I may live and get on with some time, but I will not be fine.
– I Will Not Be Fine, Justin Taylor
Ah, February! Due to Valentine’s Day falling in the middle of it, February is generally thought of as the “Month of Love” by many people. It’s considered a time to show your significant other how much you love them by plying them with candy, flowers, and gifts, or maybe dinner and dancing to “your song.”
However, there are many who abhor the “Month of Love,” like those who have been single for a while, those recently single, those who pine for someone else only to have their love spurned. This group of people, like many who are sick of love, spend their Valentine’s Day in a myriad of ways… But any combination likely includes two essentials: Booze and Music.
A lot of the music can easily fall into one of two categories: Songs about Love and Songs about Heartbreak. While all of the couples you know are staring at each other googly-eyed over dinner and sappy love ballads, the rest of the world is focused on those tunes on the other side of the coin.
Heartbreak, break ups, and unrequited love songs can be empowering– they help you move on… Consoling and completely depressing, but no matter what kind they are, they will speak to you. Here’s a list of songs that have spoken to me over the years, whether they’ve helped me through tough times of my own, or whether I thought they were just plain great.
Maybe one of them is your perfect Anti-Valentine’s Day song.
Key Lyrics: “I may live and get on with some time, but I will not be fine.”
Why It’s Great: This song sums up all of the hurt you feel after having your heart broken. It deals with the pain you go through and how you attempt to deal with a major part of your life ending. To anyone who has ever lied when responding to the question, “Are you going to be ok?” after being broken up with, this song sets the truth free in your heart: Yes, in time I’ll likely be ok, but right now, I’m not.
Key Lyrics: “I’d die if I saw you, I’d die if I didn’t see you there.”
Why It’s Great: A simple song, lyrically, that shows what we’ve all felt after a break up: Can you go back to where you hung out as a couple? Or do you avoid the place because it hurts too much to be there?
Key Lyrics: “Too bad you had to have a better half.”
Why It’s Great: Meeting the perfect person is such a thrill and an amazing feeling… Until you find out they’re in a committed relationship and, if you’re honest with yourself, the two are perfect for each other. That’s exactly what Untouchable Face deals with, and Ani DiFranco covers it beautifully and elegantly in her lyrics– punctuating it with words we’ve all used in that situation.
Key Lyrics: “I wish I was good enough to make you forget the only boy that broke your heart.”
Why It’s Great: This song also broaches the subject of being broken up with– and all of the emotions that can go along with a break up. It covers missing the person, deciding you don’t need them after all– and then waxing melancholy about how you just wanted to be the right person for them… The one that made them feel better about everything. From there, it continues to walk you through the depression which can ensue after a major break up. It even tackles the point of the song itself: Which is using music to get through pain, with the lyrics, “It’s nights like these, the saddest songs don’t help.”
Bonus! Here’s an awesome acoustic version of this song!
Key Lyrics: “The charade, it won’t last, when he’s gone, I won’t come back.”
Why It’s Great: Punk rock (and pop punk in particular) often tackle lost love and matters of the heart– and this song is no different. This song walks you through, pretty much step-by-step, the process of being the on the wrong side of a break up– and then how the narrator moves on. The lyrics in the song are powerful, reminding us that our significant other doesn’t define us, and that we’re likely better off without them. The song approaches break ups as part of life– something that everyone has to deal with and, sometimes, has to face on their own, without a support system. It finishes on a positive note, with the narrator singing about moving on and not being the rebound/safety net for his ex. This is the song that got me into punk and pop punk music, and is my go-to song when I need a pick-me-up.
Bonus! Here’s an awesome acoustic cover of this song!
Key Lyrics: “You used to be so perfect, why did I ever meet you?”
Why It’s Great: The shortest song on this list, clocking in at a powerful 41 seconds, this tune takes place immediately after a break up– as the narrator is leaving the apartment of his now ex. Feelings of confusion and pain are crowding his mind as he looks back on their time together.
Key Lyrics: “I used to wait in a diner a million nights without her, praying she won’t cancel again tonight, and a waiter served my coffee with a consolation smile. You remind Anna if she asks why.”
Why It’s Great: The narrator walks through several relationships with different girls that you can tell he once loved, or maybe never got over the loss. In each story, he addresses a particular woman from the past, trying to explain to her why he was a good choice and how he should have been given a chance… Something many of us have dealt with over the years.
Key Lyrics: “Then she leaves with someone you don’t know, but she makes sure you saw her.” AND “You just have to see her, you know that she’ll break you in two.”
Why It’s Great: Running in to an ex before you’re ready can be very painful, no matter how much time has passed… And that’s what this song is about. A man runs into his ex at a bar and has to repress the memories of what they had when they were together– only to find out that she’s there with someone else. The song is beautiful lyrically and is perfectly matched with the music as the song builds… Pulling you into the emotion the narrator feels as he eventually leaves the bar, realizing he’s still in love.
Bonus! Here’s an awesome acoustic version of this song!
For my faithful readers that are enjoying time with their significant other this month (and to prove that love and Valentine Days aren’t all bad), here’s a beautiful song about love…
Key Lyrics: “I needed you then, and every day since, like a flower needed sun light.” AND “What was my young heart to do, a girlfriend as pretty as you?”
Why It’s Great: This is a realistic love song covering the good and the bad… The narrator’s struggles in his relationship, and how, at the end, he finally realizes she’s his true love and that she stood by him the entire time, no matter what. This is a truly beautiful song about love.