Follow TV Tropes


Break-Up Song

Go To

"Apparently she wrote this about an ex-boyfriend who broke her heart; I'm guessing not the only song she wrote about it either."
Todd in the Shadows about "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri

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 Break-Up 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 Break-Up Song or two mixed in with the endless stream of Silly Love Songs. 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 Break-Up 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.

Super-Trope to Celebrity Break-Up Song, when the artist writes about their own breakup with another celebrity. Certain types of breakup songs will veer into The Diss Track, or even "I Hate" Song, as well. Compare Anti-Love Song, Grief Song, Death Song, and Telephone Song. If the breakup was nasty enough, this can develop into a Revenge Ballad. Contrast Silly Love Songs.



    open/close all folders 

    Needing sorting 
  • beabadoobee: "I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus" contains a bunch of conflicting emotions about the breakup, alternating between despondent about it ending, happy to be rid of the ex and looking forward to the future, and ending with straight up anger at the ex for not understanding her.
  • 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"
  • Lisa Hannigan - "What’ll I Do"
  • Nelly Furtado - "In God's Hands"
  • Zox - "Leaving Me"
  • Level 42 - "Leaving Me Now"; "It's Over"
  • Air Supply - "Goodbye"
  • Honestly - "This Is Goodbye"
  • Lou Barlow's written most of these kinds of songs.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
    • Josephine XV- "I'm happy they took you away- ha-haa!"
  • 2Gether - The Hardest Part of Breaking Up (Is Getting Back Your Stuff) is a rather, shall we say, "unusual" take on the subject.
  • 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.
  • Hedley - "She's So Sorry"
  • The Jackson 5: "Who's Lovin' You?"
  • Queen - "Love of My Life"
  • Blur- Most of the "13" album.
  • Total Drama:
    • Sierra sings an angry breakup song after Cody shoots her down once too oftennote  during the music-based World Tour season. In "Oui, my Friends", 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!').
    • Also in the musical season, Owen sings a nostalgic ballad after Izzy dumps him.
  • Khonnor's "An Ape Is Loose" can be interpreted to concern the singer instigating a breakup with a popular girl or celebrity.
  • Katy Perry:
    • "Circle The Drain" is about her breakup with the drug-addicted Travis McCoy.
    • "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 Christmas 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.
  • 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"
  • Banks - Any song that isn't about a Destructive Romance is this.
  • AFI's album Burials is an entire album of these, in particular stand out the angry "I Hope You Suffer" and the melancholy "Heart Stops".
  • "Southern Cross" by Crosby, Stills, and Nash. It's about someone who realizes that he and his ex really were not meant to be, and that it's mostly his fault. He's sailing through Polynesia when he comes to this realization, and though he's having difficulty, he's made the decision to move on for both their sakes.
  • XTC - "That's Really Super, Supergirl" and "1000 Umbrellas".
  • Good Charlotte - "Dance Floor Anthem (I Don't Wanna Be In Love)"
  • Black Kids - "If My Heart is Broken"
  • In the comic strip Safe Havens Bambi is a professional singer. Her agent, Jenny, wants her to produce some of these because they're big money makers. Initially it didn't go over so well because Bambi sung about her breakup with Gerald, which had been an amicable one once they realized they weren't compatible anymore. Eventually, she did produce an album full of these songs...after she had been catfished by the dodos.
    Samantha: "Ground Sushi", "Chum Bucket", "Benihana My Love"...
    Jenny: There's real pain there.
  • The song "Invincible" by British Boy Band Five is about a boy who managed to get through it all following a breakup with his girlfriend. The boy also hoped that he and the girl will remain "Just Good Friends" forever, as "It doesn't work when we're together."
  • Red Vox - "In A Dream" is one. It takes a much more somber, confused look at the end of the relationship especially with the line, "I don't know what any of this means to me."
  • Madeline Harper Guest has a lot of these (unsurprising, since she credits Taylor Swift as one of her inspirations), especially "The Ending Stays The Same", "When We Break Up", "Mr. Bright Eyes", and "Under The Willow Tree".
  • Vision Divine's "Taste of a Goodbye", from Send Me An Angel, deals with the aftermath of a breakup.
    "It's getting cold outside
    the same as in my life
    Now that we are going to say goodbye...
    The future how will be?
    I got no certainty
    but it hurts so much to me."
    "It seems like yesterday,
    the beauty of your smile
    and we were like two shining stars...
    And now we say goodbye
    a new future to realize
    and a new life to live alone..."
  • Barnes & Barnes' "I Hope She Dies", from Voobaha. Parodied in that it becomes clear that the narrator is a misogynist who's only upset about his girlfriend leaving him because he can't have sex with her anymore.
  • Frank Sinatra's My Way has "Yesterday" and "If You Go Away", which both feature a protagonist depressed over the fact that his partner has left him.

