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Breakup Song
One thing that writers of Silly Love Songs don't like to mention is that love usually doesn't last forever. People break up all the time for reasons both good and lousy, and when someone writes a song about it, it's called a Breakup Song. Although not as omnipresent as Silly Love Songs, if you turn on a radio station and listen for a while, there's a good chance that you'll hear a Breakup Song or two mixed in with the endless stream of Silly Love Songs you hear. Many times it emerges from the songwriter coming from a breakup himself.

Breakups inspire all different kinds of emotions in people, so there's a lot of variety among Breakup Songs. Songs written from the perspective of someone who has been dumped tend to be different from songs written from the perspective of the person doing the dumping. Please sort examples by the general category they fit into.

Compare Anti-Love Song, Grief Song. Contrast Silly Love Songs.


Examples:

Needing sorting:

  • Beck - pretty much the whole of the Sea Change album.
  • Chely Wright - "Shut Up And Drive" (talking herself into going through with a breakup)
  • George Strait - "Baby's Gotten Good at Goodbye"
  • Aly And AJ - "Potential Breakup Song"
    • A pretty Genre Savvy version, especially with lyrics like "This is the potential breakup song: our album needs just one".
  • Nelly Furtado - "In God's Hands"
  • Zox - "Leaving Me"
  • Level 42 - "Leaving Me Now"; "It's Over"
  • Air Supply - "Goodbye"
  • Honestly - "This Is Goodbye"
  • The Veronicas - This is How It Feels
  • Brian May - "Too Much Love Will Kill You" ("Torn between the lover/and the love you leave behind.")
  • Claude Demetrius - "Mean Woman Blues". The most popular version was sung by Roy Orbison.
  • Peter Hammill's solo album Over deserves a special mention. The album was written in response to his girlfriend running off with (and probably even marrying) his best friend, and so all the songs on the album (with the notable exception of "Autumn") are about how he deals with it. A consequence of this is that the album is so claustrophobic and sparse that anyone who has suffered a breakup will find the album an emotionally harrowing listen.
  • ABBA - "The Winner Takes It All", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "One of Us", "When All Is Said And Done", and likely many other ones, too.
  • Rainbow - "Since You've Been Gone" (actually by Russ Ballard, this is also a case of Covered Up).
  • The Moody Blues - "Go Now"
  • Napoleon XIV - "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Haa" (a parody, naturally. It was his dog that broke up with him.)
  • 2Gether - The Hardest Part of Breaking Up (Is Getting Back Your Stuff) is a rather, shall we say, "unusual" take on the subject.
  • They Might Be Giants have done a few of these, including "They'll Need A Crane", "Narrow Your Eyes", and "Broke in Two".
  • The entirety of Bowling for Soup's album: A Hangover You Don't Deserve (except "1985") details a break-up, either one specific break-up or a variety of them. Special note to - "Ohio" a come-back to me song where the band says the entire state of Texas would rather have the girl in Texas than Ohio; "Down For The Count" where the guy's 'guard goes up and [he's] fighting dirty;" and "Next Ex-Girlfriend" where the singer just wants a quick rebound to get over his past love.
  • The entirety of the Del Amitri album "Change Everything".
  • American Hi-Fi's The Breakup Song and SR-71's Mosquito are two of the nastiest, and funniest examples. Not sure which folder they belong in.
  • Leonard Cohen - Coming Back to You; Ain't No Cure for Love; Ain't No Cure for love
  • Hedley - "She's So Sorry"
  • Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
  • Queen - "Love of My Life"
  • blur- Most of the "13" album
  • The musical show Total Drama World Tour has a song by the character Sierra called 'Oui, my Friends,' where she sings about a boy who she thought loved her, but she finds out he didn't love her at all, and proceeds to sing about how all boys are just out to get girls and use them. (Or as she puts it, 'Break your heart and chew it up and spit it out and step on it and throw it down a sewer, call it names, and then, laugh!')
  • Keyshia Cole - "I Should Have Cheated" A song where the singer states that she should of cheated on her boyfriend after the multiple times he accused her of doing so, which he has been suspected of as well.
  • Khonnor's "An Ape Is Loose" can be interpreted to concern the singer instigating a breakup with a popular girl or celebrity.
  • Katy Perry's "Circle The Drain" is about her breakup with the drug-addicted Travis McCoy.
    • And "Part of Me" was recorded in the aftermath of the dissolution of her marriage to Russell Brand. Take a guess on what it's about. Go on!
  • Most of Fall Out Boy's earlier material consists of songs that fall into at least one of these categories. Examples include "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out", where the singer spitefully tells his ex what she should do for Crhistmas and new Year's, and "Tell That Mick He Just Made My List Of Things To Do Today," where he basically tells her he hates her for breaking up with him for another guy and tells her to "stop burning bridges / and drive off of them / so I can forget about you"
  • Escape the Fate's "Let It Go" consists of the singer asking himself if he lets his girl go, since she's not his to own, would the emotional scars and trauma she's inflicted go away or remain.
  • Vanessa Carlton's "Carousel" is an unusual example. It's a third-person song advising people who've broken up not to dwell on it and to move on.
  • Train - "50 Ways to Say Goodbye," which details how the singer intends to tell his friends that his ex died in various freak accidents rather than admit that they've broken up.
  • "I'm Leaving" by Rob Swift is a bit of a special case as both verses convey different emotions. The first verse is of the "I Have to Leave" variety, while the second is of the "Don't Want You Back" variety.
  • George Michael - Faith
  • Jack Johnson - If I Had Eyes
  • Robyn - Call Your Girlfriend (coming from the interesting perspective of the "other woman", telling the guy that it's time to leave his girlfriend for her—"Call your girlfriend/It's time you had the talk/Give your reasons/Say it's not her fault...")
  • Sunny Sweeney - Staying's Worse Than Leaving
  • Alison Krauss - Forget About It
  • Imagine Dragons - "Pantomime". The singer spends a lot of time telling the ex not to touch him, and also boasts that he's become rather popular among her friends. However, he also says that he loves her "part time", instead of not at all, and also notices her crying over the lack of emotional commitment in her current relationship. The bridge seems to tell her that it's her choice whether or not to leave her current lover.
  • Egyptian - "Fade". The first verse has the male sing to the female about how while she has a pure heart, society seems to forbid their love. The second verse has the female sing to the male about how he seems shady to others, including her, by leaving her alone at night. The chorus has him ask her to maintain positive memories of their romance, even after it ends.
  • Jeff Buckley - Forget Her

    open/close all folders 

    Relationship breakup 
  • Amy Winehouse - "Back to Black" pretty much the whole album but particular examples include, Love Is A Losing Game, Wake Up Alone and Back To Black itself.
  • Bob Dylan - pretty much the entirety of his mid-70's album Blood on the Tracks.
  • The Theme Song to Dear John
  • The Academy Is... - "Everything We Had"
  • The Wedding Singer has an unfinished Breakup Song he wrote after his girlfriend cheated on him the night before their wedding.
  • Annie Lennox - "Walking On Broken Glass"
  • Naked Eyes - "Always Something There To Remind Me" particularly harsh because it has the beloved's wedding bells as part of the background music.
  • ABC - "Poison Arrow"
    • Virtually the entire Lexicon of Love album is a flavour of this.
  • aha - "Crying in the Rain"
  • Catatonia - 'Blues Song'
  • Eric Carmen - "Boats Against the Current"
  • Dannii Minogue - "It Won't Work Out"
  • The Flirts - "Jukebox"
  • Johnny Logan - "Hold Me Now"
  • Kylie Minogue - "Where Has The Love Gone?" and "So Now Goodbye"
  • Olivia Newton-John - "Please Mister Please"
  • Taylor Swift - "Breathe"
  • Phil Collins - "Against All Odds" and "In The Air Tonight"
  • The Nails had two:
    • "88 Lines About 44 Women" was about all the women the singer had slept with and/or had relationships with
    • "These are the Things You Left Behind" is about all the stuff still in the singer's house after the departure of the girlfriend.
  • The Monkees - "She"
  • No Doubt - "Don't Speak"
    • Tragic Kingdom may very well count as a break-up album. Most of the songs on there were written after Gwen Stefani's break-up with the bassist (see also: Hey You, Sunday Morning, Happy Now?)
  • Suede - "Barriers", "The 2 of Us"
  • Angels & Airwaves - "It Hurts"
  • The Police - "Can't Stand Losing You". Also, "Someone To Talk To" (But I fucked it up and now it's too late).
  • Marillion - "Script For A Jester's Tear", "The Web"
  • Skyclad - "You Lost My Memory"
  • Apocalyptica - "I Don't Care"
  • Tara's side of "Under Your Spell/Standing Reprise" in the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • The Veronicas- "Leave Me Alone" "In Another Life"
  • The Corrs - "Goodbye"
  • Roxette - "It Must Have Been Love" - the breakup theme from Pretty Woman, written by Per Gessle
  • The Cure - "The End of the World"
  • The Swell Season - "Lies"
  • Robyn - "With Every Heartbeat"
  • Relient K - "This is the End (If You Want It)"
  • The Dresden Dolls - "The Jeep Song"
  • Sia - "The Girl You Lost To Cocaine"
  • Pet Shop Boys - "Love Is A Catastrophe"
  • The Bouncing Souls - "Wish Me Well (You Can Go to Hell)"
  • The Beatles - "For No One"
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic - "One More Minute". Oddly enough, this is a completely straight example, despite being a Weird Al song; he wrote it to help himself through an actual breakup.
    • It's not completely straight, since it's set to the tune of a slow dance and the lyrics are turned Up to Eleven. Weird Al also had "You Don't Love Me Anymore", which is definitely not a straight example.
    • He also did "Since You've Been Gone", which starts out sounding like a straight depressing breakup song (albeit comparing his lovers absence to several outlandishly painful and masochistic acts). This being Weird Al, there's of course a twist at the end.
  • Carole King - "It's Too Late" (also covered by Gloria Estefan)
  • Aerosmith - "What It Takes" and "Hole in My Soul".
  • Keyshia Cole - "I Changed My Mind", "(I Just Want It) To Be Over"
  • Taylor Swift is a particularly infamous example as of late. She tends to write songs about her personal experiences, which includes break-ups. This starts to get awkward when her relationships involve celebrities and not just unnamed boys from her hometown. It's gotten so bad that when she writes a new one, there is instant speculation as to who it might be about. Examples: "Tim Mc Graw," "Picture to Burn," "The Way I Loved You," "Back to December," "Dear John," "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," "Should Have Said No," "White Horse," "Cold as You," "A Perfectly Good Heart," "You're Not Sorry," "Haunted," and "Last Kiss." Just to name a few.
  • Epica - Never Enough
  • Keith Urban - "You'll Think Of Me"
  • Martina McBride - "When Love is Gone", from The Muppet Christmas Carol.
  • The Greg Kihn Band - "The Break-Up Song (They Don't Write 'Em)"
  • Edguy - "Trinidad", effectively "you don't give me respect because you're taller than me, so I moved to Trinidad without telling you."
  • The Crystalline Effect- "Poetry"
  • Anneliese van der Pol - "Cute Boys with Short Haircuts", from the musical of Vanities
  • OneRepublic: "Apologize"
    • Also covered by Silverstein
  • Justin Timberlake - "What Goes Around..."
    • Also covered by Alesana
  • Hoobastank - "I Don't Think I Love You"
  • Journey - "Separate Ways"
  • David Bowie - "Something in the Air."
  • The All-American Rejects - "It Ends Tonight"
  • Space - 'There's No You', 'Begin Again'
  • The Veronicas - "In Another Life"
  • Delta Goodrem - "Not Me Not I"
  • Ben Folds - "Song for the Dumped", which has become an anthem for mishandled breakups.
  • Nick Cave, being a bit broody, is partial to these. "Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?" and "It Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore" are two of the lighter, happier example. Note that this is not a joke: they get darker.
  • "Leave" by Jojo
  • Adele's album 21 is all about these (thanks to her going through a rough breakup) and various songs can be found on the folders. It was the album that burst her into the United States charts and several songs have become HUGE hits.
  • Selena Gomez - "Middle of Nowhere"
  • Vanessa da Mata/Ben Harper - "Boa Sorte (Good Luck)"
  • Commodores - "Easy". It overlaps a bit with the Anti-Love Song, in that the singer is overall quite relaxed and happy about breaking up with his girlfriend since the relationship has apparently been unhappy for a while.
  • Garbage - "It's All over But the Crying"
  • DragonForce - Seasons
  • Dire Straits - "When It Comes To You".
  • Local H - "The One With 'Kid'" (and, to an extent, every song on Twelve Angry Months)
  • Imagine Dragons - "Leave Me"
  • The Everly Brothers – "Born Yesterday"
    • The lyrics strongly imply a breakup, but the song's video tells a slightly different story, showing a married couple on the brink. Subverted at the end of the video, with the couple getting back together.

    Warning others about the ex 
  • Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You"— which also has some "I Want You Back" elements.
  • Dion - "Runaround Sue"
  • Carrie Underwood - "Cowboy Casanova", "Good Girl"
  • E-Rotic - "Max Don't Have Sex With Your Ex"
  • Elastica - Stutter (Unlike most of these, this one isn't about the ex's personality, it's about his "performance")
  • Frankie Valli - "Walk Like A Man"
  • Tony! Toni! Tonè!- My Ex-Girlfriend Is A Hoe
  • Paula Abdul - "Cold Hearted"
  • SNSD - "Lost In Love"
  • Toni Braxton - "He Wasn't Man Enough"
  • The Zombies - Tell Her No, the main message of which boils down to "She said she loved me too"
  • Måns Zelmerlöw - "Brother Oh Brother", where the singer's brother gets together with the singer's ex
  • Three Days Grace - "Last To Know" starts out with the singer wanting the girl who cheated then dumped him back, but when the electric guitar kicks in halfway through the song, he switches to warning her new boyfriend that when she leaves him for dead, he too will be the last to know.
  • The Beach Boys - "Here Today"
  • Phil Collins and Philip Bailey - "Easy Lover"
  • Hall And Oates - "Maneater" (the singer's previous involvement with the titular "maneater" is strongly suggested, but never explicitly stated)
  • Usher - "You Make Me Wanna"
  • Bel Biv Devoe - "Poison", which warns to never trust a big butt and a smile
  • Consider Me Dead - "The Island" switches perspectives from a "you drew me in, I was captivated and now I know better so screw you" tone in the verses to a chorus warning anyone romantically interested in the antagonist "she swims in a sea of diamonds/she is numb to the touch/she left me here on this island/she didn't leave me with much".
  • Elton John, "Slow Down Georgie (She's Poison)"; "Don't Trust That Woman".
  • No Doubt - "Ex-Girlfriend"
  • La India "Ese hombre" ("That Man"), vía a long list of his defects, capped by "unbearable as a friend/ insufferable as a lover".

    Non-romantic, between friends 
  • Coal Chamber - "Friend"
  • Green Day - "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
  • Pokémon - "The Time Has Come (Pikachu's Goodbye)"
  • "Hard To Say Goodbye, My Love" from Dreamgirls, since the Dreams sing it when they're about to disband.
  • Ozzy Osbourne - "Goodbye To Romance" (The booklet for the Blizzard of Ozz rerelease says Ozzy wrote it about his departure from Black Sabbath.)
  • Starflyer 59's Gold was almost an entire album of breakup songs of this type.
  • "For Good" from Wicked.
  • Simon & Garfunkel's "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" is a very thinly-veiled farewell from Paul to Artie. ("All of the nights we harmonized till dawn...")
  • Vanities - "Friendship Isn't What it Used to Be"
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds saw off their long-time guitarist, Blixa Bargeld, with "The Fable of the Brown Ape"...which...let's just say there's reason to assume it wasn't a smooth transition.
  • Taking Back Sunday- "There's No 'I' In Team"
  • Al Stewart - "Angel of Mercy".
  • Not The Nine O’Clock News – Kinda Lingers

    Please Don't Go / I want you back / I wish we were still in love 
  • Adele - "Rolling In the Deep". Despite that it's not a pathetic as it seems. As Todd said, "It's a song to load ammo to. It's the kind of breakup song that precedes a serious ass-kicking." The fact that one of the lines in the chorus is "You're going to wish you never had met me" is a big clue as to what this song is about.
  • Alejandro Fernández - "Si Tú No Vuelves," "Pájaro Perdido"
  • Annie - "Anthonio"
  • Arcade Fire - "Crown of Love"
  • The Avett Brothers - "If It's the Beaches" (The song's basic message is "I would do anything to keep you". Sample lyrics: "Don't say it's over / 'Cause that's the worst news I could hear / I swear that I will / Do my best to be here just the way you like it / Even though it's hard to hide / Push my feelings all aside / I will rearrange my plans and change for you".)
  • The Band - "It Makes No Difference"
  • Basshunter - "Now You're Gone," "All I Ever Wanted," "I Miss You," "Please Don't Go," "Camila" (but only the English version)
  • The Beach Boys - "The Warmth of the Sun", "Wendy", "Caroline No", "Getcha Back"
  • The Beatles - "Yesterday"
  • Bloc Party - "Like Eating Glass"
  • Boyz II Men - "Please Don't Go," "End of the Road," "On Bended Knee"
  • Brave Saint Saturn: "Binary"
  • The Break Up - "Come Undone"
  • Cascada - "Miracle", "One More Night", and "Love Again"
  • Céline Dion - "Pour Que Tu M'Aimes Encore"
  • Cher - "If I Could Turn Back Time"
  • Cher Lloyd - "Want U Back," about a girl who dumped her boyfriend because he "never had much game" and then got all pissy because he got together with someone else instead of crawling back to her like she expected.
  • Chicago - "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love," "If You Leave Me Now", "Hard Habit to Break"
  • The Corrs - "Radio," "Long Night," "Old Town," "Give Me A Reason," ...suffice it to say, they like this one.
  • Crystal Gayle - "You Never Miss a Real Good Thing ('Til He Says Goodbye)"
  • Miley Cyrus, "7 Things".
  • Daft Punk - "The Game of Love"
  • Dannii Minogue - "I Don't Wanna Take This Pain", "So Hard To Forget", "Kiss And Make Up", and "I Begin To Wonder"
  • Debbie Gibson - "Foolish Beat"
  • Deep Blue Something - "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
  • Dido - "White Flag"
  • Dierks Bentley - "Settle for a Slowdown" (although in the end he resigns himself to her leaving, and only wishes she would show some sorrow over it)
  • Most songs by Double You. Dissonantly, their music style is bouncy Eurodance.
  • Ed Sheeran - "Sunburn"
    • Interestingly, the beginning lines of the song—"You're not her / Though I try to see you differently / I toe the line / You see, I'm searching for what used to be mine / And I saw your eyes / And I saw Alice staring back at me / So I will try to find another one / Who suited me as well as her"—sound a LOT like the male perspective of Paloma Faith's "Picking up the Pieces", in which she sings about being in a relationship with a man who is still madly in love with his ex, to the detriment of his relationship with his current girl (the singer). Aside from those first lines, however, "Sunburn" is primarily about Sheeran's regret that an old relationship didn't work out: "We never even tried / We never even talked / We never even thought in the long run". The new-girlfriend-who-reminds-him-of-the-old is a secondary aspect of the song.
  • Elvis Presley - "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (though Sam Kinison's version drifts into "don't want you back" with hilarious results)
  • Foo Fighters - "Walking After You"
  • Frou Frou- Hear Me Out
  • Gloria Estefan - "Can't Forget You"
  • Gotye - "Somebody That I Used To Know" is arguably a deconstruction. It seems like a song in this vein, but then in the second part we hear the perspective of the ex and it could from her angle be a "Don't Want You Back" song.
  • The Human League - Don't You Want Me
  • Ian van Dahl - "Will I" and "Where Are You Now?"
  • Imagine Dragons - "Darkness," "My Fault"
  • Jackson Five - "I Want You Back"
  • Jacques Brel's "Ne me quitte pas" deserves a special mention: that song is so full of Romantic Hyperbole that people often believe it is a love song.
  • Jazmine Sullivan - "Need U Bad"
  • Jaya - "If You Leave Me Now"
  • Jennifer y Los Jetz - "Contigo Otra Vez," "You Say," Vuelve"
  • Jessica Simpson - "Where You Are"
  • Jewel - "You Were Meant For Me"
  • Jodeci - "Stay", "I'm Still Waiting"
  • Journey - "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"
  • KC and the Sunshine Band - "Please Don't Go"
  • Kelly Clarkson - "My Life Would Suck Without You"
  • Kenny Rogers - "Ruby (Don't Take Your Love To Town)"
  • Keyshia Cole - "Love"
  • Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow - "Picture" (Two ex-lovers both realize they can't live without each other)
  • Kumbia Kings - "Con El Tic Tac Del Reloj," "Se Fue Mi Amor," "Why Did You"
  • Kylie Minogue - "I'll Still Be Loving You", "Hand On Your Heart", "Never Too Late", "Better The Devil You Know", "If You Were With Me Now", "No World Without You", "Where In The World?", "Put Yourself In My Place", "Disco Down", and "Soul On Fire"
  • Laura Branigan - "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" (co-written, and later covered, by Michael Bolton) (singer's love for other person apparently unrequited, other person has found love of his/her own life)
  • Les Fatals Picards - L'Amour à la française
  • Los Bravos - "Black Is Black"
  • Loudness- "Ares' Lament/So Lonely" and "Never Again"
  • Lovelife's songs are almost exclusively about breakups and longing for the other person back. The most notable examples being "Your New Beloved", "Dying to Start Again" and "Nova"
  • Lifehouse - "Whatever It Takes"
  • Luis Fonsi - "Se Supone," "Te Echo De Menos," "Viviendo En El Ayer"
  • Mariah Carey - "Can't Let Go," "Just to Hold You Once Again," "My All", "Love Takes Time", "I Still Believe"
    • "Always Be My Baby" is a variant, saying "I don't mind if you leave, because I know you'll come back." Forever is another variant, where she acknowledges the time between them is over but if he ever wants her back then all he has to do is call her back. Butterfly is, yet another, example. Its main message is very similar to Always Be My Baby except it's more, "If you truly love me, you will come back but, until then, I have to set you free."
    • Don't Forget About Us and her exceptionally famous We Belong Together definitely do count.
    • Candy Bling, Angels Cry and Inseparable off of Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel count. H.A.T.E.U. is an odd variant where she wishes for him back, but, at the same time, wishes that she didn't so she can hate him.
  • Marillion - "Kayleigh"
  • Maroon 5 - "Won't Go Home Without You", "Payphone"
  • Michael Jackson - "She's Out of My Life"
  • Mike Mareen - "Don't Leave Me Now". Uses Lyrical Dissonance, setting the breakup lyrics in a dancy Hi-NRG song.
  • Mike Posner - "Please Don't Go"
  • My Brightest Diamond - "Gone Away".
  • Naked Eyes - Always Something There to Remind Me
  • No Mercy - "Where Do You Go" and "Please Don't Go"(not a cover)
  • *NSYNC - "I Drive Myself Crazy," "I Thought She Knew", and of course, "I Want You Back"
  • Os Paralamas do Sucesso - "Quase Um Segundo" ("sometimes I hate you for almost one second, then I love you more...")
  • Patsy Cline - "Faded Love," "I Fall to Pieces," "She's Got You," "So Wrong", "Crazy"
  • Peabo Bryson - "Can You Stop the Rain"
  • Pearl Jam - "Black"
  • Pet Shop Boys - "The Way It Used To Be"
    • "What Have I Done To Deserve This", for both singers
  • Prince - "Nothing Compares 2U" (famously sung by Sinead O'Connor)
  • P!nk - "Please Don't Leave Me"
  • Player - "Baby Come Back"
  • Rascal Flatts / Cascada - "What Hurts The Most"
  • Regina Belle - "Make it Like it Was"
  • Robert Knight - "Everlasting Love" (Covered by many, many other performers)
  • The Rolling Stones - "Miss You"
  • Roy Orbison - "Crying"
  • The Script - "Break Even"
  • Selena Gomez - "The Way I Loved You", "Ghost of You"
  • Space - 'Love You More Than Football'
  • The Steps - "One for Sorrow" and "Deeper Shade of Blue"
  • Sonata Arctica - "Tallulah"
  • Stevie B. - "Spring Love"
  • Steve Winwood - "Valerie" (Sampled Up by Eric Prydz in "Call on Me")
  • Sugar Ray - "When It's Over"
  • Take That - "Back For Good"
  • Taylor Swift: "Back to December," "Haunted"
  • Tiffany - "Could've Been," "Should've Been Me"
  • Toni Braxton - "Unbreak My Heart", "I Don't Want To"
  • Travis Tritt - "Tell Me I Was Dreaming"
  • Violet UK - Amethyst. The breakup is due to the death of one of the partners, and the song is pure I Want You Back Grief Song from the widowed partner's perspective.
    • Unnamed Song/7th is also a Grief Song about a relationship ended by death.
  • Trisha Yearwood - "When a Love Song Sings the Blues," "When We Were Still in Love"
  • Harry Nilsson - "You're Breakin' My Heart" and "Without You" (Covered Up by Mariah Carey)
  • Within Temptation - "What Have You Done Now" (About two lovers who are also mortal enemies)
  • "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," from Dreamgirls
  • Deborah Cox - "Things Just Ain't The Same", "I Never Knew", and "House Is Not A Home"
  • Escape the Fate - "Harder Than You Know"
  • The Birthday Massacre - "To Die For"
  • The Veronicas - Someone Wake Me Up, Worlds Apart, Don't Say Goodbye, In Another Life, We Are One Amongst others..
  • Delta Goodrem - Lost Without You, I Can't Break It To My Heart.
  • The Alan Parsons Project - "If I Could Change Your Mind"
  • Hurt - "Falls Apart," "On the Radio", "Aftermath" (with shades of a passive Obsession Song)... They like these.
  • Expose - "I'll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me"
  • Elliot Yamin - "Wait For You"
  • Neil Sedaka - "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"
  • Sally Shapiro - "Sundown"

