Fugees – Killing Me Softly Lyrics

What do the Killing Me Softly Lyrics mean to you?

The Fugees are an American Hip-Hop group formed in South Orange, New Jersey under the name Tranzlator Crew in the mid-1990's. They were signed by Columbia Records and Ruffhouse Records in 1993. 

They then adopted the name Fugees which was an abbreviation of 'refugees'. This was a reference to Michel & Jeans' shared Haitian immigrant heritage. Their music included elements of Soul, Hip-Hop & Caribbean music, mainly Reggae.

The group were together for 5 years and had 2 albums under their belt, 'Blunted on Reality' in 1994 and their Multi-Platinum, Grammy winning success 'The Score' in 1996 before they split up.

Lauryn Hill was without a doubt the star of 'The Score'.

Her talent to rap & sing, plus her general character, vibe & appearance placed her as the central on this album.

The 1996 album included their smash hit single "Killing Me Softly".

The Killing Me Softly Lyrics are totally inspirational and the song itself is legendary.

Killing Me Softly Lyrics

'Killing Me Softly' was their first Mega-Hit and a cover of a song composed by Charles Fox, Norman Gimbel & Lori Lieberman. 

Don McLeans' Influence

As the story goes, Lori Lieberman attended a Don McLean concert at the Troubadour in Los Angeles where he performed his song 'Empty Chairs'.

As she listened she felt as if he knew her, and this song was about her life. The lyrics are supposedly about the loss of a loved one through break-up, or even through death.

Every word he sang was 'killing her & breaking her down'. It affected her so strongly that she promptly began to write a poem about it on a napkin. 

This song hit home with her as it was extremely relevant to what she was going through in her life at the time after a recent break down in a relationship.

Her pain, her feelings, her sadness.

She experienced an intense emotional connection to the artist as the song he had written was so moving and very close to her heart.

After noting her ideas at the show she put them forward to Gimbel & Fox who came up with the final lyrics & musical arrangement.

The Killing Me Softly Lyrics create metaphors that are beautiful yet confusing.

Strumming my pain with his fingers.

How do you strum pain?

Singing my life with his words.

How do you sing life?

Killing me softly with his song.

How do you kill softly?

It was then released on Loris' debut album in 1971 although it failed to chart. It was eventually covered and made famous in 1973 by Roberta Flack who decided to record it after hearing it whilst traveling on an Airplane.

Her version became a number one hit in the USA, Canada, Australia & hit the charts at No.6 in the UK.

There are not many songs that immediately spring to mind other than Killing Me Softly that have been a hit in 3 different versions from 3 totally different but equally brilliant vocal performers, all in their own style.

Years later in 1996 the Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Pras Michel & Wyclef Jean released their hit album 'The Score' which became one of the biggest selling Hip-Hop albums of all time and included the song.....'Killing Me Softly'. 

Perry Como Recording 1973

The Fugees Killing Me Softly Lyrics were unlike the original lyrics as was the case when Perry Como recorded the song.

However, the Fugees Killing Me Softly Lyrics although differing from the original are still recognized as powerful expressions of the same song as Roberta Flacks' & Lori Liebermans'. The difference being the The Fugees made it their own. 

Lauryn Hills' vocals on the track are truly spectacular, a million miles away from soulful Roberta & folky Loris' recordings.

The Killing Me Softly Lyrics make this a simply amazing song that can still become a smash hit year after year in the right singers hands.

The Fugees 1996 version sold over 3 million copies in the UK and hit the No.1 spot in the top 40 chart. To this day it remains a masterclass on how to do a cover. Following the success of 'The Score' the Fugees took a break and pursued solo careers.

Pras continued rapping and also pursued film production and acting. Meanwhile Wyclef Jean released over a dozen albums and also produced for artists such as Destiny's Child, Shakira, Santana and many more.

Lauryn Hill, regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time went on to release her solo album "The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill" which became one of the best selling albums of all time.

Nearly a decade after the success of 'The Score' they regrouped for Fugees gigs in 2004 & 2005 performing together on a European tour and releasing a new single 'Take It Easy'.

This reunion was short and sweet as they soon disbanded.

Lauryn Hill


The Fugees have a complex but impactful history. I wasn't even aware the 25th anniversary had arrived until someone brought it to my attention.

She went on to say that to honor the anniversary and their loyal fans, they would create a peaceful platform where they would unite, perform music they loved and set an example of reconciliation to the world.

They will go on to play a one-off gig in New York before the tour begins in Chicago 2nd November, followed by a further 8 US dates, a Paris show & the O2 in London.

The Fugees will finish the tour with gigs in Ghana & Nigeria.

Although their time together was brief 'The Score' remains one of the most critically acclaimed albums of all time.

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