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Songs about Breaking Up

Listening to music can be like cauterizing a wound. It burns and it stings but the purpose is curative. If you’re cut open by infidelity then I want you by Elvis Costello. Beginning like a love song, it quickly collapses into the sound of someone clawing at their chest, trying to dig out and discard their heart. Three words run through the song, visceral, broken, angry, defeated.

I want to know the things you did that we do too, I want you

I might as well be useless for all it means to you, I want you

A rival to Something I can never have by Nine Inch Nails as saddest song ever.

Self-pity, like saunas, should only be wallowed in for a short while, but having the person you love inexpressibly, hurt you so viciously can leave you conflicted.

For bitterness, (but to be kept at bay) When did you stop loving me? (When did I stop loving you?) by Marvin Gaye.

For anger, You oughta know by Alanis Morrissette and for infidelity specifically Piglet by Arab Strap Controlled rage, as rage should be.

And for sadness, the kind that paralyses all but your tear ducts, You don’t know how lucky you are by Keaton Henson. An acoustic guitar, a heartbroken voice and an almost unbearably sad video.

As time passes, open wounds become scars. I can never be by (the male Amy Winehouse) Maverick Sable, drips with regret, but is hardened by resilience.

And lastly, if you’re British you’ll know that no-one is ever quite so succinct in song as Jarvis Cocker. TV Movie by Pulp is at once achingly stark, lonely, dark, wry and moving.

Without you

my life has become

a hangover without end.

A movie, made for tv:

Bad dialogue, bad acting, no interest.

Too long with no story and no sex.

Dear M, it still hurts, but I think any anger has gone and I never let the bitterness best me. I think more about the future than the past now, and though it terrifies me it’s good to feel alive again. Goodbye my lover, goodbye my old best friend.

Any other songs for the broken-hearted? Leave them in the comments below.

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Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory

Oscar Wilde

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