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One of MTV’s First Music Videos: Cruel to Be Kind

The "Cruel to Be Kind" video revolves around the actual wedding of Nick Lowe to Carlene Carter
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MTV’s first day of broadcast was August 1, 1981. One of the music videos that aired on that very first day is Nick Lowe’s song, “Cruel to Be Kind.” The video was filmed around the time of Lowe’s marriage to singer Carlene Carter and includes some footage from the actual wedding itself.

So, again, good night. I must be cruel only to be kind. Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.             — Hamlet, Act III Scene IV

Did you know that Shakespeare coined the phrase “cruel to be kind”? It first appears in the scene where Hamlet is chastising his mother for marrying her dead husband’s brother.

Were you around when MTV broadcast its first music videos? Do you remember this video, or perhaps hearing the song play on the radio?

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