    Relationship breakup 
  • ? and the Mysterians - "96 Tears".
  • ABBA - "The Winner Takes It All", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "One of Us", "When All Is Said And Done".
  • ABC: "Poison Arrow", and virtually the entire Lexicon of Love album.
  • The Academy Is - "Everything We Had".
  • 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.
  • Aerosmith - "What It Takes" and "Hole in My Soul".
  • The All-American Rejects - "It Ends Tonight".
  • Amy Winehouse - pretty much the whole Back to Black album, but particular examples include, "Love Is A Losing Game", "Tears Dry On Their Own", "Wake Up Alone" and "Back To Black" itself.
  • Angels & Airwaves - "It Hurts".
  • Anneliese van der Pol - "Cute Boys with Short Haircuts", from the musical of Vanities.
  • Annie Lennox - "Walking On Broken Glass".
  • Barbra Streisand - "My Coloring Book".
  • The Beatles - "For No One".
  • The Beautiful South - "A Little Time": the male singer has a trial separation from the female singer, saying he needs some space. When he tries to get back together, the female singer (who suspects "space" means "other women") isn't having it.
    "The freedom that you wanted bad
    Is yours for good, I hope you're glad
    Sad into unsad..."
  • Ben Folds - "Song for the Dumped", which has become an anthem for mishandled breakups.
    • "Selfless, Cold and Composed" is a more somber form of breakup song. And it sort of inverts the "I'm ruining your stuff" category- though there's no mention of cheating, it's about wishing the other person would break something or even get physically violent, because instead they're letting things go so easily that it seems like they don't care anymore.
  • blackbear - "I Needed You" (both versions).
  • Bob Dylan - pretty much the entirety of his mid-70's album Blood on the Tracks.
  • The Bouncing Souls - "Wish Me Well (You Can Go to Hell)".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tara's side of "Under Your Spell/Standing Reprise" in "Once More, With Feeling".
  • Catatonia - "Blues Song".
  • Cole Porter standard "Just One Of Those Things". Interestingly, this one may be the Trope Codifier, but is suprisingly amicable.
    ''"So good-bye, dear, and amen
Here's hoping we meet now and then It was great fun But it was just one of those things."''
  • 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.
  • Carole King - "It's Too Late" (also covered by Gloria Estefan).
  • Chris Clark - "Love's Gone Bad".
  • Color Theory - "The Fifth of July" (no relation to the similarly titled Louise Goffin song)
  • The Corrs - "Goodbye".
  • The Crystalline Effect- "Poetry".
  • The Cure - "The End of the World".
  • Cut Copy - "Standing in the Middle of the Field", which crosses with Anti-Love Song in the borderline cynical verses before emotionally collapsing in the chorus along with a mantra of "you've gotta give up the things you love to make it better".
  • Dannii Minogue - "It Won't Work Out".
  • David Bowie - "Something in the Air."
  • The Theme Song to Dear John, sung by Wendy Talbot.
  • Delta Goodrem - "Not Me Not I".
  • Dire Straits - "When It Comes To You".
  • DragonForce - "Seasons".
  • Dream Theater - "Space-Dye Vest", this is truly one of the most haunting examples of the genre ever recorded. The emotional breakdown of the one whose SO left, ending in the emotional collapse & shutdown in the final verse is a real tear jerker.
    "And I'll smile and I'll learn to pretend
    And I'll never be open again
    And I'll have no more dreams to defend
    And I'll never be open again."
  • The Dresden Dolls - "The Jeep Song".
  • Duran Duran - "Ordinary World".
    • Word of God says that this is actually meant to be a Grief Song about a friend of lead singer Simon Le Bon who died from a massive drug overdose. The music video probably doesn't help with the misunderstanding.
  • Dusty Springfield - "What Do You Do When Love Dies".
  • DYCE - "Feels", "Painting"
  • Edguy - "Trinidad", effectively "you don't give me respect because you're taller than me, so I moved to Trinidad without telling you".
  • Epica - "Never Enough".
  • Eric Carmen - "Boats Against the Current".
  • 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.
    • "Crying in the Rain", famously covered by a-ha.
  • Faderhead - "Atoms and Emptiness".
  • The Flirts - "Jukebox".
  • Garbage - "It's All over But the Crying".
  • Gary Moore - "Empty Rooms".
  • Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive".
  • Greg Kihn Band – "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)" is both an example and an aversion, as hinted at in the extended title. While the song starts "We had broken up for good / Just an hour before", and mentions the breakup throughout the verses, the song is equally (if not more) a lament of the perceived passing of this genre, with the chorus saying "they don't write 'em like that anymore".
  • Halestorm - "Apocalyptic", about the singer and their SO, who've reached the point where they can't stand each other so they're breaking up, but first they're going to have some apocalyptic Destructo-Nookie.
  • Halsey - "Haunting".
  • HoneyWorks - "Nakimushi Kareshi" is about Miku and Len breaking up. It has a sequel "Hajimeshi no Sayonara", which is about Miku wanting to get back together with Len, but realizing that he's already with someone else.
  • Hoobastank - "I Don't Think I Love You".
  • Imagine Dragons - "Leave Me".
  • Imelda May:
    • "Too Sad to Cry", on the album Mayhem, is about being emotionally wrung out following a breakup.
    • All of Life Love Flesh Blood has been seen as a break-up album, but actually, it's a bit more complex than that. Still...
  • Information Society - "Running".
  • Interface - "The Softest Blade".
  • Jerry Reed - "She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft".
  • Joan Jett:
    • "Soulmates To Strangers", which is about the couple realizing that things just didn't work between them (with maybe a hint of Take That! in the line "I know that we were intimate, but that's the part I don't recall at all").
    • "Little Liar".
  • Johnny Logan - "Hold Me Now".
  • Jojo - "Leave".
  • Journey - "Separate Ways".
  • Justin Timberlake - "What Goes Around..." (also covered by Alesana).
  • Kat McSnatch - "Fuck You".
  • Pretty much all of Kanye West's 2008 album "808s & Heartbreak".
  • Keith Urban - "You'll Think Of Me".
  • Keyshia Cole - "I Changed My Mind", "(I Just Want It) To Be Over".
  • Kylie Minogue - "Where Has The Love Gone?" and "So Now Goodbye".
  • Leona Lewis - "Better In Time".
  • Local H - "The One With 'Kid'" (and, to an extent, every song on Twelve Angry Months).
  • Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman - "Someday We'll Know".
  • Marillion - "The Web".
  • Marty Robbins - "Singing the Blues"
  • Martina McBride - "When Love is Gone", from The Muppet Christmas Carol.
  • Melanie Martinez - "Alphabet Boy" and "Dead To Me".
  • Mew - "White Lips Kissed"
  • Miley Cyrus - "Wrecking Ball".
  • Melotron - "Du Bist Es Nicht Wert (You Aren't Worth It)".
  • The Monkees - "She".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?)
  • Olivia Newton-John - "Please Mister Please".
  • Pet Shop Boys - "Love Is A Catastrophe".
  • Phil Collins - "Against All Odds" and "In The Air Tonight".
  • Phildel - "The Wolf".
  • The Police - "Can't Stand Losing You". Also, "Someone To Talk To" (But I fucked it up and now it's too late).
  • Relient K - "This is the End (If You Want It)".
  • Robyn - "With Every Heartbeat".
  • Roxette - "It Must Have Been Love" - the breakup theme from Pretty Woman, written by Per Gessle.
  • Sagittarius - "My World Fell Down".
  • Neil Sedaka - "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do".
  • Selena Gomez - "Middle of Nowhere".
  • Sharon Van Etten - "Love More".
  • Sia - "The Girl You Lost To Cocaine".
  • Skeeter Davis - "The End of the World".
  • Skyclad - "You Lost My Memory".
  • The Skyliners - "Since I Don't Have You".
  • Space - 'There's No You', "Begin Again".
  • Suede - "Barriers", "The 2 of Us".
  • Sufjan Stevens - "I Walked".
  • Sum 41 - "Blood in My Eyes" and "Time for You to Go".
  • Sunrise Avenue - "Fairytale Gone Bad"
  • The Supremes: "Reflections".
  • The Swell Season - "Lies".
  • Taylor Swift - "Breathe". (Swift is, in fact, a particularly infamous example of an artist specializing in breakup songs.)
  • The Temptations - "Sorry Is a Sorry Word".
  • They Might Be Giants:
    • "Cyclops Rock"
      "I taught you how to Cyclops Rock
      And then you go and turn around and break my heart
      And waste my cyclops time
      And mess up my cyclops mind."
    • "They'll Need A Crane"
      "Lad looks at other gals
      Gal thinks Jim Beam is handsomer than lad
      He isn't bad
      Call off the wedding band
      Nobody wants to hear that one again
      Play that again."
    • "Narrow Your Eyes"
      "Now we'll toast the sad cold fact
      Our love's never coming back
      And we'll race to the bottom of a glass
      Narrow your eyes."
    • "Broke in Two"
      '"I would go back to the top of the day from scratch
      If I thought this thing could be fixed
      Though sadly I'd do exactly the same thing as when
      We broke in two."
    • "Let Me Tell You About My Operation"
      "Oh, let me tell ya about my operation
      Doctors declared I'm better now
      Our liaison, oh it was poison, baby
      Our liaison, it was a drag"
    • "Say Nice Things About Detroit"
      "Say nice things about Detroit
      The way you left, you were a big big jerk
      There I was anticipating
      Some kind of love, I'm still waiting."
    • “All Time What”
      ”And now I’m all torn up because my buttercup
      Up and gone and left me, said she’d finally had enough
      Left me here to ruminate
      On all she can’t admit and all she can’t explain”
  • 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.
  • The Trammps - "Hold Back the Night".
  • Vanessa da Mata/Ben Harper - "Boa Sorte (Good Luck)".
  • The Veronicas - "Leave Me Alone" "In Another Life".
  • Victoria Celestine - "Wasted Tears", "Here I Am".
  • Vocaloid - The Dixie Flatline song "Just Be Friends" is one that takes place right in the middle of the breakup, and all the complicated feelings that led to that point. It has a followup song titled "Answer" which is a song that takes place three years after the breakup and how the girl has moved on.
  • The Wedding Singer has an unfinished Break-Up Song the protagonist wrote after his girlfriend cheated on him the night before their wedding.
  • "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: "I feel almost as bad as I did, \ When you were still here!"
  • The White Stripes: "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" is about a guy disovering unexpectedly that his lover has left him, and feeling distraught

    Warning others about the ex 
  • Anuna - "If All She Has is You".
  • The Beach Boys - "Here Today".
  • Bel Biv Devoe - "Poison", which warns to never trust a big butt and a smile.
  • Boyzone - "Picture of You" is a song warning people about False Friends.
  • Carrie Underwood - "Cowboy Casanova", "Good Girl".
  • Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You" - which also has some "I Want You Back" elements.
  • Clan of Xymox - "She is Falling in Love"
  • Phil Collins and Philip Bailey - "Easy Lover".
  • 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 touch
    She left me here on this island
    She didn't leave me with much."
  • Dion - "Runaround Sue":
    "So if you don't wanna cry like I do
    I'd keep away from a Runaround Sue."
  • Elastica - Stutter (Unlike most of these, this one isn't about the ex's personality, it's about his "performance").
  • Elton John - "Slow Down Georgie (She's Poison)" and "Don't Trust That Woman".
  • E-Rotic - "Max Don't Have Sex With Your Ex"
  • Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - "Walk Like A Man".
  • First Choice - "Armed and Extremely Dangerous". In addition to being a Jerkass, the ex got the narrator pregnant.
  • SNSD - "Lost In Love"..
  • Guns N' Roses - "You're Crazy" and "Better".
  • Hall And Oates - "Maneater" (the singer's previous involvement with the titular "maneater" is strongly suggested, but never explicitly stated).
  • La India - "Ese hombre" ("That Man"), vía a long list of his defects, capped by "unbearable as a friend/ insufferable as a lover".
  • Måns Zelmerlöw - "Brother Oh Brother", where the singer's brother gets together with the singer's ex.
  • Brazilian band Matanza has a Played for Laughs example, with a song that has the self-describing translated title "She Stole My Truck".
  • Matchbox Twenty - "She's So Mean". It's basically saying "Beware: my ex is a selfishly Jerkass Hard-Drinking Party Girl".
  • No Doubt - "Ex-Girlfriend".
  • Paula Abdul - "Cold Hearted".
  • 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.
  • Tony! Toni! Tonè!- "My Ex-Girlfriend Is A Hoe".
  • Toni Braxton - "He Wasn't Man Enough".
  • Usher - "You Make Me Wanna", "U Remind Me".
  • Velvet Underground - "Femme Fatale".
  • The Zombies - Tell Her No, the main message of which boils down to "She said she loved me too".

    Non-romantic, between friends 
  • Al Stewart - "Angel of Mercy".
  • Bring Me the Horizon - "Go To Hell For Heaven's Sake" , "True Friends", and "Throne".
  • Coal Chamber - "Friend"
  • "Hard To Say Goodbye, My Love" from Dreamgirls, since the Dreams sing it when they're about to disband.
  • Fates Warning - "Firefly" (it's ambiguous, since it could just as well be applied to a romantic relationship, but the message of the song is definitely "you entered my life and made it better, and then you left it; we're our own people and neither one of us had any obligation to stick by the other, and while I want you to do what's best for you and won't stop you from leaving, it's going to leave a void in my life and I can't claim that it's not going to hurt")
  • Green Day - "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)".
  • 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.
  • Not The Nine O'Clock News – Kinda Lingers.
  • Ozzy Osbourne - "Goodbye To Romance" (The booklet for the Blizzard of Ozz rerelease says Ozzy wrote it about his departure from Black Sabbath.)
  • P!nk's "Who Knew" mourns lost friendships.
  • Pokémon : "The Time Has Come (Pikachu's Goodbye)" and "Together We'll Make A Promise".
  • Robbie Williams' song "No Regrets" is about his being fired from Take That. Since making up with his former bandmates live performances of the song have been less bitter and adjusted certain lyrics to be more hopeful ("the love we once had is officially dead" became "officially alive").
  • 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...").
  • Spice Girls - "Goodbye", the first single after then former band member Geri Halliwell's departure (she returned nine years later).
  • Starflyer 59's Gold was almost an entire album of breakup songs of this type.
  • Taking Back Sunday- "There's No 'I' In Team".
  • Former t.A.T.u. member Lena Katina's debut solo single "Never Forget" is about the fallout of her friendship with former t.A.T.u. partner Julia Volkova.
    • The last song of t.A.T.u.'s last album, "Don't Regret", is also about the group's break-up.
  • Vanities - "Friendship Isn't What it Used to Be".
  • Vitamin C - "Graduation (Friends Forever)"
  • Wicked - "For Good".
  • You Me At Six - "Bite My Tongue" (either against his friends or his parents)

    Please Don't Go / I Want You back / I Wish We Were Still In Love 
  • A7(later Akira) - "Piece of Heaven".
  • 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.
  • The Alan Parsons Project - "If I Could Change Your Mind".
  • Alejandro Fernández - "Si Tú No Vuelves," "Pájaro Perdido"
  • Alice Deejay - "Back in My Life".
  • Angelina - "Without Your Love".
  • Annie - "Anthonio".
  • Arcade Fire - "Crown of Love".
  • Arctic Monkeys - "Do I Wanna Know?" teeters between singing about unrequited love and this.
  • 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".)
  • Avril Lavigne:
    • "Wish You Were Here".
    • "Let Me Go", a duet with her then husband Chad Kroeger.
  • Backstreet Boys - "Back to Your Heart", "Shape of My Heart", "Incomplete", "I Still", "Inconsolable".
  • The Band - "It Makes No Difference"
  • Barbara McNair - "My World Is Empty Without You".
  • Barbara Randolph - "You Got Me Hurtin' All Over".
  • Barry White - "I Don't Know Where Love Has Gone".
  • 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".
  • BIGBANG - "If You".
  • The Birthday Massacre - "To Die For".
  • 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", "Heartstrings".
  • Cary August - "Wish You Were Here".
  • 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 Clash - "Train in Vain."
  • Coldplay - "Warning Sign" from the album A Rush of Blood to the Head.
  • Color Theory - "The Future You Is Forever"
  • 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)"
  • Cut Copy - "Far Away"
  • Cynthia - "Thinking About You".
  • "You Go First" from ''Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", an 80's style Power Ballad Distant Duet between Rebecca and Paula after their fall-out, parodies this type, with both singing about how sorry they are and how everything's their fault and they want to be friends again, just as soon as the other apologises first.
    "Go ahead and say you're kinda sorry
    So I can say 'No, no, no, please,' just like I rehearsed
    If you open the door, I'll apologise so much more
    Yes I will, but you go first."
  • Daft Punk - "The Game of Love".
  • Daniel Romano - "Old Fires Die". A rarer example of a song about a presumably once-happy marriage that burned out.
  • Dannii Minogue - "I Don't Wanna Take This Pain", "So Hard To Forget", "Kiss And Make Up", and "I Begin To Wonder".
  • Dawes - "All Your Favorite Bands".
  • Dead or Alive - "Turn Around and Count 2 Ten", "Baby Don't Say Goodbye".
  • Debbie Gibson - "Foolish Beat".
  • Deborah Cox - "Things Just Ain't The Same", "I Never Knew", and "House Is Not A Home".
  • Deep Blue Something - "Breakfast at Tiffany's".
  • Delta Goodrem -" Lost Without You", "I Can't Break It To My Heart".
  • 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). "Trying To Stop your Leaving" is also literally this, with the narrator using a freight train and the Rio Grande river as metaphors.
  • Dolly Parton - "I Will Always Love You" (famously covered by Whitney Houston, and also listed under "It's Not You, It's Me").
  • Most songs by Double You. Dissonantly, their music style is bouncy Eurodance.
  • "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," from Dreamgirls.
  • DYCE - "Tomorrow Can Wait".
  • Easton Corbin- "I Can't Love You Back" is about how many different ways the narrator loves his ex, but as much as he loves her, he knows it wont bring her back. The music video actually plays the ex's death in reverse until the moment she walked out the door to drive the point home.
  • Ed Sheeran - "Sunburn", primarily about the narrator'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.
  • Elliot Yamin - "Wait For You".
  • Elvis Presley - "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (though Sam Kinison's version drifts into "don't want you back" with hilarious results).
  • Escape the Fate - "Harder Than You Know".
  • E-Type - "Angels Crying".
  • Expose - "I'll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me".
  • The Fireflies - "You Were Mine".
  • Foo Fighters - "Walking After You".
  • Frou Frou- Hear Me Out.
  • Galaxy Hunter - "Thousand Miles Away", "When I Close My Eyes", "I Miss You So Much"
  • 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.
  • Guy - "Goodbye Love," where both parties know things aren't working out and split, but can't find it in their hearts to truly let things end, and decide to try and work things out one last time.
  • Halsey - "Is There Somewhere". This is an interesting one because it is written from the perspective of the former other woman (whom the boyfriend has chosen his partner over)
  • Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes - "Don't Leave Me This Way".
  • Harry Nilsson - "You're Breakin' My Heart" and "Without You" (Covered Up by Mariah Carey).
  • Hobo Johnson - "Mover Awayer" and "Moonlight" are about Hobo's girlfriend leaving him. "Mover Away" reminisces fondly about how much he loved her and wanted to things to work out, while "Moonlight" pus the focus on the despair he feels about her being gone.
  • The Human League - "Don't You Want Me?" (Phil Oakey's verse)
  • Human Nature - "Don't Say Goodbye" ("There's no reason why/this part of us should die./Don't say goodbye.")
  • Hurt - "Falls Apart," "On the Radio", "Aftermath" (with shades of a passive Obsession Song)... They like these.
  • Ian van Dahl - "Will I" and "Where Are You Now?"
  • Imagine Dragons - "Darkness" and "My Fault" play this straight. "Shots" fluctuates between the singer wishing he and the lover stayed together, and him admitting that maybe he'd screw up their relationship again.
  • Information Society - "Tomorrow", "Over the Sea", "Back in the Day", "Where Were You?"
  • Interface - "Outside Looking In", "Not With Me", "Fire In the Sky".
  • Jason Isbell: "Songs That She Sang in the Shower" is about missing the small, everyday details of life with someone.
  • 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 (later Stevie B) - "If You Leave Me Now"
  • Jennifer y Los Jetz - "Contigo Otra Vez," "You Say," Vuelve".
  • Jessica Simpson - "Where You Are" (A Distant Duet between her and then-love interest Nick Lachey).
  • Jewel - "You Were Meant For Me".
  • Jimmy Ruffin - "Don't You Miss Me a Little Bit, Baby?".
  • Jodeci - "Stay", "I'm Still Waiting".
  • Joey Kid - "Counting the Days".
  • The George Jones classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is one of the greatest Breakup Songs ever written, and boy howdy is it a doozy. Told from the point of view of a friendly third party, this song is an absolute tearjerker from start to finish. It tells the story about a man who, as his wife is leaving him for good and not looking back, swears to her that he'll love her till he dies. And he does.
  • Journey - "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"
  • Kate Bush - "You're the One"
  • 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).
  • Kristine W. - "One More Try".
  • 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)
  • Leonard Cohen - "Coming Back to You"; "Ain't No Cure for Love". "Hallelujah" sounds like a break-up song (and is frequently covered as one), but actually uses romantic symbolism as an allegory for a man's contentious relationship with God.
  • Les Fatals Picards - L'Amour à la française
  • Lisa Stansfield - "All Around The World"
  • Little Anthony and the Imperials - "Tears on My Pillow".
  • 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"
  • Luke Combs- "One Number Away" describes the things the narrator does to occupy his time away from his love, all on the verge of calling her, wondering if she's doing the same.
  • 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.
    • "Angels Cry" and "Inseparable" from Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel count. "H.A.T.E.U." is an odd variation where she wants to hate her ex, but can't because she misses him.
  • Marillion - "Kayleigh"
  • Maroon Five - "Won't Go Home Without You", "Payphone"
  • Matchbox Twenty - "If You're Gone"
  • 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".
  • Miley Cyrus, "7 Things".
  • The Moody Blues - "Go Now!".
  • My Brightest Diamond - "Gone Away".
  • Naked Eyes - "Always Something There to Remind Me"; a particularly harsh because it has the beloved's wedding bells as part of the background music..
  • Neil Sedaka - "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do".
  • New Edition - "Is This the End?"
  • NINA - "It Kills Me".
  • No Mercy - "Where Do You Go" and "Please Don't Go"(not a cover)
  • *NSYNC - "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...")
  • Passenger - "Let Her Go".
  • 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", from Ten.
  • Katy Perry - "The One That Got Away".
  • 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 Sinéad O'Connor).
  • P!nk - "Please Don't Leave Me".
  • Player - "Baby Come Back".
  • Queen - "Save Me"
  • R. Dean Taylor - "There's a Ghost in My House".
  • Rascal Flatts / Cascada - "What Hurts The Most".
  • Regina Belle - "Make it Like it Was".
  • Ricky Nelson - "Don't Leave Me This Way".
  • Robert Knight - "Everlasting Love" (Covered by many, many other performers).
  • The Rolling Stones - "Miss You".
  • Roy Orbison - "Crying".
  • Sally Shapiro - "Sundown".
  • Sarah Brightman - "The Second Element" and "Colder Than Winter".
  • The Script - "Breakeven", "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" & "Six Degrees Of Seperation".
  • Seether and Amy Lee - "Broken".
  • Selena Gomez - "The Way I Loved You", "Ghost of You".
  • Sisquo - "Incomplete".
  • Sleater-Kinney - "One More Hour".
  • Space - "Love You More Than Football".
  • Steps - "One for Sorrow" and "Deeper Shade of Blue".
  • The Streets - "Dry Your Eyes" alternates between the verses - begging her not to go - and the chorus - encouraging the narrator to let it go and accept that it's over.
  • Sonata Arctica - "Tallulah".
  • Stevie B. - "Spring Love".
  • Steve Winwood - "Valerie" (Sampled Up by Eric Prydz in "Call on Me").
  • Sufjan Stevens - "Enchanting Ghost".
  • Sugar Ray - "When It's Over".
  • The Supremes - "Where Did Our Love Go?".
  • Take That - "Back For Good".
  • Taylor Swift: "Back to December," "Haunted".
  • The Temptations - "Ain't Too Proud To Beg".
  • The Rain Within - "Innocent", "Violet Glow"
  • Tiffany - "Could've Been," "Should've Been Me".
  • Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - "The Best of Everything," "Trailer".
  • Trisha Yearwood - "When a Love Song Sings the Blues," "When We Were Still in Love"
  • Toni Braxton - "Unbreak My Heart", "I Don't Want To".
  • Travis Tritt - "Tell Me I Was Dreaming".
  • Usher - "You Got It Bad".
  • The Veronicas - Someone Wake Me Up", "Worlds Apart", "Don't Say Goodbye", "In Another Life", "We Are One.
  • Victoria Celestine - "Let Go", "Favorite Daydream".
  • Violent Femmes - "Please Don't Go": the narrator begs his lover not to leave and discusses how heartbroken he will be if she does.
  • 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.
  • The Walker Brothers - "Make It Easy on Yourself" and "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore".
  • Whitney Houston - "All At Once"
  • Warren Zevon - "Empty-Handed Heart".
  • Within Temptation - "What Have You Done Now" (about two lovers who are also mortal enemies)
  • The Wrens - "Come Back My Love".
  • Yazoo - "Only You", "Don't Go".

