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Best Break-Up Songs

Every once in a while, it's good to remember the "emotional train wreck" days: belting out lyrics that seem to have captured the exact moment your heart was broken. Songs in this category often top my "Favorite Songs of All Time" list, even though I'm married and there's no chance of returning to break-up land. I can pretend, can't I?

5. Jeff Buckley The Last Goodbye
My brother and I love this song. Buckley's voice was beautiful (he died in 1997) and the song's orchestral sound really captures the "I can't believe it's over" sentiment.
Favorite lyric: "This is our last embrace/Must I dream and always see your face/Why can't we overcome this wall/Well, maybe it's just because I didn't know you at all"

4. The Cure Pictures of You
Okay, so this is pretty obvious, but how could I leave it out? Robert Smith is the break-up king.
Favorite lyric: "If only I'd thought of the right words/I could have held on to your heart/If only I'd thought of the right words/I wouldn't be breaking apart/All my pictures of you"

3. Love Spit Love Am I Wrong
I used to play this song in my free spots when I was a DJ at KTRM. One version of this song is featured on the Angus soundtrack, with my friend Julie's high school marching band accompanying.
Favorite lyric: "There's too much/that I keep to myself/and I turn my back on my faith/it's like glass/when we break/I wish no one in my place"

2. Pearl Jam Black
Oh, Eddie, how many tears have I shed listening to your songs??
Favorite lyric: "I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star/In somebody else's sky, but why/Why, why can't it be, why can't it be mine"

1. The Psychedelic Furs Ghost in You
I have the Counting Crows cover on CD--until a month ago, I thought the song was theirs. This site shows that I really should have known more about the song, and the band (given my fascination with Pretty in Pink and the aforementioned Love Spit Love).
Favorite lyric: "A man in my shoes runs a light/All the papers lie tonight/but falling over you/is the news of the day"

18 comments

Sara, what a great post! I love break up songs, and I think everybody does somewhere deep inside them. You inspired me to go through my collection and pick out my favorites, under strict rules.

There are the “I hate you” type and the “i still want you back” type. I never related much to the hate, so all my songs are more depressing than angry. And on top of that, they’re the kind where you don’t even have to be listening to know what the words are saying. Mmmmmm… moody. I’m gonna make a post out of this on my site, so I’ll just list the songs here and go into more detail there.

5. Don’t Go Away - Oasis
4. Guess I’m Doing Fine - Beck
3. A Lack Of Color - Death Cab For Cutie
2. Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O’Connor
1. At This Moment - Billy Vera

“At This Moment” also happens to be my pick for best song of all time. Definitely the best thing to come out of Family Ties (even better than Justine Bateman!).


Jared [Visitor] • http://geocites.com/bunkface02/06/04 @ 02:50

Jared,
Thanks for the vote of confidence. “Nothing Compares 2 U” almost made my cut, as did Burt Bacharach’s “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”
I think most of my favorites are in the “depressed” rather than “angry” category as well. Good luck on your list!


sara [Visitor]• 02/06/04 @ 13:33

angry song: Give me my money back - Ben Folds Five


dave [Visitor] • http://hippydave.brendoman.com02/06/04 @ 14:06

what about “don’t turn around” by ace of base. eh? eh?


mike [Visitor]• 02/06/04 @ 15:06

They Might Be Giants:
Lucky Ball and Chain
Pet Name


danny [Visitor] • http://danny.brendoman.com02/06/04 @ 15:39

ah yes jeff buckley’s last goodbye :( talk about elegiac sadness and finality.

leaving song by stephen speaks (she likes the band so it doubly gives me a pang)


hikikimori harry [Visitor]• 03/13/04 @ 12:34

Niki’s Top 20 Break-Up Songs:

(not necessarily in order)

1. Bonnie Raitt-I Can’t Make You Love Me
2. Roxette-It Must Have Been Love
3. Mariah Carey- Breakdown
4. Lauryn Hill- Ex Factor
5. Ben Folds Five- Song for the Dumped
6. Go West- King Wishful Thinking
7. Alanis Morissette- You Oughta Know
8. Garbage- Cup of Coffee
9. Sarah McClachlan- Do What You Have to Do
10. Mya- Case of the ex
11. Green Day- Good Riddance
12. Madonna- You’ll See
13. No Doubt- Don’t Speak
14. The Beatles- For No One
15. Journey- Seperate Ways
16. Janis Joplin- Take Another Little Piece of my Heart
17. Eels- It’s a Mother fucker
18. The Tonic- You Wanted More
19. Chris Isaak- Somebody’s Crying
20. Mariah Carey- Crybaby


[Visitor]• 04/25/04 @ 23:40

I’m going to go with one of the angry ones,
oasis - married with children.
Fav lyric “your musics shite, it keeps me up all night, up all night” spot on in my experiance.


Alan [Visitor]• 05/15/04 @ 12:15

Country
Dixie chicks “Hello Mr. Heartache”
Terri Clark “I’ve got better things to do”
Keith Urban “You’ll think of me”

Not Country
Simple plan “You don’t mean anything”
Greenwheel “Breathe”
The darkness “love is only a feeling”
Reel big fish “suckers”
J. Geils band “Love stinks”
The Verve pipe “gotta move on”


mackenzie [Visitor]• 05/15/04 @ 19:27

1 - The Long Goodbye - Brooks & Dunn
2 - Everything You Want - Vertical Horizon
3 - Hey Mister - Chad Brock
4 - I’m All Out of Love - Air Supply
5 - You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling - Righteous Brothers (corney but accurate in this case)

Bitter Songs (i am not there yet)

1 - Friends in Low Places - Garth Brooks
2 - I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
3 - Love Stinks - J Geils Band
4 - Bitches Ain’t Shit - Dr. Dre


E [Visitor]• 06/07/04 @ 23:02

“grace is gone” - dmb (it’s 2 am, i’m drunk again, it’s heavy on my mind/i could never love again so much as i loved you)
“ain’t no sunshine” - ben withers (ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, it’s not warm when she’s away…)
“tangarine” - led zeppelin (thinking how it used to be, does she still remember times like these, to think of us again, and i do…)
“sorry i am” - ani difranco (sorry i didn’t sound more excited on the phone, sorry that after all these years, i’ve left you feeling unrequited and alone, i left you with tears/guess i never loved you quite as well, as you may have loved me, guess i’ll never really be able to tell yuo how sorry…i am)
“i hope you dance” - leann womack (when you have the chance to sit it out or dance, i hope you dance)
“i hate you so much right now” - kelis (…self explainitory)
“never there” - cake (…but when i need you, baby, you’re never there/first you say you’re too busy, i wonder if you even miss me)


jes [Visitor]• 06/08/04 @ 22:48

“grace is gone” - dmb (it’s 2 am, i’m drunk again, it’s heavy on my mind/i could never love again so much as i loved you)
“ain’t no sunshine” - ben withers (ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, it’s not warm when she’s away…)
“tangarine” - led zeppelin (thinking how it used to be, does she still remember times like these, to think of us again, and i do…)
“sorry i am” - ani difranco (sorry i didn’t sound more excited on the phone, sorry that after all these years, i’ve left you feeling unrequited and alone, i left you with tears/guess i never loved you quite as well, as you may have loved me, guess i’ll never really be able to tell yuo how sorry…i am)
“i hope you dance” - leann womack (when you have the chance to sit it out or dance, i hope you dance)
“i hate you so much right now” - kelis (…self explainitory)
“never there” - cake (…but when i need you, baby, you’re never there/first you say you’re too busy, i wonder if you even miss me)


jes [Visitor]• 06/08/04 @ 22:48

eamon-fuck it (i don’t want you back) That is the best break up song ever written…every word and every verse say so much!


jake [Visitor]• 06/21/04 @ 23:50

ok here are my top break up songs in no particular order:
1. Mariah Carey- Always Be My Baby
2. Goodbye to You- Michelle Branch
3. Say Goodbye- Madonna
4. Don’t- Jewel ( not one of her more well known ones)
5. Wild Horses- The Sundays
6. I Will Remember You- Sarah Mclachlan
7. Yesterday- The Beatles
8. Wonderwall- Oasis
9. Burn- Usher
10. Blood on the Ground- Incubus
11. Miss You- Incubus


Ann [Visitor]• 06/27/04 @ 23:23

George Jones–he stopped loving her today


peter [Visitor]• 07/08/04 @ 09:12

my x and i just decided to 4get about eachother and basically throw away our friendship and nething we ever had. these are some songs i’ve been listenin 2 lately:

miss you, happy ending- avril lavigne
don’t speak- no doubt(makes me cry everytime- describes my situation close 2 perfect)
burn- usher
losin control-rooney
my immortal- evanessence
if your gone, last beautiful girl- matchbox 20
blurry- puddle of mud
you said goodbye- hoku
everytime- Britney spears
mad world- gary jules…i think
hows it gunna be- i 4get
youth of the nation- p.o.d (not a break-up song but depressing)
dnt wanna try- frankie j
so yesterday- hilary duff (lol i dunno for sum reason i just relate)
movies- Alien Antfarm
swing swing- all american rejects
i hate everything about u- 3 days grace
bang bang- nancy sinatra


jackie [Visitor]• 07/21/04 @ 16:03

Why waste your time being sad? You don’t need these losers! Try something like:

Goodbye to You- Scandal
Don’t Come Around Here No More-Tom Petty
Stronger-Britney Spears
You Oughta Know-Alanis Morrisette
Call Tyrone-Erykah Badu

Come on, people! Chin(s) up!


[Visitor]• 07/27/04 @ 16:10

mine will be :-
1. linger - the cranberries
2. again - janet jackson
3. with or with out you - U2
4. gone - nsync
5. yesterday - the bettles

until now, everytime i listened to “linger” i will definately remember the sweet and sorrow memories ive gone through with my ex. :)


liedieya [Visitor]• 12/06/04 @ 22:51

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