"When I Was Your Man" (CD Single)

Common Sense Media says

A melancholy but clean breakup ballad.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Positive role models

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.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The music video shows Mars holding a whiskey glass.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.


Families can talk 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
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "When I Was Your Man" (CD Single) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Written byAnonymous February 24, 2013

13+ can listen.

This song wins for 13+
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bybscgirl February 20, 2013

When I Was Your Man

its as beautiful song i cried the first time i herd it :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Kid, 11 years old May 9, 2014

wonderful message about how you should treat people.

in the song, mars is apologizing to his former girlfriend about not treating her specially enough ("i should've bought u, flowers, and held your hand, shoulda giv'n u all my hours, when i had the chance...") he admits that he was wrong towards the end of the song, and that sends a good message. the song's really emotional, tho. sometimes when i hear it i feel like crying, so it's kinda a downer, but it's one of my favorites.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byWebkinzEvelyn February 23, 2014

I hate this song!

Idk the only song I really like by Bruno Mars is Treasure but this song sucks I'm sorry but people say it's really sad but this song is weird and stupid that's why it is iffy for 8 years and under! No offense to people who like it... I know people who like it but I don't.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide