Follow TV Tropes


Broken Bird / Music

Go To

  • "Broken Wings" by Mister Mister seems to be about a girl like this, appropriately enough.
  • Take all of the mixtapes and albums of Lupe Fiasco and listen to them in order. If you notice the gradual change into darker, cynical and politically charged lyrics and stories, then congratulations, you've seen what a combination of social issues, executive meddling, and personal loss can do a person.
  • The Tori Amos song "Me and a Gun" from Little Earthquakes. The fact she throws some really bitter snark into it just makes it more so.
  • More than one Ayumi Hamasaki song has shades of this, made even worse by the poppy, energetic tune.
  • The Lady Gaga album "The Fame Monster" definitely qualifies, particularly tracks like "Monster" (in which the narrator becomes as bad as her "monster"-boyfriend) and "Speechless" ("I'll never talk again [...] I'll never love again"). Plus Gaga's more overt use of her more gothic stylings.
  • Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It", which is practically the Broken Bird anthem. Not far from this is Tina Turner herself, who left a violently abusive marriage with Ike Turner in 1978.
    What's love got to do, got to do with it?
    What's love, but a second-hand emotion?
    What's love got to do, got to do with it?
    Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?
  • Evanescence lyrics are made of this trope. A particularly good example is the (very infamous) "My Immortal", from the perspective of a person who once had a broken bird lover and has become a boken bird themselves after losing them:
    These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real.
    There's just too much that time cannot erase...
    When you cried I wiped away all of your tears
    When you screamed I'd fight away all of your fears
    And I held your hand through all of these years
    But you still have all of me...
  • Pain of Salvation's albums "The Perfect Element I" and "Remedy Lane" both feature broken birds, the former a male and female and the latter just male. TPE even has the line "A wind-beaten bird/for reasons unheard" when introducing the female broken bird of the concept.
  • Pick a Katatonia song, preferably from "Tonight's Decision" or "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" (one track in the former is titled "I Break", for example). Broken. There's even a meeting of the broken birds in "Passing Bird" (one is faking it, though.)
  • Savage Garden's "To the Moon and Back" depicts the mindset of a Broken Bird in all details. "Gunning Down Romance" to an even deeper extent, though this time, it's the male singer experiencing it.
  • Demi Lovato's album "Unbroken" is about a recovering broken bird.
  • City And Colour:
    • "Fragile Bird" talks about one who keeps having Bad Dreams, who the singer promises to comfort throughout the night.
    • "O' Sister" is about the singer's sister, who is suffering from depression.
  • Marianas Trench has "Porcelain", which describes a recovering Broken Bird, who the singer sympathizes with and wants to help.
  • A few of Ingrid Michaelson's songs have this:
    • "Be OK" (which ironically has a cheerful tune) is about wanting to have a good day despite being so broken.
      "Open me up and you will see/I'm a gallery of broken hearts/I'm beyond repair, let me be/And give me back my broken parts"
    • "Locked Up" is about being emotionally guarded and cynical about love after growing up and being hurt in the past, but trying to get over that and be able to trust again.
      "Should I show them all my scars?/Cherry red, bleeding burn ... Like an angry apple tree/I throw my apples if you get too close to me"
  • Suzanne Vega's "Luka" is about a battered wife/girlfriend (or an abused child), and sung in a toneless, unemotional voice indicating how the titular character has totally given up on life.
  • Madonna's "Oh Father" (from her album Like a Prayer) is inspired by the loss of the singer's mother and the subsequent falling out she had with her father, with allusions to child abuse in the video.
  • Boyce Avenue's "Broken Angel" has shades of this; the subject is a perfectionist young woman who suffers lasting damage from an emotionally neglectful father, and blames herself—her shortcomings are the reason he was distant.
  • Billie Holiday had a tragic life where she was the victim of rape at age 11, fell into teenage prostitution, had abusive partners and suffered from severe alcohol, morphine and heroin addiction. All it culminated in her world weary Lady in Satin, where she sings about break-ups, unrequited love and all hardships of relationships in her drug ravaged voice. Only a year after recording this album would she die from cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Marina & the Diamonds' "Electra Heart" album is a physical embodiment of this trope. The character Electra Heart herself proudly brags about the fact that she happily breaks the hearts of many "just for fun", but only because she's badly damaged and heartbroken herself. Her rebellious behaviour has earned her a bad reputation, with people labelling her as a "primadonna", a "homewrecker", and a "21st-century whore". Proclaiming herself as the "queen of no identity", Electra covers up her vulnerability with a cold, steely attitude dazzled with glitter, pink dresses and the infamous heart on her cheek, which acts to hide her true feelings.
    "I'm only happy when I'm on the run, I break a million hearts just for fun, I don't belong to anyone/Instead of love, and trust, and laughter, what you get is "happy never after". But deep down, all you want is love, the pure kind we all dream of..."
  • Lana Del Rey uses this trope a fair bit in her albums, but her 2014 album "Ultraviolence" probably does this the most. As ever, Lana adapts herself to sing through various characters throughout the record with recurring motifs, that of being a young woman who finds herself trapped and participating in a chaotic world of drugs, drinking, gun crime, gang violence, abusive relationships and prostitution. It's fair enough to say that she does inhabit this in "Born to Die" (despite the album's tone being very classy, romantic and idealised) and maybe even a bit in "Honeymoon" despite becoming her own independent, much stronger person by then, but Ultraviolence, as suggested by its name, shows the ugly, rough side of Hollywood glamour that Lana has had to toughen up to in order to survive.
    "Are you gonna hurt me now? Or are you gonna hurt me later?/He hit me, and it felt like a kiss/I got your Bible, and your gun, and I'm so happy, so happy now you're gone."
  • A male example exists in "Love T.K.O.", as made famous by Teddy Pendergrass. The song is sung from the perspective of a man who, after two failed relationshops, has all but sworn off of love.
    Looking back
    Over my years
    I guess I shedded some tears
    Told myself time and time again "this time I'm gonna win"
    But another fight, things ain't right, I'm losing again
    Takes a fool to lose twice
    And start all over again

Example of: