Friday, July 28, 2006

Top Five Friday - Break-Up Songs

Poor George Michael...caught messing around with some other bloke in the bushes. No wedding bells for you. Today's top five list is for you George.

It's never easy. As least if it was ever any good that is. And if it wasn't ever any good, were you ever really "together" in the first place? Breaking up. Whether it's after a whirlwind romance or 20 years of trudgery, the pain often seems insurmountable. Life is over, or at least that's how it feels. Here are my top five songs expressing painful endings. I'm not talking about the "she's throwing steak knives at me to kill me" kind...or even the "the bastard left me for his secretary" kind. These are all about those endings which you'd do anything to avoid, yet seem unavoidable, regardless of what you do, what you say, or what promises you make.

5. Liz Phair - Divorce Song : Exile in Guyville

And then accused me of trying to fuck it up
But you've never been a waste of my time
It's never been a drag

OK, so maybe this song does hold some break-up bitterness...but just a hint I would have to say. You never know what is going to push a relationship to its breaking point: the most trivial comment, a casual gesture, a hair cut, an act performed without much though. Like they say, the straw that broke the camel's back.

4. The Cure - A Letter to Elise : Wish

oh elise it doesn't matter what you do
i know I'll never really get inside of you
to make your eyes catch fire
the way they should

The break-up much more classic can you make it? Even with best intentions, sometimes relationships seemed doomed to failure. Destiny holds another path for you, perhaps...who knows. We try to grasp at love and like Robert says, "every time I try... to pick it up like falling sand... as fast as I pick it up... it suns away through my clutching hands."

3. Bright Eyes - Falling Out of Love at this Volume : A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997

just say what you wanted to say
i cannot stand these talks dear
they only get us nowhere
it's never resolved
we only run around

Sometimes it's hard to know what to say. So you say nothing, or the wrong thing, or the right thing...but too late. Talks going in circles. The same lines over and over again. Eventually you repeat them by when you're watching your favorite episode of Seinfeld.

2. Simon & Garfunkel - Overs (Live) : Old Friends

sitting in the windowsill
near the flowers
we might as well be apart
it hardly matters, we sleep separately

This live version opens with a lovely intro by Paul. Sometimes relationships turn into this, eh? Instead of lovers, or soul-mates, it's simply friends. Sharing space. Familiarity breeding disconnect.

1. Arab Strap - We Don't Make Each Other Laugh Anymore : Quiet Violence

Sometimes just the slightest word
and one of us will just let go,
Then almost at last we patch it all up, even so...
It's never like before, we don't make each other laugh anymore.

Everything about this song reeks of loneliness and despair: the lyrics, Aiden's tone, the accompanying plodding and muted background music. Get a box of tissues before giving this one a listen.

Previous Top Five Fridays = Duets, 1st tracks

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