Break-up Songs

28 10 2009

breakup_large

Some people are amazingly talented at surviving break-ups.  They can be in a serious relationship one day, broken up the next, and after a week they’re already over it.  These people (“mutants,” I call them) subscribe to the old adage, “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.”  They cry for a day or two, then immediately toss out all pictures of the ex, de-friend him on Facebook, delete his phone number, complain to their friends about what an asshole he was and then hit the local bar to meet the next flame.

I’m not one of these people.  I’m one of the other kind– the kind that masochistically stares at old pictures for months after the break-up.  The kind that dramatically flails herself against brick walls and manages to lose 20 lbs. in a month because she can’t even wash down a comforting bite of Spaghetti-O’s.  The kind that calls her mother crying a hundred times a day from the bushes outside of her office, asking pathetic rhetorical questions like Will anyone ever love me?!

My methods of dealing with break-ups almost ensure that I will not move on.  I pick and pick at the wound with an arsenal of sad songs, old love movies and e-mails from early in the relationship.  A random guy could say “Hello” to me at a bar, and I respond, “I’m not ready for this, my ex-boyfriend is in the hospital!” and then, in the wake of his confusion, dart out of the bar like a spooked squirrel.  

I know I can’t be the only one who takes break-ups really badly.  As a dedication to anyone who has ever made a complete ass of him or herself in the wake of a break-up, I am going to rank my 10 favorite break-up songs of all time :

1.  Jackie Wilson- “Lonely Teardrops”

2.  Joni Mitchell- “River” 

3. Rolling Stones- “Ruby Tuesday”

4. Nancy Sinatra- “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”

5. Bob Dylan- “One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)”

6. Patsy Cline- “Crazy”

7. The Clash- “Train in Vain”

8. Lauryn Hill- “Ex-Factor”

9. Alanis Morissette- “You Oughta Know”

10. Sam Cooke- “Bring It on Home to Me”

Honorable mention:  Lil Troy, “Still a Bitch in My Book” (won’t include the video due to profanity, but it’s a can’t miss.)

What are some of your favorites?

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28 responses

28 10 2009
bros

LB’s Melancholia Collection

is it sacrilege that I think the Indigo Girls sing Joni’s river song better than she does? I would add emmylou harris’ “I will dream” from album Stumble into Grace, which is such an elegant song. Also Indigo Girls “Dairy Queen” which, if I ever thought about breakups, this would be the way I thought about them. over and out!

28 10 2009
Lord Enigma

I was almost positive that all women listen to You Oughta Know. Thanks for the confirmation. Now I just have to prove theory #2: you are officially over your break-up when you can once again rock out to Ghostbusters.

28 10 2009
taylor'sfriend

janis joplin – “cry baby”

heart – “alone”

mc hammer – “can’t touch this”

28 10 2009
districtramblings

HAHA- “Can’t Touch This” is a very strong choice indeed.

28 10 2009
Sara

Cry me a river– JT

28 10 2009
Sara

No scrubs–TLC

28 10 2009
MikeBolo

Rolling Stones – Angie

Lionel Richie – easy

weezer – no one else

28 10 2009
VJane

Please release me let me go — was it Tammy Wynette ???

28 10 2009
taylor'sfriend

I think you’ve diagnosed the two break-up personas very well. But what about the appropriate remedies? How does a “bush hider” ever move on and find “the” one? Conversely, how does a rampage dater decelerate to a date at a logical and rational pace? Most importantly, why does love always feel like a battlefield?

Basically, should mutants prescribe to a different theme of lovesong (i.e. jackie wilson) than bush hiders (avril lavigne, perhaps)?

28 10 2009
Sara

since u been gone – kelly clarkson!!

28 10 2009
Chief Topdog

as mentioned on fb…
u forgot limp bizkits i did it all for the nookie. which i s what i try to convince myeslef after being diumped while crying with a thumb up my ass in the fetal position/

when ive had bad breakups iv grooved hank jr’s “old Habits” and george jones he stopped loving her today.
and 2 that an old lover revealed that she listened to a lot which now resonate w me: sinead nothing compares and phil collins against all odds.

