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90s kids just uncovered the truth about their favourite song – and they can’t handle it

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Kayleigh Dray
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It was a very different world back in the Nineties, wasn’t it?

Sunny Delight was considered a healthy breakfast drink, Starburst were still called Opal Fruits, we snacked on Dairy Lunchables like nobody’s business, and Sylvanian Families basically ruled the country. We were wearing glitter on our cheekbones/collarbones/everywhere, our trousers sat at a comfy mid-waist level, snapper tracksuit bottoms were cool AF, our Tamagotchis were keeping us up all night and mostly everything was neon.



And Nineties music was just… well, it was just so much more cheesy than it is nowadays, wasn’t it? At least when it came to pop. And pop artists were so multitalented: one moment they were Australian soap stars, the next they were belting out catchy tunes in baggy trousers, hoodies and a dragon-motif vest top.

Natalie Imbruglia’s deliciously angst-riddled 1997 classic, Torn, has long reigned supreme as our bittersweet karaoke tune of choice.

But now, all these years later, the internet has uncovered a previously little-known truth about the song. And, as ever, our online communities cannot handle it.

The drama started when one troublemaker revealed the origins of Torn in a tweet:

That’s right, Imbruglia’s ballad is a cover.



Originally penned by Scott Cutler and Anne Preven of the alt-rock band Ednaswap, Denmark’s Lis Sørensen and Norway’s Trine Rein also released their own versions (the former under the title Braendt, which translates as Burned. And, yeah, the older generation probably remembers the original backlash that came about when the “truth” about Imbruglia’s hit was revealed all those years ago.

Younger millennials, however, missed out on all of that pre-social media controversy. Which is why, when a randomly retweeted joke alerted them to the long-forgotten Torn scandal, all hell broke loose.

They were all out of faith. Nothing was fine.

In short, they were torn.

Hell hath no fury like a millennial scorned, it seems.

Of course, Imbruglia has already responded to the controversy – like, all the way back in 1997, when everyone first found out about it.



Speaking to Yahoo Music at the time, she pointed out that the song had been “given to that Trine Rein person before I’d even met him”.

Despite this, though, she was “so glad that song fell into my hands”.

“I was not even expecting to break America with my first single,” she said. “That was something in my head that was going to be way down the line, after slugging it out on the road – which is fine as well.

“So now this thing’s happened, and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens next, because I’ve got to prove myself — which I’m quite happy to do. Let’s get on with it.”

Unfortunately, it turns out the world isn’t ready to get on with it just yet. A full 20 years later.

But, if it helps, we have some more nostalgia news to rock the (online) world with:

We’ll say it for you all, shall we? “My entire life is a lie.” Sorry about that.

Images: Rex Features

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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