    We're about to break up because I know you're cheating 
  • Hank Williams, Sr. - "Your Cheatin' Heart"
  • Ace - "How Long Has This Been Going On"
  • Brandy - "Tomorrow"
  • One-Hit Wonder Sarah Connor's "Bounce" is a particularly vicious example of this.
  • Destinys Child - "Bills, Bills, Bills" (cheating with her money)
  • The Who - "I Can See For Miles (And Miles)"
  • Jill Jones - "I Used To Worship The Ground You Walk On" from Earth Girls Are Easy, which led to a great Defenestrate and Berate scene.
  • Sanford and Townsend - "A Distant Fire"
  • Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats"
  • Kelis - "I Hate You So Much Right Now" "Caught Out There"
  • Theory of a Deadman - "Little Smirk"
  • The Offspring - "Spare Me The Details"
  • Kumbia Kings - "U Don't Love Me"
  • The Clash - "Train in Vain"
  • Hey Monday - "How You Love Me Now"
  • JoJo - "Leave (Get Out)"
  • Garth Brooks - "The Thunder Rolls" (particularly extreme example, if you listen to the live version)
  • Fitz Kreiner - "Contains Spoilers"note 
  • Mayday Parade's When I get home, You're so dead
  • Showbread's "Check Yes If You Like Me (If You Don't I'll Die)"
  • Pet Shop Boys - "So Hard" (both partners are cheating on each other) and "Domino Dancing"
  • Joe - "Stutter"
  • Kesha - "Kiss 'n' Tell"
  • Kylie Minogue - "It's No Secret" and "Word Is Out"
  • Dannii Minogue - "Mystified"
  • Girls' Generation - "Run Devil Run"
  • Taylor Swift - "White Horse", "Should've Said No"
  • The Like - "Wishing He Was Dead"
  • Deborah Cox - "It's Over Now"
  • The Band Perry - "You Lie"
  • In this case, the singer is the one caught cheating. Rihanna - "Unfaithful"
  • Simple Plan - "Your Love is Just A Lie," "You Suck at Love"
  • Taking Back Sunday - "Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team)"
  • Panic! at the Disco - "Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off"
  • The Veronicas - "Revenge Is Sweeter", "Everything I'm Not"
  • Hurt - "Unkind"
  • Vanessa Amorosi - "Sleep With That".
  • The Byrds - "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better"
  • Mariah Carey - Standing O, It's A Wrap, and Betcha Gon Know from Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel count. Shake It Off from Emancipation of Mimi counts too.
  • Skye Sweetnam - "Fallen Through"
  • The Everly Brothers - "Cathy's Clown"
  • Selena Gomez, "I Won't Apologize".
  • Christina Aguilera - "You Lost Me"
  • Beyoncé - "Me, Myself and I". Also features elements of "warning about others" and "over you", mentioning that the guy's family and friends tried to warn her about him and that it's just "me myself and I" now.
  • Joan Jett- "I Hate Myself For Loving You"

     You Cheated On Me So I'm Ruining Your Stuff 
  • Jazmine Sullivan- "Bust Your Windows"
  • Carrie Underwood- "Before He Cheats" (except she has no real evidence of him cheating, she just thinks he is)
  • Blackhawk - "Goodbye Says It All" (except it's the narrator commenting on his partner having ruined his stuff)
  • Blu Cantrell - "Hit'em up Style (Oops)" (more specifically, ruining his credit.)
  • Bowling For Soup - "Two Seater"
  • Theory of a Deadman - "Little Smirk"
  • Garbage - "Vow" (actually, not so much the lover's stuff as the lover himself... it's yandere overdrive)
  • Victoria Justice - "Begging on Your Knees". Also has elements of the warning others type.
  • Space - 'Now She's Gone' (not so much breaking the woman's stuff as spiking her food with cyanide)
  • The Veronicas - "Revenge Is Sweeter"
  • In the video for Shakira's "Don't Bother", she sends her boyfriend's Ford Mustang to the crusher.
  • Vanessa Amorosi- "I Thought We'd Stay Together.", "Sleep With That".
  • P!nk - "Funhouse"
  • ZZ Ward has a few breakup songs of different tones, but 365 Days, one of her singles, is in this category. There's even a line about giving the guy's money to the poor.

    Teetering on the brink of a breakup 
  • Ace of Base - "Don't Turn Around"
  • Olivia Newton-John
    • "Hopelessly Devoted To You"
      • Reprised in Pushing Daisies by Olive Snook, who knows it isn't presently working out but harbors hopes for the future.
    • Suspended in Time", from Xanadu
  • ELO - "The Fall", from Xanadu
  • Marillion - "Jigsaw"
  • Sort of inverted in Heaven Help my Heart in Chess. The singer enters a relationship knowing that it will end with the guy leaving her despite all that's she's done and how much he loves her.
  • Beyoncé - "Ring the Alarm"
  • Taylor Swift: "The Story of Us"
  • Jazmine Sullivan - "My Foolish Heart"
  • Paul Simon's 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover and Overs. Paul describes the latter as being 'about that point in a relationship where you both know it's going nowhere'.
  • Debbie Gibson - "Goodbye," "How Can This Be?"
  • Mariah Carey - "I Don't Wanna Cry," "If It's Over", "Forever" could be interpreted like this but the more common interpretation is listed above.
  • *NSYNC - "Tearin' Up My Heart"
  • Kate Nash - Foundations
  • Patsy Cline - "Leavin' On Your Mind"
  • Eden's Crush - "Let Me Know"
  • Selena - "No Debes Jugar"
  • Jennifer y Los Jetz - "Si Tú Te Vas"
  • Luis Fonsi - "Te Vas"
  • Emilio Navaira - "Lo Dice Tu Mirada"
  • Pearl Jam - "Parting Ways"
    • "...She knows their future's burning, but she can smile just the same..."
  • John Mayer - "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room"
  • Orianthi - "According to You"
  • Havalina Rail Co.: For the Concept Album Space, Love, & Bullfighting, the Love theme is entirely about a relationship on the brink.
  • The Cardigans, "My Favourite Game"
  • Céline Dion - "Think Twice"
  • Huey Lewis and the News - "If This Is It"
    • "Girl, don't lie and tell me that you need me...girl, don't cry and tell me nothing's wrong...I'll be all right, one way or another...so let me go or make me want to stay..."
  • Kylie Minogue - "Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi", "Tell Tale Signs", and "Trippin' Me Up"
  • Dannii Minogue - "Be Careful" and "Who Do You Love Now"
  • The Righteous Brothers - "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (cover versions by lots of people)
  • The Veronicas - "All I Have" "Don't Say Goodbye" "In Another Life"
  • Intimacy by Bloc Party is a goldmine of these. It was written after a bad breakup of the lead singer, Kele Okereke. We've got: Trojan Horse, One Month Off, Your Visits Getting Shorter, Zephyrus and One More Chance.
    • Arguably Letter to My Son as well.
      • From other albums you could have We Were Lovers.
  • Dan Hill (with Vonda Shepard) - "Can't We Try"
  • Sarah Brightman - "Tell Me On a Sunday," from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of the same name. Knowing that their relationship is doomed, the singer details how she wants her lover to finally end things.
    • "Let me down easy/ No big song and dance/ No long faces, no long looks/ No deep conversation..."
  • Cascada - "Can't Stop The Rain"
  • Vienna Teng - "Between"
  • Pussycat Dolls - "I Hate This Part"
  • Space - 'Disco Dolly'
  • Escape the Fate - "Something"
  • Brooks & Dunn - "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone"
  • Hurt - "Assurance," "Et Al"
  • P!nk - "Just Give Me a Reason" is about a relationship falling apart, yet neither participant wants to break up.
  • Kerli - "Love Me Or Leave Me" is Kerli asking her partner to either make their relationship great again, or just end the pain and let her go.
  • Sally Shapiro - "What Can I Do?"
  • Imagine Dragons - "Hear Me," "Every Night"

