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No Doubt’s “Don`t Speak”: A Unique 90s Breakup Song

This week’s #SongLyricsSunday is a tough one! The prompt is “Listen/Hear/Talk/Speak”. I was debating between No Doubt, Tevin Campbell, and The Stylistics. All three have wonderful songs that fit this week’s prompt. After debating for a while, I ultimately picked No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”, a song from one of my favorite 90s album and one from my childhood.

(This is part of #SongLyricsSunday, a weekly song lyrics prompt hosted by Jim at A Unique Title For Me. Anyone is free to join. The rules on how to join are at the bottom of this post)

Don’t speak, I know just what you’re sayin’

March is National Women’s History Month. But also, March 8 is International Women’s Day. So in dedication to both celebrations, I decided to pick No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”. This is my fourth song recently that I have featured a female singer and/or songwriter. In February, I talked about songs by Marley Wildthing, Kate Bush, Jewel, Norah Jones, and Namie Amuro (with Sheila E).

However, I wanted to share No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” as it is from one from favorite bands and albums from the 90s. The tune comes from the ska band’s third album, which is entitled Tragic Kingdom. Other famous songs from this album are “Spiderwebs” and “Just a Girl”. Personally, my favorite song is the same-titled song as it gives me fantasy vibes from the lyrics.

No Doubt in 1996

There is no doubt that No Doubt is one of the influential bands of the 90s. From their lyrics to their musical styles, the band has some sort of impact on listeners’ lives. Gwen Stefani further influenced listeners’ lifestyles with her solo career. For me personally, I liked Gwen Stefani when she was in No Doubt more than her solo career as I am a 90s rock-type of girl.

How about you? Which do you like more: No Doubt or Gwen Stefani’s solo career? What is your favorite song from both?

Don’t speak, I know what you’re thinkin’

“Don’t Speak” was written by Gwen Stefani and her brother Eric. The song was originally supposed to be a love song, but it all changed when Gwen and bassist Tony Kanal broke up. Gwen channeled her feelings about the breakup into the song, changing the mood from a happy one to a sad one.

“It used to be more upbeat, more of a Seventies rock-type thing,” said Gwen. “[When] Tony and I broke up… it turned into a sad song.”

— Gwen Stefani[1]

“Don’t Speak” can be perceived as a typical 90s break-up song. But, to me, it has a special uniqueness to it. And, that uniqueness is a combination of a lot of things: No Doubt’s ska genre, the quiet rock vibe, the Spanish guitar solo during the interlude, and Gwen’s powerful vocals. Although I have no personal connections with “Don’t Speak”, I really love the song with its lyrics, vibe, and Gwen’s vocals.

What do you think of “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt? Do you have any memories that are associated with this song? Tell me in the comments below.

Here is the demo version of the song before the band got famous and pre-breakup:

Lyrics to No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”

You and me, we used to be together
Every day together, always
I really feel that I’m losin’ my best friend
I can’t believe this could be the end
It looks as though you’re lettin’ go
And if it’s real, well, I don’t want to know

Don’t speak, I know just what you’re sayin’
So please stop explainin’
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts
Don’t speak, I know what you’re thinkin’
I don’t need your reasons
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts

Our memories, well, they can be inviting
But some are altogether mighty frightening
As we die, both you and I
With my head in my hands, I sit and cry

Don’t speak, I know just what you’re sayin’
So please stop explainin’
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts (No, no, no)
Don’t speak, I know what you’re thinkin’
And I don’t need your reasons
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts

It’s all ending
We gotta stop pretending who we are

You and me
I can see us dyin’, aren’t we?

Don’t speak, I know just what you’re sayin’
So please stop explainin’
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts
No, no, don’t speak, I know what you’re thinkin’
And I don’t need your reasons
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts

Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts
I know what you’re sayin’
So please stop explainin’
Don’t speak, don’t speak, don’t speak, no
I know what you’re thinkin’
And I don’t need your reasons
I know you’re good, I know you’re good
I know you’re real good, oh
La, la, la, la, la, la
Don’t, don’t, ooh, ooh
Hush, hush, darling
Hush, hush, darling
Hush, hush
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts
Hush, hush, darling
Hush, hush, darling
Hush, hush
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts
Oh, hush, hush, darling
Hush, hush, darling

If you want to participate, here are the rules:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to this post will eventually work, as long as you are being patient, but you can also place your link in the comments if you don’t like to wait.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Have fun and enjoy the music.

