Sohbet – break-up songs

Part of a Valentine’s double header (I’ll post an article tomorrow), as comfort and entertainment for all you single folk on this most baneful of days, starting a poetic thread of favourite break-up songs. So many juicy ones to choose from…earlier in the week I’d settled on Bush’s Glycerine if for no other reason than the reverb on the guitar gets you right in the gut (the place that needs the most tending after a break-up) but I think it captures the complexity of feelings with some juicy lyrics like: “I needed you more when we wanted us less, could not kiss, just regress…”

But… someone sent me a link to a song that seems to sum up my whole romantic life, and made me laugh, so it’s made the list for new favourite break-up song, and for strange reasons (well, you might think it’s strange, in my mind it makes perfect sense). Mandisa’s Only the World. Part of the lyrics:

Been a hard one, been a bad one
Been a tough one, been a sad one
It’s been one of those days
That keeps chipping away at my heart
Nothing new here, it’s what I do here
It’s a stereotypical day in the life
I’m surrounded by all of the pain and the strife
But I know it’s alright
Cause it’s only the world I’m living in
It’s only today I’ve been given
There ain’t no way I’m giving in
Cause it’s only the world

What cracks me up is the idea, it’s only the world. And maybe this strikes me so much ’cause I’d just been re-reading an excerpt by 8th century Hindu thinker Sankara:“Those who are illumined by the knowledge ‘I am Braham’ renouce their attachement to this apparent universe. It is certain these illumined ones live in constant union with Brahman, the pure blissful consciousness” – from The Crest-Jewel of Discrimination. Aside from what he is saying about non-duality, I love the term apparent universe. It’s only the world, and that shit ain’t real, so how can you posssibly take it seriously? Which is really funny if you think about it.

But, I digress…break-up songs. Feel free to include links to youtube-esque places so people can check out the song (my links are imbedded with the song titles) and your favourite part of the lyrics (it’s okay to slip in a bit of philosophy too). Alright, lets get jiggy with the blues and have a laugh, it’s only the world…

12 thoughts on “Sohbet – break-up songs

  1. I don’t know if this counts as a break-up song or not, but it think it kind of fits the theme (plus the giant flower heart that gets smashed around and the plate-breaking makes me laugh). It’s by Florence + the machine, and it’s called Kiss with a Fist.


    1. AWESOME song Kari. Having worked in a flower shop through a few Valentine’s, it’s very theraputic to see some flowers get trashed. For those of you who don’t know, this weekend is incomprehensibly stressful for those in the floral industry. One of the women I worked with had her boyfriend propose to her on Valentine’s Day. Her response: “You can’t do this to me TODAY! I’m a FLORIST!” Not the romantic scene the poor man was envisioning.

      Highly dancable thrasher song, and beating up on flowers…there’s gonna be some healing with this thread. Booya!


  2. This seems appropriate. Some bad 80’s music to boot.

    Foreigner Head Games

    Daylight, alright
    I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s real
    Been a long night and something ain’t right
    You won’t show, you won’t show how you feel

    No time ever seems right
    To talk about the reasons why you and I fight
    It’s high time to draw the line
    Put an end to this game before it’s too late

    Head games, it’s you and me baby
    Head games, and I can’t take it anymore
    Head games, I don’t wanna play the…
    Head games

    I daydream for hours it seems
    I keep thinkin’ of you, yeah, thinkin’ of you
    These daydreams, what do they mean?
    They keep haunting me, are they warning me?

    Daylight turns into night
    We try and find the answer but
    it’s nowhere in sight
    It’s always the same and you know who’s to blame
    You know what I’m sayin’, still we keep on playin’

    So near, so far away
    We pass each other by ’cause we
    don’t know what to say
    It’s so clear, I’m sorry to say
    But if you wanna win you gotta learn how to play


  3. Okay V., I’ll chip in –

    Of course, it’s Luba (who else???) – the song is “No More Words”.


    “No More Words” Lyrics by Luba Kowalchyk:

    You gave me your word
    And now that your word
    Doesn’t mean that much to me
    And in the silence I can hear
    The truth ring loud and clear
    I never meant that much to you
    And it seems
    A whisper to a scream
    Was all that we knew
    Before the talk is through
    I’m telling you…

    No more words tonight
    No more words
    I don’t ever want to hear
    You say you love me one more time
    No more words tonight
    No more words
    I’ll forever keep the silence
    And you can keep your lies

    You try to throw me one last line
    To throw me one last time
    But now I guess I’m wise to you
    And vows spoken in the night
    Are broken in the light
    What you recite
    I have heard before
    So say no more

    No more words tonight…

    The dialogue is over
    I see your lips move
    But they don’t make a sound
    You’ve lost what I have found
    A voice inside of me that sets me free…

    no more words tonight.


  4. And I’ll contribute another one… also by Luba:

    All Over Again

    No long goodbyes
    He keeps the engine running
    He don’t waste no time
    I watch him drive
    Down the boulevard
    towards that big horizon
    I’m left in the dust
    With the embers of promise
    And the ashes of trust
    And to the wind
    I will scatter these memories
    So that I can begin again

    I’m starting all over, all over again
    I swear next time
    I’m never gonna see it end
    I’m starting all over, all over again
    This time

    No wrong or right
    When the one you love is gone
    And you’ve been left to survive
    Now I’ve nothing but time
    Walking back along the tracks
    Of all the tears I have cried

    But if you must
    Take the gold and the silver
    From the steel and the rust
    This heart will rise
    Like a flickering candle
    I will weather the storm inside

    I’m starting all over, all over again…

    I’m never gonna close my eyes
    I’m gonna keep ’em open wide
    And if I see love start to slide
    I’ll hold on ’til all my strength is gone

    I’m starting all over, all over again
    I swear next time
    I’m never gonna see it end.


