Best Break Up Songs Ever:
1) Don't Think Twice, It's Alright--Bob Dylan
"I gave her my heart, but she wanted my soul"
"I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind/ you just kinda wasted my precious time"
The best bitter-sweet break-up song ever. You're not happy about it, but you recognize nuttin' can change it, so you're moving on.
2) The Break Up Song--Ben Folds Five
What can one say in response to the reasonable, but obviously false, explanation of wanting to take a break, slow it down some, and have some space? Only with
"Fuck you, too"
And who cannot agree with the deep desire to get back all of the money you wasted on a broken relationship?
3) Red Rubber Ball--Paul Simon
"Now I know you're not the only starfish in the sea/ if I never hear your name again, it's all the same to me"
You may have broken Paul Simon's heart (shame on you), but he realizes the relationship was meaningless from the get-go, and he was only in it because of his poor self-esteem. But now he's a little older and wiser, and he's moving on to better things.
4) Cry Me a River--Justin Timberlake
Did I include it because it's a good song, or because I don't want to look like a music snob? Or because I'm the only person alive who doesn't think Pharell is a sell-out/overexposed? All I know is that everyone has at one point in time angrily made out with someone to get back at their ex, and would it not theoretically be much cooler if one were to do it in said ex's domocile? Or maybe it's just a contrived and hackneyed corporate song. But either way, it's fun to do for karaoke.
5) Flowers on the Wall--The Statler Brothers
"Smokin cigarettes, watching Captain Kangaroo/ don't tell me I got nothing to do"
Kurt Vonnegut called it the greatest song ever written. This may be the most depressed and heartbroken man alive, but not if she's asking.
6) Forget About It--Alison Krauss and Union Station
"Because after all/ I'll see you sometime maybe/ when I can't recall/ how you drove me crazy"
"Forget about all those starlight nights/ Layin' by the fireside, holdin' you tight/ I can't remember when it felt so right/ Just forget about it"
Nothing soothes the pain like sweet vocals and a mean-ass dobro. Heart breakingly honest, with just a bit of a vendetta. Like after your 5th Summmit when she's told you it's over.
7) I Would Do Anything For Love--Meatloaf
He never says what it is. What was she asking him to do? What wouldn't he do for love? Kill someone? Forsake his God? Move in together after a short courtship? Lord only knows, but nothing helps a body more than a dramatic rock-opera-esque song with no clear meaning or musical talent. But at least there's a bad-ass piano solo.
8) The Dirty Glass-Dropkick Murphys
"You weren't the first to call me boy, and you won't be the last/ Oh, I'm sure I wasn't honey, I know all about your past"
"It's all in the past, bitch/ 'Cause now I've got it beat"
She drew a sadistic pleasure from his longing and suffering, and he put up with it all because of his love. But finally, it was time to move on and he did it dramatically. Best to sing along to at a live show when dealing with a bad break up and the Guiness has been kind.
9) I Saw the Sign--Ace of Base
"How could a person like you bring me joy?"
The perfect song for when your girlfriend breaks up with you in the 6th grade. Plus, it's a terrible song from a by-gone era, so all the hipsters will think you're all ironically cool for knowing the lyrics to it, so...uh...there's a feather in the ol' cap.
Hands on the Wheel--Willie Nelson
"I looked to the stars/ Tried all of the bars"
The master of the break up song. Hell, pretty much half his catalogue could be on this list, but I include this one because it's hopeful. He's put the pieces back together with someone new. Not all break up songs have to be depressing.
11) Positively Fourth Street--Bob Dylan
"You've got a lot of nerve/ To say you are my friend"
"Yes, I wish for just one time/
You could stand inside my shoes/
You'd know what a drag it is/
To see you"
Fucking ouch. Can you imagine what she must have done to him? The only man to make the list twice, he sure must've had a ton of heartbreak for a Midwestern boy. This is hands down the best let's-cut-the-bullshit-you-need-to-fuck-off break up song ever. Play it while yelling at a photo of your ex-girlfreind when you run into her at the bar with her new boyfriend and she acts so non-chalant about it all, when you know she was really there only because she knew you'd be there.
So that's it. I'm sure this list is pretty specfic to my life and the songs and people that helped me through the tough times, but I'm hitting yet another rough patch in life right now, so I'm reflecting on what got me through it before. Gonna have to start listening to some new shit to get something to help me through this one.