    Don't want you back 
  • Ace of Base - "The Sign"
  • Adele - "I Found A Boy." (She's happily dating someone else.)
  • Angelina - "I Don't Need Your Love"
  • The Beatles - "Not A Second Time"
  • Krypteria - "You & I"
  • Krypteria - "Too Late, Game Over And Goodbye"
  • Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive"
  • The Guess Who - "No Time" (the relationship is even compared to a slaughterhouse at one point)
  • Texas - "Strings of Life (Stronger On My Own)"
  • Eamon - "F*** It (I Don't Want You Back)"
    • And the follow-up song, from the woman's perspective, Frankee's "Fuck You Right Back"
  • Mariah Carey - "Someday", also, her, "You cheated on me so get out" songs count. H.A.T.E.U. is an odd mix between this and, "I really do still want you back". She goes back and forth between longing to be with them, and stating she can't wait to hate them. Up Out My Face is another example.
  • Three Days Grace - "Gone Forever" (arguably, more denial)
    • While it is a breakup song, it's not actually about a woman: Word Of God says that it's about the lead singers addiction to a painkiller.
    • From the same album is "Over And Over", which is about the same subject despite the generic break-up lyrics.
  • Evanescence - "Call Me When You're Sober", "Sweet Sacrifice" "Going Under" "Lacrymosa", "The Change", "Oceans" and "Made Of Stone"
  • Travis Tritt - "Here's a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares"
  • T'Pau - "Thank You For Goodbye"
  • The Grass Roots - "Where Were You When I Needed You?" (later covered by the Bangles)
  • Selena - "Si Una Vez," "Ya No"
  • Space - 'Influenza'
  • Ray Charles and The Raelettes: "Hit the Road, Jack"
  • Los Mismos - "No Quiero Volverte a Ver"
  • Patty Loveless - "Blame It On Your Heart"
  • Gamma Ray - "Leaving Hell"
  • Jo Dee Messina - "Bye Bye"
  • *NSYNC - "Bye Bye Bye"
  • Beyoncé - "Irreplaceable"
  • Christina Perri - Jar of Hearts
  • Brave Saint Saturn: "Enamel"
  • Britney Spears - "What U See (Is What U Get)" "Lonely" "Rock Star"
  • Mary J. Blige - Not Gon' Cry
  • Melys - 'I Don't Believe In You'
  • Kylie Minogue - "I'm Over Dreaming Over You", "What Kind Of Fool (Heard All That Before)", "Through The Years", "Dancefloor", "Baby", "Promises", "Obsession", and "Someday"
  • Dannii Minogue - "Get Into You", "Someone New", and "Goodbye Song"
  • Restart - "Bye Bye" (Noticing a pattern there?)
  • Few would see the characters' relationship as romantic, but Portal 2's "Want You Gone" is a perfect example of this kind of song.
  • My Chemical Romance - I Don't Love You
  • Linkin Park - "Don't Stay"
  • Blink182 - "Dammit"
  • Rockell - "I Fell in Love" and "What You Did to Me"
  • Whitney Houston - "It's Not Right"
  • OMD - "So in Love"
  • Scandal - "Goodbye To You"
  • Shakira - "Don't Bother"
  • "Gonna Get Along Without You Now" sung originally by Teresa Brewer, covered brilliantly by Aussie Pop Singer Tracey Dey and by the duo She & Him.
  • Ben Folds - "Smoke", a particularly melancholy example even for the genre comparing unloading your emotional baggage to burning a book, before taking a particular bitter turn towards the end.
  • Poison - "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" starts out in sad and melancholy mode, with the singer regretful about hurting his significant other and wishing that he could have known what to say in order to save the relationship — and then the final verse turns bitter as hell with the revelation that she's found somebody new, and "that I never meant that much to you."
  • Taylor Swift: "Picture to Burn", "Should've Said No", and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
  • Bowling for Soup's "Life After Lisa" is an odd example. The singer clearly misses the girl, and is saddened by the end of the relationship, but to his surprise is doing okay without her; the song focusses on that last part.
  • "Take Back Your Mink" from ''Guys and Dolls'.
  • Yvette Michele - "I'm Not Feeling You"
  • P!nk - "There You Go"
  • Epica - "Never Enough"
  • Selena Gomez - "Bang Bang Bang", "Sick of You"
  • Ariya - Go Away And Never Come Back (Уходи и не возвращайся)
  • Say Anything - "That Is Why", which is frontman Max Bemis exorcising his demons about his abusive ex by mockingly comparing her to his new beau.
  • Kelly Clarkson - "Never Again" (the bitter variety)
  • Roy Clark - "Thank God and Greyhound" which starts out wistful then switches mid-chord to something far more cheerful.
  • Mutya Keisha Siobhan - "Boys"
  • Jim's Big Ego's I'm Lucky, the chorus of which is the line "I'm lucky you left me" repeated about six dozen times, and which includes the line, "Now here's the part of the song where you'd expect to find a little irony/About how I'd really much rather have you back... Well SORRY!"
  • Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way
  • Pink Martini sings "And Then You're Gone," a counterpoint to "But Now I'm Back."
  • The All-American Rejects song "Gives Your Hell" is a hard-hitting "screw you" to the singer's ex. The entire song is one long gloat about how he's living the rock star life now, and where the hell is she? It includes a clever interlude line where the singer says, "The truth be told, I miss/And the truth be told, I'm lying! and he goes right back to describing what a bitch she was and how glad he is that she's out of his life.
  • Eurobeat Brony - "Fly", a filk based on the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Griffon the Brush-Off".
  • Joan Jett - "Jezebel" (From the Bad Reputation album)

