I was tempted to just list every Brand New song ever (which is my defacto sad soundtrack) but I decided to challenge myself instead.
1. Dangers - (Love Poem)
This album is just pure emotional angst, from the first lyrics to the very end. But there's a theme throughout the whole album, with just small samples that pop up between songs, which culminates right at the end. Sure, it's not a proper song, but it's a great way to start it.
It's so nice to wake up in the morning and not have to tell somebody you love them, when you don't love them anymore2. Descendents - Everything Sux
Before songs about teenage angst were cool, the Descendents were writing about it. And when your heart is broken, it really does feel like everything sucks today.
3. Finch - Letters to YouMy girlfriend's moving this morning
I don't think anything is gonna be okay today
Everything sucks todayGot up on the wrong side of life this morning
Nothing today is gonna go my way
A lot of break-up songs come from my youth. Like this, quite possibly the poppiest song Finch ever wrote (and their most mainstream successful, if memory serves me right). Later on, with their second album about the most random stuff (I think it was drug influenced) they would become one of my favourite bands. But with their first album, it was quite cliche heartbreak/emo.
I'm writing again these letters to you aren't much, I know4. I Killed the Prom Queen - Say Goodbye
But i'm not sleeping and you're not here
The thought stops my heart
Do you notice i'm gone?
Where do you run to so far away?
I want you to know that I miss you, I miss you so
Yes. It's cheesy metalcore. But back in the day this was MY cheesy metalcore. I loved this album by I Killed the Prom Queen. Most of it was comparing love to death, as was the fashion back then. And this song helps you get some of the break-up related anger out.
5. Wilco - I am Trying to Break Your HeartSo we say goodbye
Heartstrings severed just as quick
As they were discovered
I'll break my own fall, to keep you, picture perfect
Just don't wake me up now
When it's time to get sad, quiet and reflective, what is better than the wavering quality of Jeff Tweedy's voice? His voice in this song just captures the raw edge of emotion that you sit on during a break-up.
6. Bob Dylan - Don't Think Twice, It's All RightI'd always thought that if I held you tightly
You'd always love me like you did back then
Then I fell asleep and the city kept blinking
What was I thinking when I let you back in?
I am trying to break your heart
But still I'd be lying if I said it wasn't easy
Oh Dylan. Is there anything you can't sing about without making it beautiful? This song was him explaining why he left his girlfriend at the time. Right now, I'm imagining this song is exactly how she's feeling.
7. My Chemical Romance - Honey, This Mirror Isn't Big Enough for the Both of UsBut I wish there was somethin' you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talking anyway
So don't think twice, it's all right.
Where as Mr Dylan gave us a poetic side of being the dumper, Gerard Way is showing the chaotic break down of a break-up. This song was the first real track (not including the instrumental opener) from their first album. Like a lot of break-up songs, it comes from the teenage emo years of my life. I still love this album unashamedly.
And you can cry all you want to, I don't care how much
You'll invest yourself in me, we're not working out
And you can't touch my brother and you can't keep my friends
and we're not working out
This time I mean it, never mind the times I've seen it
8. The Walkmen - The Rat
Another song of the 2003-2005 period of my life. It was big for me. I moved back to Australia from the USA, leaving behind someone dear to me as well as everything I knew. This song was so different from everything else on their debut album, and it hit a nerve with me. I may have wept when I finally saw this song live last year.
You've got a nerve to be asking a favor
You've got a nerve to be calling my number
I'm sure we've been through this before
Can't you hear me, I'm beating on your wall?
Can't you see me, I'm pounding on your door?
9. Atreyu - Right Side of the Bed
Ahh. Far out. 2003 again. Kind of cheesy metalcore again with overtones of death. But it's just good.
10. Los Campesinos! - Romance is BoringI can see her now, Dancing around, her drink in hand.
All her baggage in tow, I just want to forget and let go of all the love the joy,
the pain. I took your guilt and placed it into me and now I kiss it goodbye.