Jeeze- I LOVE LOVE!

28 10 2009
taylor

Song for the Dumped – Ben Folds.

28 10 2009
CB

Since I fell for you – Lenny Welsh

29 10 2009
jbo

taylor swift- you’re not sorry

bob dylan- don’t think twice it’s alright

beyonce- if i were a boy (i mean, unless you’re actually a boy)

29 10 2009
swirlz

AJ, the VOICE of Americana, is no guilty pleasure. I take offense to him and George being included in that list. They are not singers of the 90s. They’re both at the top of the charts to this day, just like they were before you were born. For a breakup? C’mon, that’s easy: George Strait’s Easy Come, Easy Go, or Randy Travis’s Better Class of Losers.

29 10 2009
longtimereaderfirsttimeposter

For the wallowing: Piece of my Heart – Janis Joplin

For the way back up: Nobody’s Girl – Bonnie Raitt

And for the dancefloor: What Goes Around – JT

(Thanks for letting me get that off my chest!)

29 10 2009
CB

Piece of my Heart and Don’t Think Twice –two great choices, guys!

29 10 2009
Jayne Yomamasfriend

I’ve sat through more than one red light crying to Bonnie Raitt singing “I can’t Make You Love Me.” I dare you to youtube it right now and not tear up!

29 10 2009
jbo

whoa yeah that’s a good one. never make it through that dry-eyed.

29 10 2009
luke

i’m a little late to the party here, but i think these should be considered:

bob dylan – ‘girl from the north country’: dylan is probably the author of the greatest break-up songs, period, and i agree on ‘don’t think twice’ and especially on ‘sooner or later’. but in my opinion this one tops them all. honorable mention to ‘Blood on the Tracks’ for being a break-up album in its entirety.

magnetic fields — ‘busby berkeley dreams’: stephin merritt overindulges his most melancholy tendencies but somehow this song is completely and consistently devastating.

leonard cohen — ‘chelsea hotel no. 2’: not necessary to elaborate on this pick.

cat power — ‘good woman’: gorgeous and terrifyingly sad and everyone’s been where chan marshall is on this track. a violin? fuck.

mirah — ‘mt. st. helens’: you can be so-so on mirah and still recognize the brilliance of this song. and its clearly about a break-up. so it counts.

arcade fire — ‘ocean of noise’: the line ‘all the reasons i gave were just lies / to buy myself some time’ is enough for me.

the velvet underground — ‘pale blue eyes’: lou reed is somehow simultaneously nostalgic and resignedly detached. for well after the break-up when that can be appreciated. amazing song nonetheless.

29 10 2009
CB

I’m a Dylan fan from way back, but I’d never heard Girl from the North Country, so I listened to it, and now I have to say that yes, it trumps all other Dylan sad songs. What a great soul-wrenching song.

29 10 2009
jbo

my boyfriend is all over girl from the north country but it just doesn’t do it for me. maybe ‘boots of spanish leather.’

30 10 2009
luke

yeah, ‘boots of spanish leather’ is another great one…there are so many superlative Dylan break-up songs. in addition to the ones mentioned you could toss in ‘tangled up in blue’, ‘if you see her, say hello’, ‘tomorrow is a long time’, ‘you’re gonna make me lonesome when you go’, ‘it’s all over now, baby blue’, etc…all ridiculous songs. i think he’s cornered the market.

30 10 2009
CB

agreed!

29 10 2009
graber

Against Me! – Cavalier Eternal

30 10 2009
Scotty
30 10 2009
bayou self

How bout “I’ve got tears in my ears, lying in bed, crying my eyes out over you”….a CW classic!

31 10 2009
swirlz

almost forgot: Five Finger Death Punch – The Bleeding

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