    Claims to be over it but is in denial 
  • The Corrs - "I Never Loved You Anyway"
  • John Waite - "Missing You"
  • DHT - "I Miss You"
  • Paul Davis - "I Go Crazy", also covered by the aforementioned DHT
  • Eva Cassidy's cover of Buddy Holly's It Doesn't Matter Anymore comes off as this.
  • Go West - "The King of Wishful Thinking"
  • The Proclaimers - "What Makes You Cry?": the guy questions why his ex-wife doesn't seem so broken up by their divorce and suspects it's this.
  • The Satler Brothers' "Flowers on the Wall" is a bright, cheerful song about how the singer isn't at all hurt by the breakup and is really enjoying a catalogue of lonely, mundane, depressing activities (like "playing Solitaire til dawn, with a deck of 51").

     I Have to Leave/It's Me not You 

    Over You 
  • Anthonio - "Annie"
  • Beyoncé - "Irreplaceable"
  • Elton John - "I'm Still Standing", "Someone Saved My Life Tonight"
  • Dannii Minogue - "Someone New" and "Goodbye Song"
  • Destinys Child - "Survivor"
  • Cascada - "Another You"
  • Chris Daughtry - "Over You"
  • Kelly Clarkson - "Since U Been Gone"
    • Also covered by A Day To Remember
    • "Stronger"
  • Carolina Liar's "I'm Not Over" is an interesting example; while the singer isn't over his ex yet, the implication is that he just hasn't had quite enough time, and will be alright eventually.
  • The Cyrkle - "Red Rubber Ball"
  • Arab Strap - "Piglet"
  • Theory Of a Deadman - "So Happy
  • Crystal Gayle - "I'll Get Over You"
  • Jennifer y Los Jetz - "No Te Voy a Perdonar"
  • Katherine Mcphee - "Over it"
  • Kimberley Locke - "Coulda Been"
  • Kumbia Kings - "Desde Que No Estás Aquí"
  • Kylie Minogue - "I'm Over Dreaming Over You", "The World Still Turns", "What Kind Of Fool (Heard All That Before)", "Dancefloor", "Baby", "Promises", "Someday"
  • Apacalyptica - "I Don't Care"
  • Röyksopp - "Beautiful Day Without You" (it stresses that the memory will last, but still)
  • Clutch - "Electric Worry" (Not too straight of an example as it's implied he's trying to get her out of his head with sufficient success.)
  • Le Ann Rimes - "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)"
  • Lorrie Morgan - "I Didn't Know My Own Strength"
  • P!nk - "So What" (though it's also "It's over, so I'm gonna screw your - and probably other people's - life!")
  • Miranda Cosgrove: "Brand New You", "There Will Be Tears" and "Oh Oh"
  • Pet Shop Boys - "I Get Along" ("...without you very well!")
  • Pulp - "Bad Cover Version" and "Razzmatazz"
  • Yeasayer - O.N.E.
  • Relient K - "Over It". Rare case where the girl dumped the narrator.
  • Herman's Hermits-"I Can Take or Leave Your Loving"
  • Madonna - "The Power of Goodbye" (also fits with "I have to leave")
  • Cher - "Believe", "Strong Enough"
  • Restart - "Recomeçar"
  • Space - 'One O'Clock'
  • Lily Allen - "I Could Say"
  • Adele - "Someone Like You"
  • Boys Like Girls - "Love Drunk"
  • Squeeze - "Black Coffee in Bed"
  • Aaron Tippin - "Kiss This"
  • Vanessa Amorosi - "Blow Me Away", "Sleep With That".
  • The Pretty Reckless - "Since You're Gone"
  • Rogue Traders - I Never Liked You
  • Garbage - "Special"
  • The Break Up - "Who's Crying Now"
  • Frank Zappa has a few of these. The doo-wop styled "Go Cry on Somebody Else's Shoulder" is a good example.
  • Sally Shapiro - "All My Life"
  • Peach Union - "Sorrowtown"
  • Two-Door Cinema Club - "Changing of the Seasons"
  • We Are the In Crowd - "The Best Thing (That Never Happened)"

    I Blew It, I Regret It, But It's Too Late to Apologize 
  • Bruno Mars - "When I Was Your Man". A lovely ballad about how he should have paid more attention to her, but at least she's with someone who is doing for her now what the singer should have been doing for her all along.
  • Chicago - "Hard to Say I'm Sorry". He still loves her. He did her wrong. She left, and there's nothing he can do to get her back and he knows it.
  • Imagine Dragons - "Amsterdam". He apologizes for his problems and/or behavior leading to the end of the romance, but reminds her that now she has a chance of finding someone better.
  • The Cure - Last Dance, Boys Don't Cry.
  • Garth Brooks - "More Than a Memory." He blew it and she's gone. The knowledge that she left because of things he did and say are slowly killing him, as is the knowledge that she was the best thing to ever happen to him.
  • New Order - "Age of Consent"
  • Jeff Buckley - "Last Goodbye"

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