    We're About To Break Up Because I Know You're Cheating 
  • Ace - "How Long".
  • Angus and Julia Stone - "I'm Not Yours".
  • Anna Akana - "Screw You".
  • Backstreet Boys - "Quit Playing Games With My Heart".
  • The Band Perry - "You Lie".
  • 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.
  • Brandy - "Tomorrow".
  • The Byrds - "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better".
  • Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats".
  • Christina Aguilera - "You Lost Me"
  • The Clash - "Train in Vain".
  • Connie Francis - "Lipstick on Your Collar".
  • Dannii Minogue - "Mystified".
  • Deborah Cox - "It's Over Now".
  • Destiny's Child - "Bills, Bills, Bills" (cheating with her money).
  • The Everly Brothers - "Cathy's Clown"
  • Garth Brooks - "The Thunder Rolls" (particularly extreme example, if you listen to the live version).
  • Girls' Generation - "Run Devil Run".
  • Hank Williams, Sr. - "Your Cheatin' Heart".
  • Hey Monday - "How You Love Me Now".
  • Hurt - "Unkind".
  • Jason Derulo - "Whatcha Say": the narrator is the one caught cheating.
  • 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.
  • Joan Jett- "I Hate Myself For Loving You".
  • Joe - "Stutter".
  • JoJo - "Leave (Get Out)".
  • Kelis - "I Hate You So Much Right Now" "Caught Out There".
  • Kesha - "Kiss 'n' Tell".
  • 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.
  • Kylie Minogue - "It's No Secret" and "Word Is Out".
  • Kumbia Kings - "U Don't Love Me".
  • Laura Bell Bundy- "Giddy On Up (Giddy On Out)" (Wife caught husband sneaking out and kissing another woman).
  • The Like - "Wishing He Was Dead"
  • 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.
  • Marti Webb - "Take That Look Off Your Face"
  • Mayday Parade's When I Get Home, You're So Dead.
  • Ministry - "I Wanted to Tell Her".
  • Mark Morrison - "Return Of The Mack".
  • The Offspring - "Spare Me The Details".
  • One-Hit Wonder Sarah Connor's "Bounce" is a particularly vicious example of this.
  • Panic! at the Disco - "Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off"
  • Paul Revere and the Raiders - "Steppin' Out".
  • Pet Shop Boys - "So Hard" (both partners are cheating on each other) and "Domino Dancing".
  • Rihanna - "Unfaithful"; in this case, the singer is the one caught cheating.
  • Sanford and Townsend - "Smoke From A Distant Fire".
  • Santana - "Evil Ways".
  • Selena Gomez, "I Won't Apologize".
  • Sergio Mendes - "Alibis"
  • Showbread's "Check Yes If You Like Me (If You Don't I'll Die)".
  • Simple Plan - "Your Love is Just A Lie," "You Suck at Love".
  • Skye Sweetnam - "Fallen Through".
  • Taking Back Sunday - "Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team)".
  • Taylor Swift - "White Horse", "Should've Said No".
  • Theory of a Deadman - "Little Smirk".
  • Vanessa Amorosi - "Sleep With That".
  • The Veronicas - "Revenge Is Sweeter", "Everything I'm Not".
  • The Who - "I Can See For Miles".

     You Cheated On Me So I'm Ruining Your Stuff 
  • Blackhawk - "Goodbye Says It All" (the narrator comments on his partner having ruined his stuff).
  • Bowling For Soup - "Two Seater".
  • Blu Cantrell - "Hit'em up Style (Oops)" (more specifically, ruining his credit.)
  • Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats", where she vandalizes her ex's car (except she has no real evidence of him cheating, she just thinks he is).
  • Garbage - "Vow" (actually, not so much the lover's stuff as the lover himself... it's yandere overdrive).
  • Hamilton - "Burn," about Eliza's real-life destruction of her and Alexander's love letters in the wake of the Reynolds affair, with the specific intent of ruining any attempts he could make to redeem himself in the public eye.
  • Miranda Lambert - "Kerosene".
  • Jazmine Sullivan- "Bust Your Windows".
  • Natalia Kills - "Acid Annie".
  • P!nk - "Funhouse".
  • In the video for Shakira's "Don't Bother", she sends her boyfriend's Ford Mustang to the crusher.
  • She Daisy - "Little Goodbyes".
  • Space - 'Now She's Gone' (not so much breaking the woman's stuff as spiking her food with cyanide).
  • Theory of a Deadman - "Little Smirk"
  • Vanessa Amorosi- "I Thought We'd Stay Together.", "Sleep With That".
  • The Veronicas - "Revenge Is Sweeter".
  • Victoria Justice - "Begging on Your Knees". Also has elements of the warning others type.
  • 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"
  • Aly & A.J. - "Potential Breakup Song". It's a pretty Genre Savvy version, especially with lyrics like "This is the potential breakup song: our album needs just one".
  • Amy Grant - "That's What Love Is For". A couple is plagued by petty fights and doubts but love continually gives them "strength to try once more."
  • Andy Williams - "Say It Isn't So"
  • Avril Lavigne - "My Happy Ending".
  • Beyoncé - "Ring the Alarm".
  • Bloc Party: Intimacy 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" and "We Were Lovers" as well.
  • Brooks & Dunn - "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone"
  • The Cardigans, "My Favourite Game".
  • Cascada - "Can't Stop The Rain".
  • Céline Dion - "Think Twice"
  • Chairmen of the Board - "Give Me Just a Little More Time".
  • 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.
  • Chris Clark - "The Beginning of the End".
  • The Clash - "Should I Stay or Should I Go".
  • The Cranberries - "Linger".
  • Cut Copy - "Going Nowhere"
  • Dan Hill (with Vonda Shepard) - "Can't We Try".
  • Dannii Minogue - "Be Careful" and "Who Do You Love Now".
  • David Soul - "Don't Give Up on Us".
  • A Day to Remember - "If It Means A Lot To You".
  • Dean Geyer - "If You Don't Mean It".
  • Debbie Gibson - "Goodbye," "How Can This Be?".
  • DYCE - "Pictures Left In the Dark".
  • Eden's Crush - "Let Me Know"
  • ELO - "The Fall", from Xanadu.
  • ELYSION: "Made of Lies" is a song about a relationship bordering on breakup due to trust issues.
  • Emilio Navaira - "Lo Dice Tu Mirada".
  • Escape the Fate - "Something".
  • Gordon Lightfoot - "If You Could Read My Mind".
  • A Great Big World - "Say Something", in which the speaker begs his lover to say something, anything, that will impel him to continue the relationship.
  • Havalina Rail Co.: For the Concept Album Space, Love, & Bullfighting, the Love theme is entirely about a relationship on the brink.
  • Human Nature - "Last to Know" ("I don't know why I keep hanging on./Even love's got the message, and it's already gone./Tell me why/am I always the last to know?").
  • The Herd - "I Don't Want Our Loving to Die".
  • Hurt - "Assurance," "Et Al"
  • 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 let me go or make me want to stay..."
  • Imagine Dragons - "Hear Me," "Every Night"
  • Information Society - "What's On Your Mind".
  • Interface - "Doubts and Fears", "Inside".
  • Jennifer y Los Jetz - "Si Tú Te Vas"
  • Jazmine Sullivan - "My Foolish Heart".
  • John Frusciante wrote "Song to Sing When I'm Lonely" during his relationship with Milla Jovovich. She had put so much faith in him, almost to the point of naivety, and the song mostly talks about how she lost interest in him when she began to see him as a human being.
  • John Mayer - "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room".
  • The Jones Girls - "You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else".
  • Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart", which is about Ian Curtis's failing marriage.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Marillion - "Jigsaw".
  • Kate Nash - "Foundations".
  • Kelly Clarkson - "Behind These Hazel Eyes"
  • Kylie Minogue - "Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi", "Tell Tale Signs", and "Trippin' Me Up"
  • Lauryn Hill - "Ex-Factor", which is supposedly about her tumultuous relationship with former The Fugees bandmate Wyclef Jean.
  • Luis Fonsi - "Te Vas".
  • M:G - "Sweet Honesty"
  • Neil Diamond - "You Don't Bring Me Flowers".
  • New Edition - "Is This the End?"
  • NINA - "The Wire".
  • *NSYNC - "Tearin' Up My Heart"
  • OK Go - "The Writing's On the Wall"
  • 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.
  • Orianthi - "According to You"
  • Music/Patsy Cline - "Leavin' On Your Mind"
  • 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'.
  • Pearl Jam - "Parting Ways" ( "...She knows their future's burning, but she can smile just the same...").
  • Pet Shop Boys - "One More Chance", "Left To My Own Devices".
  • P!nk - "Just Give Me a Reason" is about a relationship falling apart, yet neither participant wants to break up.
  • Poets of the Fall - "The Ultimate Fling," a hypercombative song that dares the listener to "Give Me a Reason" for the breakup while dropping references to dialogue from Dirty Harry.
  • Prefab Sprout - "When Love Breaks Down".
  • Pussycat Dolls - "I Hate This Part".
  • The Righteous Brothers - "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (cover versions by lots of people).
  • Rob Thomas - "This Is How A Heart Breaks".
  • Ross Hannaman - "Probably On Thursday".
  • Sally Shapiro - "What Can I Do?"
  • 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..."
  • Selena - "No Debes Jugar".
  • Sentenced - "Killing Me, Killing You".
  • Space - "Disco Dolly".
  • Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around".
  • Sufjan Stevens - "All of Me Wants All of You".
  • The Kinleys - "Please". A couple is "drifting further from each other", and the singer resolves to "do anything if it'll bring our hearts together."
  • The Supremes - "Going Down for the Third Time".
  • Taylor Swift: "Forever And Always".
  • The Temptations - "Don't Send Me Away" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You".
  • Terence Trent D'Arby - "If You Let Me Stay".
  • The Veronicas - "All I Have", "Don't Say Goodbye", and "In Another Life".
  • Vienna Teng - "Between".
  • The White Stripes - "I'm Finding it Harder to be a Gentleman" is told from the perspective of a guy who can't quite put in the effort the maintain the relationship, but hasn't gotten around to breaking up, and the relationship is slowly falling apart.
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Maps".
  • Zee Avi - "Concrete Walls".