Not about a break-up per se, but more about the slow death of love that both of you seem to ignore until it gets to that fatal point.
You're pouting in your sleep, I'm waking still yawning11. Billy Talent - The Ex
We're proving to each other that romance is boring
Sure there are things I could do if I was half prepared to
Prove to each other that romance is boring
I'm not at this point yet, but I imagine I'll be following the course of the lyrics in this song pretty closely.
12. The Get Up Kids - Mass PikeWhy would she put me through such torture,
I would have given my life for her,
She was the one that knocked me over,
Now I'm alone sitting on the corner
You want real sad emo? You get old school Get Up Kids. All of the emotions. Especially when someone does it with a montague of pictures of love.
I wonder when I wander home If I'll be fit to drink alone.
Sleep with my memories, Pictures, apologies.
For every minute yesterday, Regret reminds me anyway.
If I remember anything, I'll make mistakes again.
This song has always won my award as the best fan-made video ever. It's been stuck in my head since seeing BTMI! in February and I haven't been able to stop singing it. I hope it didn't become a pre-cursor for everything. The Lost line also resembles me way too much. And a bit of ska in a mix tape is always good to cheer up the soul.
14. No Doubt - Don't SpeakI don't love you anymore.
No this isn't some mistake.
For the past two months I've just been getting drunk
And watching Lost and then getting even drunker just so I can fall asleep.
Every second I'm with you I get an ache in my head
And I spin in my bed and again and again and again and again.
And all the money I spend is my money again
I'll understand what is said when I'm out with my friends.
And at the end of the night, baby I'm'a gon' drive 'em home.
And all the time that I waste repeating mistake
And the ridiculous taste and the look on my face.
I'm gonna take it back.
Baby I don't love you no more.
It's well known that Gwen and the bass player who's name escapes me were dating before the release of this album. This song beautifully documents the break up.
15. New Found Glory - Hit or MissYou and me
We used to be together
Everyday together always
I really feel
That I'm losing my best friend
I can't believe
This could be the end
Pop-punk. Of all the genres I listen to, I don't think you'll find as many whiny sounding songs about love and regrets. New Found Glory is probably the best of them all.
16. Rod Stewart - Maggie MayHave I waited too long
Have I found that someone
Have I waited too long to see you
Maybe it's for the best
Maybe it's not for anything
It wouldn't be so bad to take this right from me
Time to move away from my teenage years and into the classics again. This song, as far as I can tell, is about the failed fling between a young male and his older, richer lover. It captures the moment when Rod is deciding to end it.
17. The Vandals - My Girlfriend's DeadI know I keep you amused but I feel I'm being used
Oh maggie I couldnt have tried any more
You lured me away from home just to save you from being alone
You stole my heart and that's what really hurt
The worst part of any break-up is telling everyone about it. Having to explain why it happened. The Vandals had a novel solution: pretend she's dead.
18. The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love (With Some You Shouldn't've)?I once had a girlfriend,
But then one day she dumped me and everywhere
I'd go people would ask me where she was.
I don't want to talk about her.
Someone always asks about her.
So I tell them all my girlfriend's dead.
Apparently heartache has been around for a long time. Even with the early punks in the 70s.
19. Arrows - Pour Me Into a TaxiI can't see much of a future
Unless we find out what's to blame
What a shame
And we won't be together much longer
Unless we realize that we are the same
Ever fallen in love with someone?
In love with someone
You shouldn't've fallen in love with
My friends have been getting depressed and emo to Arrows for years. I never understood why. I guess I first heard them when I was happy, through a friend that worked with the guitarist. But now even the tones of the guitar just make me weepy. The lyrics don't share the heartache when being read. Put it together as a narrative with the music and it just encompasses the whole feeling of the end of love.
There’s a photo by your bed of the two of us in Europe and it scares me to think of how many different men would’ve cast their eyes upon it on a Sunday morning. " When we sat on the curb outside my Sister’s house, did you really think I loved you?" "Are you that optimistic, or are you just that fucking naive?” you asked me.