What’s your heartbreak song?

Linda Ronstadt’s “Long, Long Time.” Joe Cocker’s “Don’t You Love Me Anymore.” ABBA’s “Winner Takes it All.” Pearl Jam’s “Black.”

A heartbreak song doesn’t have to be a designated “sad” song or even one with gut-wrenching lyrics. A heartbreak song is the kind of song you can’t hear without crying, a song you dread because of the face you’ll see. A song you used to delight in because you shared it or associated it with that special someone once upon a time, and now…well, now you can’t shake it loose from that time, that image, that other soul.

And sometimes you ride your own wave of destruction and play that song on purpose, make a playlist out of your hurt, because that loose-tooth pain brings back the shining, hallowed, awesome times as well as the times that are so very bad. That bittersweet twist can be its own crazed lure.

What are your songs? What are your memories? Have you ever reclaimed a song from “heartbreak” status?

Pic from here.

8 thoughts on “What’s your heartbreak song?

    • Ooooh, that’s a good one. I always liked the raw emotion in that song. Ah, Headbanger’s Ball on MTV! *nostalgia*

      I’m glad it’s out of heartbreak status for you.


    • Goodness, a direct question!

      Let’s see. For awhile I couldn’t listen to “Dream at Tempo 119” by the Silversun Pickups, which isn’t a sad song at all–because my whole introduction to that song was wrapped up with a person when things were good. And then things became not so good.

      It’s out of heartbreak status by now. 🙂


  1. Might have to Google that one! It’s a pitty when a good song becomes inextricably linked in one’s mind to emotional anguish to the point that even conjuring the song in our minds is almost too much to bear.

    Sometimes one just has to accept that unfortunately the song in question is lost forever, possibly even more so if the person we associate it with no longer merely causes us to pine but instead fills us with utter revulsion and distaste when we think of it – and ultimately of course them – now.

    So when that is the case it’s often good to construct a “Catharsis Song,” one that generates a heady mixture of positive feelings at having dodged a bullet but can be tinged with more than a smattering of anger and negative intensity too. Call it taking out the trash.

    Every time we hear this we can really ride the best parts of said song to the feeling of satisfaction that the person we once whined and grizzled over was not worth a nanosecond of our misery; that far from being the loving, selfless soul-mate we had constructed in our minds (even more so, paradoxically, during the rawness of the “heartbreak period”) was, in the cold light of day, an arrogant and egotistical emotionally-stunted child who merely enjoyed the thrill of the chase to compensate for their mundane existence; who was manifestly and abjectly incapable of having a single feeling for anyone save themselves; whose every little action is calculating and manipulative and serves their own bizarre agenda; whose obsession with themselves and how they are perceived by their peers borders on a low-level mental illness; how their laughable insecurity results in them treating anyone of the same gender who is physically attractive with disdain and spite; and how they are completely devoid of any modicum of a sense of humor or shred of personality unless they are attempting to ingratiate themselves with their quarry for their own ends.

    As the song in question reaches the wonderful crescendo of its climax, we have finally purged this pathetic individual from significance and are simultaneously left with the warm glow of satisfaction at riding such a great song to the realization that the tune that we didn’t dream could be elevated any higher in our affections has taken on an extra dimension and that the person, who is all kinds of messed up, will never be truly happy.


    • Adam, your comment just blew me away. It’s like you KNOW. 🙂

      I love how you created the Catharsis Song motif. It takes some doing, and facing & working through the pain rather than running away, but it’s so, so worth it.

      I know I’ll be rereading your response again, too.


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