    Don't Want You Back 
  • Aborted - "Your Entitlement Means Nothing" (Sven's not saying anything, but it most likely is about his ex-wife, and it is definitely a "I don't regret leaving you one bit, stay the fuck out of my life and eat a bag of dicks while you're at it" kind of song).
  • Ace of Base - "The Sign".
  • Adele - "I Found A Boy." (She's happily dating someone else.)
  • The All-American Rejects song "Gives You 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 you/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.
  • Angelina - "I Don't Need Your Love" and "Love Ain't Here No More"
  • Ariya - "Go Away And Never Come Back" ("Уходи и не возвращайся")
  • Backstreet Boys - "Don't Want You Back"
  • Avant - "Separated".
  • beabadoobee: "Dye It Red" is an anthem about being more confident and happy without your shitty ex.
  • The Beatles - "Not A Second Time".
  • 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.
  • Beyoncé - "Irreplaceable".
  • Big Sean - "I Don't Fuck With You".
  • Blink182 - "Dammit".
  • 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.
  • Brave Saint Saturn: "Enamel".
  • Britney Spears - "What U See (Is What U Get)" "Lonely" "Rock Star".
  • Cascada - "Bad Boy"
  • Charli XCX - "You (Ha Ha Ha)".
  • Samantha Fish - "Go to Hell" is about a boyfriend who thinks too much of himself; not only does she not want him back, she has a suggestion for what he can do instead.
  • Chris Isaak - "Wicked Game"
  • Christina Perri - "Jar of Hearts".
  • Cynthia - "I Never Said"
  • Dannii Minogue - "Get Into You", "Someone New", and "Goodbye Song".
  • 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".
  • Eden Kaine - "Well I Ask You".
  • Electronic - "Reality".
  • Epica - "Never Enough".
  • Evanescence - "Call Me When You're Sober", "Sweet Sacrifice" "Going Under" "Lacrymosa", "The Change", "Oceans" and "Made Of Stone".
  • Everything but the Girl - "Temperamental"
  • Fleetwood Mac - "Go Your Own Way"
  • Gamma Ray - "Leaving Hell".
  • George Michael - "Faith".
  • Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive".
  • The Grass Roots - "Where Were You When I Needed You?" (later covered by the Bangles).
  • Guns N' Roses - "Dead Horse" (there are shades of the next folder - "I'd like to think that our love's worth a tad more" - but mostly fits here).
  • The Guess Who - "No Time" (the relationship is even compared to a slaughterhouse at one point).
  • "Take Back Your Mink" from ''Guys and Dolls'.
  • Hedley - "On My Own", although the lyrics could also be interpreted as a teenager running away from an abusive home, as well as someone leaving their boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • In-grid - "Tu es foutu (You Promised Me)"
  • Interface - "City Limits", "Mind Killer".
  • 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!"
  • Joan Jett - "Jezebel" (From the Bad Reputation album).
  • Jo Dee Messina - "Bye Bye".
    • Also applies to "My Give-a-Damn's Busted," charted in Canada by Michelle Wright and from the male perspective by Joe Diffie.
  • Katy Perry - "Part of Me".
  • Keiko Kimura -"電話しないで(Don't Call Me)"
  • Kelly Clarkson - "Never Again" (the bitter variety).
  • Kimbra's part in "Somebody That I Used To Know" gives her ex "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Krypteria - "You & I", "Too Late, Game Over And Goodbye".
  • 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".
  • Linkin Park - "Don't Stay".
  • LO Hess has several - "Take You Back Again", "Crocodile Tears", and "Price Of Love"
  • 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.
  • Maroon Five - "Makes Me Wonder".
  • Mary J. Blige - "Not Gon' Cry".
  • Me & My - "Dub-i-dub".
  • Melys - "I Don't Believe In You".
  • M:G - "If You Think"
  • Los Mismos - "No Quiero Volverte a Ver".
  • Mutya Keisha Siobhan - "Boys"
  • My Chemical Romance - "I Don't Love You".
  • Eurobeat Brony - "Fly", a filk based on the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Griffon the Brush-Off".
  • NINA - "Gave Up on Us".
  • *NSYNC - "Bye Bye Bye".
  • OMD - "So in Love".
  • Orville Peck - "Take You Back (The Iron Hoof Cattle Call)."
  • Patty Loveless - "Blame It On Your Heart".
  • P!nk - "There You Go"
  • Pink Martini sings "And Then You're Gone," a counterpoint to "But Now I'm Back."
  • 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."
  • Few would see the characters' relationship as romantic, but Portal 2's "Want You Gone" is a perfect example of this kind of song.
  • Ray Charles and The Raelettes: "Hit the Road, Jack".
  • Restart - "Bye Bye" (Noticing a pattern there?).
  • Rob Swift - "I'm Leaving" is of the "I Have to Leave" / "Don't Want You Back" variety.
  • Rockell - "I Fell in Love" and "What You Did to Me".
  • Roy Clark - "Thank God and Greyhound" which starts out wistful then switches mid-chord to something far more cheerful.
  • Sally Shapiro - "I Dream With an Angel Tonight"
  • Sarah Brightman - "Not Having That!"
  • 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.
  • Selena - "Si Una Vez," "Ya No".
  • Selena Gomez - "Bang Bang Bang", "Sick of You".
  • Scandal - "Goodbye To You".
  • Shakira - "Don't Bother".
  • Space - "Influenza".
  • Taylor Swift: "Picture to Burn", "Should've Said No", and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".
  • Texas - "Strings of Life (Stronger On My Own)".
  • "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.
  • The Rain Within - "Eclipse"
  • 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.
  • T'Pau - "Thank You For Goodbye".
  • Weezer - "Go Away" featuring Bethany Cosentino. Cuomo's verses teeters on "I want you back."
  • Travis Tritt - "Here's a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares".
  • The Walker Brothers - "No Regrets".
  • Whitney Houston - "It's Not Right (But It's Okay)"
  • Worm Quartet - "Great Idea for a Song", which has the singer tear into his ex and make it perfectly clear that he despises her with a passion for what she's done to him, in addition to lamenting that he'd come up with a decent song if only his ex's name rhymed with any of the insults he could think of.
    Now, please don't think I want to be your friend now
    I'd rather see John Goodman in a thong
    If only your name rhymed with back-stabbing, heartless tramp
    I'd have a great idea for a song
  • Yvette Michele - "I'm Not Feeling You"

