Now that Valentine’s Day is over and there’s not even any of that 50% off stale chocolate left to stimulate our dopamine receptors, it’s time to celebrate the polar opposite of romance -- breaking up.
Look, there’s even a song that’s kind of about breaking up right after
Valentine’s Day (an excellent one, too, might I add)
Van William ft. First Aid Kit
I should totally not have watched that video, it actually contained some real human emotion and I try to avoid that whenever possible.
Anyhoo, breakup music is one of the deepest genres out there. Everyone has a breakup album or at least a few songs on the subject and to be lucky enough to write an article about the subject -- well, it’s really an embarrassment of riches to choose from.
There are breakup songs by women, breakup songs by men, country songs, rock songs, folk, rap, even spoken word poetry breakup songs I assume -- a heartbreaking ditty for every somber mood and a melancholy tune to fit every gutwrenching backstory.
I’ve picked some songs that I personally enjoy, and I hope -- indeed, I DEMAND that you share your personal faves in the comments section as my dear Ordinarians are keeping me well supplied with new music.
This was the first song I recall hearing as a child and
understanding that it was about the end of a relationship. I
thought about what “I know you really want to be your own girl”
meant for a long time. Still think about it sometimes.
Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty
“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”.
If you’d like a song that inspires you to grab the nearest dude
and give him a knee to the testicles just on general principle, try this.
Dixie Chicks “You Were Mine”
TFW you run into your ex and you have to act like it’s just another night on the town.
The Airborne Toxic Event “Sometime Around Midnight”
Sometimes you realize you had a pretty good thing.
Just a little bit too late.
Roxette “It Must Have Been Love”
An accurate portrayal of what troubled relationships feel like.
And a great song.
The Dead Weather -- “Treat Me Like Your Mother”
#stateyourunpopularopinion -- I don’t like Adele. With the exception
of this song, which like all her songs it seems like, is about a breakup.
“Set Fire To The Rain” -- Adele
You can work so hard to build a relationship and in the end it still doesn’t work.
It takes a lot of force to destroy something with a solid foundation.
“They’ll Need a Crane” -- They Might Be Giants
Or some sort of giant ball capable of, IDK, like, wrecking stuff?
Miley Cyrus -- “Wrecking Ball“
It’s sometimes hard not to at least partly blame the
other person for how terrible you feel about losing them.
“All Time Low” by Jon Bellion
Despite our nostalgic view of the past, people have been
breaking up, and singing about it, for a very long time.
Tammy Wynette -- “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”
Occasionally breaking up is like trying on a bikini -- you put it on thinking it’ll
be a good fit, and then once you see it in the harsh and unforgiving
light you change your mind and stick with the one-piece.
“Breaking Us In Two” -- Joe Jackson
Girl, I hate to say it but he’s really just not that into you. 🙁
Linda Ronstadt, “Long Long Time”
I am getting so sad watching all these videos that
I need a little lighthearted comedy to cheer me up.
Oh crap this one is pretty sad too actually. Sniff.
“I’m Not Crying” -- Flight of the Conchords
Even years later I’m still surprised this song wasn’t released as a single.
Hearing it, it’s pretty obvious Gaga was more than just a one-trick pony.
This is supposed to be about her dad, but it sounds breakuppy to me.
Lady Gaga -- “Speechless”
Some people say “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
And then there’s Phosporescent, with “Song for Zula”,
who makes it sound like love should be avoided at all costs.
There is an endless supply of country songs about breaking up.
So I picked the one that came with some eye candy.
“Brokenheartsville” -- Joe Nichols
This has gotta be one of the most poignant breakup songs ever.
ABBA -- “The Winner Takes It All”
Although this is also an exceedingly poignant breakup song.
“The Gold” -- Manchester Orchestra
That there are two sides to every story is obvious.
Less obvious is that sometimes, both sides are right.
Patty Loveless -- “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am”
Ever been in a relationship where it felt like your partner just
kind of wanted to be with someone who wasn’t you, and their solution
is rather than breaking up, they’ll just turn you into a different person?
Ben Folds ft. Regina Spektor -- You Don’t Know Me”
Then there are relationships where you just have a vibe that
your partner wishes you were a totally different person
but they just refuse to admit it, even to themselves.
“Such a Simple Thing” by Ray LeMontagne
One of the saddest, hardest part of breaking up is that you
have to go on living in the same old world that you once shared
with someone else. It’s enough to give you a raging case of
the “Divorce Separation Blues” according to the Avett Brothers.
Sometimes you have to break up with someone
before you’re even in a relationship with them.
“No One Is To Blame” -- Howard Jones
This is, in my opinion, the best breakup song.
It’s so weird what a high premium we all put on finding love
when it ends up hurting us so bad so much of the time.
Lottery tickets have a better chance at paying off.
Amy Winehouse -- “Love is a Losing Game”