Friday Morning Music: Sad Breakup Songs

Every week we kick off your Friday with a series of music videos, loosely gathered around a theme. This week, breakup songs to slit your wrists too.

Last week we hit you with some awesomely upbeat breakup songs, songs that took the pain and awkwardness and insecurity of losing someone close and turned it into purified awesomeness. This week, we take the opposite tact, and wallow in some myopic, depressing, and angry catharsis. Why? Cause sometimes we get sad, asshole. Then we get with your mom. BAM. WHO’S SAD NOW. You, because you have no dad.


AWESOME UPDATE: Ceelo released a new version of the video that inspired these posts. It proves that the best revenge is living well. And writing a kickass song letting the whole world know how you feel.

Back to our regularly scheduled post.


I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – Elton John

Bernie Taupin writes songs that sear your mind, and for all his expertise at the piano, Elton John knows how to play heartstrings just as well. If we’re moving toward ‘sadness’, this would be the bookmark for ‘bittersweet’. Also, nice porkpie hat.

Creep – Radiohead

If Elton was upbeat about his sorrow, Thom Yorke is angry, discordant, and accusingly self-depreciating. He wears his flaws like a badge of honor, a defiant middle finger masking his yearning for perfection. Anyone who has ever woken up next to someone and immediately felt that something was deeply, fundamentally wrong understands when he sings “I don’t belong here”.

Also, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, the Street Spirit (Fade Out) video is a strong candidate for best music video of all time. If you don’t own it, buy 7 Television Commercials. Thom advised all views to abandon all hope, ye who enter here:

All of our saddest songs have somewhere in them at least a glimmer of resolve. ‘Street Spirit’ has no resolve. It is the dark tunnel without the light at the end.

Another Lonely Day – Ben Harper

Further along, we just may.

Late For The Sky – Jackson Browne

The AV Club’s Steven Hayden focused a whole feature around this song, detailing how Martin Scorsese used it in “Taxi Driver” to drive home Travis Bickle’s alienation and ‘otherness’.

In another life [Browne] totally could have shaved a Mohawk into his cute little bowl cut and ranted about flushing New York City down the fucking toilet. But he instead ended up turning out sensitive ballads like “Late For The Sky,” which chronicles one of those horrible late-night fights we’ve all had where you come to realize that the one person you love and care for the most in the world is actually a complete stranger who doesn’t love you back, and is about to abandon you. (For Travis it was Betsy. For Jackson it was, supposedly, Joni Mitchell.) “Late For The Sky” is a supremely self-absorbed song, erecting epic angst out of a small-scale, almost mundane romantic problem. Browne doesn’t even have enough empathy to care about the other person in the song.

For a live version, check this out, and here’s the Taxi Driver scene.

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