    Claims To Be Over It But Is In Denial 
  • 10cc - "I'm not in love"
  • Arctic Monkeys - "Snap Out of It" from AM.
  • Aswad - "Don't Turn Around".
  • Avril Lavigne - "Let Me Go", a duet with her then husband Chad Kroeger.
  • Ayria - Three Months
  • Michael Bublé - "It's a Beautiful Day", or, "You broke up with me, but joke's on you! I'm glad we're over, I'm definitely not thinking about you anymore, I doubt you can make it on your own, and I wouldn't get back together with you if you asked, hypothetically."
  • The Cab - "These Are The Lies".
  • Luke Combs - "She Got the Best of Me". He's trying to focus on his music but keeps subtly thinking of her.
  • The Corrs - "I Never Loved You Anyway".
  • DHT - "I Miss You".
  • Eva Cassidy's cover of Buddy Holly's It Doesn't Matter Anymore comes off as this.
  • Gavin De Graw - "Not Over You"
  • Gotye's parts in "Somebody That I Used To Know" implies that the man is still hoping deep down that he'll be able to reconnect with his estranged lover.
  • Go West - "The King of Wishful Thinking"
    "I'll get over you, I know I will
    I'll pretend my ship's not sinking
    And I'll tell myself I'm over you
    'Cause I'm the king of wishful thinking."
  • Interface - "North Star"
  • John Waite - "Missing You"
  • Macy Gray - "I Try".
  • Marti Webb - "Your Ears Should Be Burning Now".
  • Matchbox Twenty - "Disease". It's about hating your ex so much yet you admit that you can't live without them.
  • Mitch Benn's "Not Bitter" is a glorious example of denial, with every line of the chorus starting off as a derogatory term for a woman, before a Last-Second Word Swap turns it into a line about how okay he is about everything. "You bitch, you bitch, you betcha life I'll be okay" ... before finishing off with "Oh, 'cos I'm not bitter. You stupid, evil, selfish slag".
  • Paul Davis - "I Go Crazy", also covered by DHT, mentioned below.
  • 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.
  • Shiloh - "Remember" is about someone who clearly misses their ex but also regrets being with them. They're having trouble getting over them.
  • The Statler 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").
  • Sunscreem - "Looking At You".
  • T-Rex - "Life's a Gas".
  • Veronica - "Let Me Go...Release Me".
  • Vertical Horizon - "Best I Ever Had".
  • The Walkmen - "The Rat".
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic - "One More Minute".
  • The White Stripes - "The Same Boy You've Always Known": the narrator reunites with an ex after a breakup, and is still bitter about how things ended.

     I Have to Leave/It's Me Not You 
  • 98 Degrees - "The Hardest Thing".
  • Avenged Sevenfold - "Unholy Confessions".
  • The Beatles - "I'll Follow the Sun".
  • The Blasters - "So Long Baby Goodbye".
  • Sarah Brightman - "Free".
  • Kelly Clarkson - "Already Gone".
  • Biffy Clyro - "Opposite". Well, it's most likely this, anyway.
  • The Corrs - "Don't Say You Loved Me". It's basically, "If you don't really mean what you say, then go away/let's not do this".
  • The short story Death of a Pop-Idol has one, although it only goes into this category in retrospect, not because of the lyrics (Which fall under 'Grief Song').
  • Céline Dion - "I Love You, Goodbye".
  • Color Theory - "In Motion".
  • "It Was A Shitshow" from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which is Greg singing to Rebecca about how he genuinely loves her, but by god that relationship was bad for the both of them.
    "We're Jerry Springer, not Casablanca."
  • Def Leppard: - “Fractured Love” from Retro Active their album of B-sides, covers and songs discarded from previous albums.
  • Duran Duran - "Someone Else, Not Me".
  • DYCE - "Oceans Apart".
  • E-Type - "Here I Go Again".
  • Engelbert Humperdinck - "Please Release Me".
  • Expose - "I'll Say Goodbye for the Two of Us".
  • Fergie - "Big Girls Don't Cry".
  • Fort Atlantic - "Let Your Heart Hold Fast".
  • Gloria Gaynor - "Last Night".
  • Albert Hammond (covered by Rockell) - "When I'm Gone".
  • Missy Higgins - "Where I Stood".
  • The Human League - "Don't You Want Me?" (Susanne Sulley's verse)
  • Imagine Dragons - "Demons".
  • Interface - "Pavilion".
  • Ashley Jade - "Last Goodbye".
  • Gerard Joling - "Ticket to The Tropics", "Spanish Heart".
  • Donell Jones - "Where I Wanna Be".
  • Kamelot - "Lost and Damned".
  • Kesha - "Last Goodbye".
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Free Bird".
  • Marillion - "Sugar Mice".
  • The Osmonds - "Love Me For A Reason".
  • Papa Roach - "Scars".
  • Dolly Parton - "I Will Always Love You" (famously covered by Whitney Houston); also listed in the "In Denial" folder.
  • Peach (Union) - "On My Own".
  • Radiohead - "Motion Picture Soundtrack".
  • Ronnie Milsap - "I Wouldn't Have Missed it For the World."
  • Simon & Garfunkel - "Wednesday Morning 3 A.M".
  • 3 Doors Down - "Let Me Go".
  • Vertical Horizon - "You're A God".
  • Victoria Celestine - "Can You Hear The Echo?".
  • The White Stripes:
    • "I'm Bound to Pack It Up" is told from the perspective of someone walking away from a relationship
    • In "A Martyr For My Love For You" is about the narrator breaking up with his girlfriend because he fears he'll screw something up, or perhaps because she's much younger than him.
  • "For Good" from Wicked.
  • Yazoo - "Bad Connection".

    Over You 
  • Adele - "Someone Like You".
  • Anna Akana - "Pretty Girls Don't Cry"
  • Lily Allen - "I Could Say"
  • Vanessa Amorosi - "Blow Me Away", "Sleep With That".
  • Anthonio - "Annie".
  • Apocalyptica - "I Don't Care".
  • Arab Strap - "Piglet".
  • Beyoncé - "Irreplaceable".
  • Boys Like Girls - "Love Drunk".
  • The Break Up - "Who's Crying Now".
  • 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.
  • Cascada - "Another You".
  • Victoria Celestine - "It's OK".
  • Cher - "Believe", "Strong Enough".
  • Kenny Chesney - "Save It for a Rainy Day"
  • Kelly Clarkson - "Since U Been Gone" (Also covered by A Day To Remember), "Stronger"
  • 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.)
  • Luke Combs - "When It Rains It Pours". She's gone, but he doesn't care because he just won a bunch of stuff and doesn't have to deal with his "ex-future-mother-in-law" anymore.
  • Miranda Cosgrove: "Brand New You", "There Will Be Tears" and "Oh Oh"
  • Sheryl Crow - "Now That You're Gone"
  • Culture Beat - "Pay No Mind"
  • The Cyrkle - "Red Rubber Ball"
  • Chris Daughtry - "Over You".
  • Dead or Alive - "Brand New Lover"
  • Destiny's Child - "Survivor"
  • Garbage - "Special"
  • Crystal Gayle - "I'll Get Over You"
  • Ariana Grande - "thank u, next," though it lacks the anger usually associated with this sort of song. It's less "I'm glad you're gone, I'm so over it" and more, "it's for the best that we broke up, but I learned a lot, so thank you for our time together."
  • Herman's Hermits-"I Can Take or Leave Your Loving"
  • The Human League - "Life on Your Own"
  • Information Society - "Walking Away"
  • Interface - "Frantic", "Wasted Time".
  • Jennifer y Los Jetz - "No Te Voy a Perdonar"
  • Elton John - "I'm Still Standing", "Someone Saved My Life Tonight"
  • Kristine W. - "Land of the Living"
  • Kumbia Kings - "Desde Que No Estás Aquí"
  • Gordon Lightfoot - "Carefree Highway"
  • Little Mix - "Shout Out To My Ex"
  • Lizzo - "Jerome"
  • Kimberley Locke - "Coulda Been"
  • Julie London - "Cry Me a River"
  • Patty Loveless - "You Can Feel Bad"
  • Madonna - "The Power of Goodbye" (also fits with "I have to leave")
  • Katharine McPhee - "Over it"
  • Dannii Minogue - "Someone New" and "Goodbye Song"
  • Kylie Minogue - "I'm Over Dreaming Over You", "The World Still Turns", "What Kind Of Fool (Heard All That Before)", "Dancefloor", "Baby", "Promises", "Someday"
  • Lorrie Morgan - "I Didn't Know My Own Strength"
  • Mark Morrison – "Return of the Mack"
  • The O'Jays - "I Dig Your Act"
  • Paramore - "Feeling Sorry"
  • Peach Union - "Sorrowtown"
  • Pet Shop Boys - "I Get Along" ("...without you very well!")
  • P!nk - "So What" (though it's also "It's over, so I'm gonna screw your - and probably other people's - life!")
  • The Pretty Reckless - "Since You're Gone"
  • Pulp - "Bad Cover Version" and "Razzmatazz"
  • The Rain Within - "Far Far Away", "Rain"
  • Relient K - "Over It". Rare case where the girl dumped the narrator.
  • Restart - "Recomeçar"
  • LeAnn Rimes - "One Way Ticket (Because I Can)"
  • Rogue Traders - I Never Liked You
  • Roxi Drive - "Walking Out of Love"
  • Röyksopp - "Beautiful Day Without You" (it stresses that the memory will last, but still)
  • Sally Shapiro - "All My Life"
  • Space - 'One O'Clock'
  • Squeeze - "Black Coffee in Bed"
  • Theory of a Deadman - "So Happy
  • Aaron Tippin - "Kiss This"
  • Two-Door Cinema Club - "Changing of the Seasons"
  • The Veronicas - "This is How It Feels".
  • We Are The In Crowd - "The Best Thing (That Never Happened)"
  • Yeasayer - O.N.E.
  • Frank Zappa has a few of these. The doo-wop styled "Go Cry on Somebody Else's Shoulder" is a good example.

