Could you please look at this sentence and let me know if past perfect is needed.The sentence is from a song.

I woke up this morning with the blues My baby left me a note

I would have written, my baby "had left" me a note because the first action was leaving a note . Could it be possible that both events are not related . I mean it is not because "my baby left me a note that I woke up with the blues". But if it was related?

Thanks for your answer

  • Recommended reading: ell.stackexchange.com/a/13262/32. Especially the part, ”Don’t use the perfect unless you need it.” Commented Apr 20, 2014 at 7:14
  • But I had thought he had the blues because he found the note of his girlfriend saying she had left but in fact it seemed that he had the blues before finding the note
    – Yves Lefol
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 17:34

2 Answers 2


First of all , proper English grammar and syntax are not always found in songs. Yes, the past perfect would be appropriate here meaning "She had left me a note before leaving.". Here the stated time ("before leaving") is not stated but implied. The past simple can be used however, instead of the past perfect simple when we have two actions that happened immediately one after another. So for example, if his girlfriend wrote the note and immediately left, then the past simple for the first action is ok. "She wrote the note and left." Another example: "I felt sad, after the dog (had) died." It depends on the time distance between the first and second action.


Songs are not usually good examples for grammar, so be careful when trying to re-use grammar that you found or heard in a song. In this case, if the singer meant that the note was left before they woke up, then yes, the correct grammar would be "had left".

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