pride, my ego, my needs and my selfish ways/ Caused a good strong woman like you to walk out of my life" -- and wishes his former lady love well with her new relationship.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The music video shows Mars holding a whiskey glass.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man" is the cleanest single from his album Unorthodox Jukebox. The song's about relationships, but with no iffy language or violence, it's appropriate for tweens and teens. The '60s-style video shows Mars holding a whiskey glass, but overall it's pretty clean.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byMerveille February 18, 2021

rated PG

love song, beautiful piano but why are you having a cup of wine
Kid, 11 years old July 23, 2020

No cursing, no problem

This is totally clean, and great for younger kids. However, it's upsetting and best to reserve for sad moments.

What's the story?

"WHEN I WAS YOUR MAN," the third single from the album Unorthodox Jukebox, shows Bruno Mars pouring his heart out in a beautiful and melancholy breakup ballad. Set against a solo piano, Mars' smooth vocals tell the tale of the girl who got away and his regret for not treating her right: "Too young, too dumb to realize that I should have bought you flowers and held your hand."

Is it any good?

With only the piano behind him, Bruno Mars' sweet vocals are heartbreaking in "When I Was Your Man." When he croons, "I hope he buys you flowers, I hope he holds your hand," your heart breaks along with him. But compared with his usual edgy lyrics and catchy beats, it's almost boring. Like the '60s-style video showing Mars playing piano alone on a stage, it's a little too much style without enough substance. It's a pretty tune, but not really a memorable one.


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Mars set the music video in the '60s. What details are examples from that era?

  • Do you think the song has a positive message? Why or why not?

  • Do you think the video goes well with the song? Why or why not?

Music details

  • Artist: Bruno Mars
  • Release date: February 11, 2013
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Genre: R&B/Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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