    I Blew It, I Regret It, But It's Too Late to Apologize 
  • 3 Doors Down - "Here Without You".
  • Adele - "Hello".
  • Aqua - "Turn Back Time", about regretting over a failed and unappreciated relationship.
  • Armin Van Buuren - "Another You" featuring Mr. Probz. The narrator realizes he's done something wrong by his significant other, but would rather start anew with someone similar to his ex.
  • ATB feat. The Wild Strawberries - "Let You Go".
  • Avett Brothers - "I and Love and You".
  • Avril Lavigne:
  • In Bowling for Soup's song "A-Hole", the singer fully acknowledges that they were a dick and deserved to be dumped, and hopes their ex is happy with someone else now.
  • The Box Tops - "Cry Like a Baby".
  • 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.
  • Coldplay - "The Scientist".
  • Crystal Gayle - "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue".
  • The Cure - "Last Dance", "Boys Don't Cry".
  • Cynthia - "If I Had The Chance".
  • Edwin Starr - "I Want My Baby Back".
  • 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.
  • Gotye and Kimbra - "Somebody That I Used To Know".
  • Grace Potter And The Nocturnals - "Apologies".
  • Hobo Johnson - "Happiness": about Hobo's girlfriend leaving him due to his comments about her career, while he regrets his actions and wishes her success without him.
  • Human Nature - "Wishes" ("Sometimes I wish that I could turn back time/I'd kick myself 'cause I was way out of line.")
  • 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.
  • Information Society - "Think".
  • Interface - "Northpark(Only A Memory)".
  • The Isley Brothers - "Got to Have You Back".
  • Jeff Buckley - "Last Goodbye" from Grace.
  • Johnny Mathis and Deneice Williams - "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late".
  • Justin Hayward - "I'm Sorry".
  • Katy Perry - "The One That Got Away".
  • Marillion - "Script For A Jester's Tear".
  • M:G - "No One Knows"
  • Missy Higgins - "Where I Stood".
  • Mortimer & The DNA Team - "Remorse".
  • The Motors - "Forget About You".
  • New Order - "Age of Consent".
  • N SYNC - "I Drive Myself Crazy", "Gone".
  • Oliver! - "The Picture of Kathleen Dunne"
  • OneRepublic: "Apologize" (also covered by Silverstein).
  • Reba McEntire - "Every Other Weekend," a duet with Kenny Chesney, describes a divorced couple who only have brief contact with each other when they exchange kids. They're still in love with each other and regret their divorce, but are convinced the other has moved on and say nothing. The video takes the emotions Up to Eleven. The song has no timeline beyond the present. The video takes place over ten years, with the kids growing from preschoolers to teenagers. Both parents still in love with the other and wanting to be a family again, both saying nothing.
  • Sam Hunt: "Break Up in a Small Town" has shades of this in the chorus, but the main hook of the song is that he keeps running into her and being tormented by her memory because they live in a small town and are likely to cross paths.
  • The Script - "Breakeven" is mostly about the man's Heel Realization, and how he wishes his ex to be happy with with her new found love.
  • Snow Patrol - "You Could Be Happy".
  • Taylor Swift - "Back to December," though it's more like, "I blew it, I regret it, and it's too late to apologize but I'm gonna try anyway because I miss you — but if you can't forgive me, I understand."
  • The Rain Within - "Home"
  • Thomas Rhett - "Crash and Burn".
  • Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - "Runaway Trains".
  • Vertical Horizon - "Best I Ever Had".
  • Warren Zevon - "Empty-Handed Heart"

    Attempting To Convince Someone To Breakup With Their Partner 
  • Ariana Grande - "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored".
  • Avenue Beat - "I Don't Really Like Your Boyfriend" has the singer telling her friend to break up with her controlling boyfriend because she deserves better.
  • Avril Lavigne - "Girlfriend" is a song about a woman trying to steal another's boyfriend. According to Avril, it's supposed to be comedic and you're not supposed to agree with the singer.
  • Backstreet Boys - "All I Have To Give", and "More Than That", both of which at least present the partner in question as treating her badly, both mentioning him making her cry in the first line.
  • The Beatles - "This Boy".
  • The Dambuilders - "Break Up With Your Boyfriend".
  • Daniel J - "A Girl Like You", which is about a man who is in love with someone who has a boyfriend. He doesn't care and wants her to be his girlfriend instead.
  • Gladys Knight and The Pips - "If I Were Your Woman" is about a woman trying to convince a man to leave his abusive girlfriend/wife for her.
  • Human Nature - "He Don't Love You", which makes a good case for their partner being controlling and borderline abusive.
    "Do you know his friends? Girl do you know the score?
    Don't you think it's strange, they don't know who you are?
    He takes you out to somewhere new, then he leaves you alone
    And if you talk to anyone then he tells you to go.
    Your forgive him then, he does it again.
    Tell me how long will you take it?"
    • Also "Whisper Your Name," which really doesn't.
  • Interface - "Syndrome".
  • LFO - "All I Need To Know." Boy bands really liked this subject.
  • Lou Bega - "Boyfriend" is about a man who's attracted to a woman with a boyfriend. He tries to convince her to leave.
  • Mario - "Let Me Love You" is about a man telling a woman that he'd treat her better than her unfaithful lover.
  • Maroon 5 - "Feelings" is about a man who's trying to have an affair with woman who has a boyfriend. He tries to convince her to leave her boyfriend.
  • Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney - "The Girl is Mine".
  • Melanie Martinez - "Pacify Her" is about the Villain Protagonist trying to convince her crush to break up with his girlfriend.
  • M:G - "Someone Knows Better".
  • Mortimer - "Gone".
  • Nelly - "Dilemma" is about a man who's debating whether he should try to date a woman who has a family already.
  • N Sync - "Girlfriend" follows in the footsteps of the Backstreet Boys' songs on this subject: "Hey girl, is your boyfriend treatin' you bad? Ditch him for me, cuz I can treat you better."
  • Old Dominion- "Break Up With Him". A little on the nose.
  • Rick Springfield - "Jessie's Girl" is about a man in love with his friend's girlfriend.
  • The Righteous Brothers - "Substitute".
  • Shawn Mendes - "Treat You Better" is about a man who thinks he can be a better boyfriend to a woman than her current, possibly abusive, one.
  • One-hit wonder Steam (later Covered Up by The Nylons) - "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)"
  • Taylor Swift - "You Belong With Me" is about a girl who's jealous that her friend has a girlfriend. She thinks his girlfriend is bad for him and thinks she'd be a better match for him.
  • They Might Be Giants - "Take Out The Trash".
    "Girl, why not take out the trash
    And once you get him out
    Tell him not to come back again?
    Girl, put that cat in the bin
    After what he said
    After everything he did."
  • The Vamps - "Cheater" is a song about a guy explaining to a girl that her boyfriend has another girlfriend behind her back and that she should be with him instead. Depending on how the lyrics are read, it's also implied that the singer is cheating with the girl behind her boyfriend's back as well.


Video Example(s):


Knowing Me Knowing You

The music video for Knowing Me Knowing You. Knowing Me Knowing You from the album Arrival is one of ABBA's well known breakup songs.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / BreakupSong

Media sources:

Main / BreakupSong