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No Doubt's "Don`t Speak": A Unique 90s Breakup Song


[1] Webb, Robery. “Story of the Song: ‘Don’t Speak’, No Doubt, 1996.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 23 Oct. 2011,

This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. Felicia Denise

    Can’t believe as many times as I’ve heard Don’t Speak, I’d never seen the video! Nice choice! 👍

    1. aisasami

      I never saw this video before either! And it has an interesting concept: it is about the members hating Stefani. It wasn’t tribe but they were jumping on the fact that the press would always crocus one Stefani and not the band itself

  2. Violet

    I am a lover of anything female angst, and so I am thrilled Gwen reconstructed the song and the version she offered us with No Doubt was the more powerful version. Excellent choice. one of my all time faves.

  3. Mel

    I loved this song back in the day!

  4. James Adams

    I remember hearing this tune, although I did not know much about it.

  5. Jade Li

    Good song. There is a definite Madonna feel to this one. She even kind of looks like Madonna!

  6. Jill Witherspoon

    I was waiting for this one. Sure to be included as a perfect fit for the prompt. Good choice.

  7. J-Dub

    I was waiting for this one. Sure to be included as a perfect fit for the prompt. Good choice.

  8. Chad

    I used to listen to No Doubt, it is such an awesome band.. Great selection.

  9. Jon Maldia

    Love that song. Used to play that all the time.

  10. Fiona Mai

    This is so nostalgic! I used to love this song a lot and love the way Gwen Stefani sang it.

  11. David Elliott

    This song definitely takes me back. I actually went out with someone briefly who knew Gwen way back in high school. Seems crazy. This is an intense song for breakups.

  12. tweenselmom

    I love No Doubt’s albums and music, I like the groove and the beat of their songs.

  13. Ash

    Remembering my childhood! Haha. I used to hear this every morning before heading to school.
    Nothing beats 90s songs! <3

  14. Cristina Petrini

    I only know that regardless of all this song has marked my adolescence, despite being sad I keep beautiful memories of it.

  15. Robin

    Love Gwen Stefani, amazing she has been at it this long and still super successful.

  16. Nikki Steele

    I LOVE Gwen Stefani! Not only can she sing, but she looks amazing for her age!!! Don’t Speak is one of my all time favorite songs!

  17. Raksha N

    Wow I have never heard of this song before. I will listen to it.

  18. Wendy Gratzer

    I LOVE this song. It was my jam in the 90’s when I was growing up. Thank you for the memories! Now I’m going to be singing “don’t speak” all day long.

  19. Jessica L

    Wow!! Flashback! This song got me through some major teenage times! Thanks for the trip down memory lane! <3

  20. Maysz

    I’m a fan of Gwen Stefani and Don’t speak is one of my favorite songs I always sing that on the karaoke. HAHAHHA. 90’s kid here!

  21. Danielle

    I used to love this song when it first came out!! I still love to listen to it and sing it loudly!!

  22. Neil Alvin

    Nice! Another amazing article from you. As usual I learned something new from it. Thanks a bunch! 🙂

  23. Monidipa

    I just saw it and it was really good. Perfect song for my current situation.

  24. Joanna

    This is such a classic of the ’90s which is still being played at the radios, worldwide. Can’t believe it’s been so long since it was released for the first time. I still enjoy it, it’s one of Gwen’s best.

  25. Mila R

    90′ were great, but I love even more 80′

  26. Michele

    I will always be a No Doubt/Gwen Stefani fan. She looks amazing for her age. I love 90s music more than any other, it reminds me of middle school and high school. Ahhh, Nostalgia.

  27. Ting

    Oh this is a true 90s classic. I remember hearing this on the radio so often cus they kept playing it

  28. mariah green

    No Doubt was the ish back then. Omg you just brought back so many memories for me. Now time to go youtube for an impromptu jam session, thanks for sharing!

  29. CoinMart

    I only know that this song shaped my youth despite everything, although I am sad, I have fond memories of it.

  30. Jamie

    This used to be one of my favorite groups and one of my favorite songs. I love your break down.

  31. Lorna Proia

    Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

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