    1. Another good one Bob! That whole album is ripe with breakup music.

      And I love the imagery of the opening lines of this song. It relates well to today’s article about good and bad first dates. Handy info:

      keeps the engine running=bad date
      walks you to the door=good date

      I think I’ve had both. Smooching can also be a good indicator, but not always…


  5. I have three submissions for my favourite break up songs that I play when caught in the depths of this kind of situation. The first one is, of course, Jann Arden’s Insensitive. I love that the Italian fashion designers loved it so much that they used it in one of their famous shows. I think it may have been in Milan, the Italian fashion capital. I don’t know if they knew what the words meant but heck, I’m sure a lot of Italian macho men break a lot of hearts.
    My second suggestion is Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You. It’s the whole idea that love is like being drunk and being intoxicated with sacred wine is even more delicious. Maybe this relates to Valerie’s drunken party date stories. It’s amazing how many times we get drunk on falling in love, realize that maybe it wasn’t love afterall, become physically ill and yet do it all over again.
    Valerie and I had a conversation about this. We were talking about how everyone has things they are retarded about. Mine happens to be relationships. My last and favourite break up song that I play is Cyndi Lauper’s Hatful of Stars. The image that comes to me while playing this song is me wearing one of those pointy but droopy caps covered in stars. I’m such a dumb numbskull when it comes to relationships and wearing a droopy dunce cap is so apt. The one that I envision myself wearing is just like the one that Mickey Mouse wears in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Mickey wants to have it all and be a great wizard/magician. He tries to become one using the “easy” way-borrowing his master’s wand. But he hasn’t done all the training he needs to control the magic and chaos ensues. I’m an apprentice to love but sometimes I want the fast/easy way and of course end up getting hurt.


  6. Thanks to everyone for sharing so many flavours of break-up. I want to add a dimesion that hasn’t been represented yet: solace. Joan Osborne’s Crazy Baby.

    And your hands are really shakin something awful
    As you light your 27th cigarette
    Oh how long have you been sittin in the darkness
    You forget
    Oh you know you’re gettin really hard to be with
    And you’re cryin every time you turn around
    And you wonder why you can not pick your head up
    Off the ground

    Oh my crazy baby
    Try to hold on tight
    Oh my crazy baby
    Don’t put out the light

    And they look at you like they don’t speak your language
    And you’re living at the bottom of a well
    And you swallowed all the awful bloody secrets
    That you can’t tell
    Oh you know you ought to get yourself together
    But you can not bear to walk outside your door
    No, you can not bear to look into the mirror

    (Oh my crazy baby)

    And your hands are really shakin something awful
    As your worries crawl around inside your clothes
    Oh how long will you be sittin in the darkness
    Heaven knows

    (Oh my crazy baby)


  7. Great idea Valerie! Here is my favorite song for when I REALLY fall for someone and end up totally and pathetically losing myself and giving away my power. Happens way more often than I’d like to admit!

    Political ~ Spirit of the West

    I was tired of being put right down
    by myself for not being what you
    thought you had found
    pulled hard in two directions by a
    desire to learn
    and my old affections

    when i tried to share my world with you
    you could not seem to tolerate
    the people i had grown to love
    they shrank under your scrutiny,
    became the ones you’d hate

    why did everything, every little thing
    every little thing
    with you and me have to be so political?

    i was feeling a little underwhelmed
    about hanging around with you and
    feeling over cautious
    every word, every little look, every little sign
    every little phrase
    put me deeper in your doghouse

    you’d let me out to run across your world
    i ran into a wall you told me i built you
    then you’d reel me in, ream me out, pick me up
    push me out again
    -and then repeat it

    – chorus –
    too busy tripping on my tongue
    to try and stand my ground
    i can still see myself crying in your lap
    asking you are you happy with the man you have found?
    i’m greatful for what you did for me
    i can see things now i never would have seen
    today i thought about what could have been
    but could never be for you and me
    because everything, every little thing
    every little thing
    wtih you and me had to be so political

    Great lines picked up from songs on the radio, that screamed out to me after a promising relationship ended in a dramatic and painful crash and burn…

    ‘Keep coming up with love, but it’s slashed and torn’

    ‘I used to be love drunk, now I’m hung over’

    ‘This used to be a fun house, now its full of evil clowns’

    ‘Candy-coated misery’


    1. Candy-coated misery…I LOVE that.

      Great song Darren, here’s a link for those who want to listen to it:

      In complete opposition to the thesis of this song, I’ve been thinking about the phrase: “you like somebody for their good qualities, but love them for their faults” I think in true love, this isn’t about: “oh, ain’t that quirky, ya gotta love ’em”, but if you truly deeply love someone, you see their weakness, their struggles, their faults, and it touches your heart and makes you love them more.

      It’s counter to love to view somebody as needing to be “fixed” and I think we are just as proned to viewing ourselves that way as anybody else.

      (I guess that counts as ‘slipping in a bit of philosophy’ – yes, go ahead and read that like ‘slipping in a bit of vomit’ just try and stay on your feet!)


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