Cry, Then Dance: A Break-Up Mix For Broken Hearts

Cry it out, scream, dance it off. I'm here for you, and so is this playlist.
Publish date:
October 2, 2013
relationships, music, love, break-ups, lyrics, playlists, mixes, broken hearts, break-up songs

So, sometimes I get creative urges that aren't really directly related to anything, and if I don't fulfill them I will die (possible hyberbole).

One of those urges came this morning when I felt the sudden compulsion to make a break-up mix. I'm not currently going through a break-up (happily dating myself, thank you!), but my iPod was on shuffle and songs that fit that "vibe" kept playing. Plus, I just really love making mixes.

I mean, I'm not that old, but I am old enough to remember making someone a mixtape on an actual tape. Very laborious! How easy the Internet has made things. I've made many mixes over the years, from songs that are meant to make you feel warm in the depths of Winter, to a Never Let Me Go fanmix (oh well SOR-RY for being a nerd).

Anyway, break-ups are a thing that everyone goes through and they're usually pretty craptastic. I mean, I've been dumped by text (twice!) which is funny in retrospect because who even does that and also, true colours, etc.

Music is a tried-and-true friend in times of heartache and so I've put together a compilation of my favourite break-up tunes, (expertly, at least, I hope so) flowing from sadness to anger to dance-fuelled redemption and fabulousness. So listen to Adele's "Someone Like You" for the 92nd time and, when you're ready, I'll be here. Shall we?

Broken Hearts Club from hannahejo on 8tracks Radio.

1. Electric Light Orchestra "Telephone Line"

"Ok, so no one's answering/Well can't you just let it ring a little longer, longer, longer, oh/I'll just sit tight through the shadows of the night/and let it ring forevermore"

You have to kick off a mix with something cinematic, and what is more cinematic than ELO? This song makes me want to burst out singing while walking down the street as a chorus backs me up and maybe there are fireworks and ballet dancers and elephants. It's just a really big deal. You can also play it while you sit in front of the mirror and watch yourself cry. Also, how 'bout those lyrics? Stop calling her, dude. I don't think she's going to pick up and this is the 70s, did they even have voicemail?

2. Skeeter Davis "The End Of The World"

"Why do the birds go on singing?/Why do the stars glow above?/Don't they know? It's the end of the world/'cause you don't love me anymore"

You know when you have a break-up and people are like "Oh, this is your time to be selfish"? Well, Skeeter totally got that memo. She just wants the world to straight-up explode because her boo doesn't love her anymore. And who wouldn't love a girl named Skeeter? What a dick. Bonus points if this song put you in a bummer mood because of its "Girl, Interrupted" association.

3. Gilbert O'Sullivan "Alone Again (Naturally)"

"Left standing in the lurch/at a church where people saying/'My God, that's tough/she's stood him up/no point in us remaining/May as well go home'/As I did on my own/Alone again, naturally"

OK, this wins as saddest song ever, I'm pretty sure. It mentions how he would like to "treat [him]self" by throwing his body from the top of a building. That's not what Donna and Tom meant! Cool it, Gilbert! We've all been there, but you seem nice. You'll be OK. You're just going through the worst string of horrible events a person could ever endure (both parents dying, being left at the altar, etc.).

4. Bob Dylan "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"

"Your lover who just walked out the door/has taken all his blankets from the floor/the carpet, too, is moving under you/and it's all over now, Baby Blue"

I think this one is pretty straightfoward. He's clearly singing about Denim Britney and Denim Justin.

5. Ryan Adams "This House Is Not For Sale"

"Tell 'em that the house is not for sale/We're still livin' here/how come nobody can tell?/They're takin' all the furniture, movin' our things/Come on little honey, put your hand on my knee/Tell 'em that the house is not for sale"

A raspy Ryan pleads with his lover not to let their house, and METAPHOR ALERT, their relationship, be taken away. Sadness ensues. Also, some people think the whole song is a "Beetlejuice" reference so just like, take this with a grain of salt.

6. The Jesus And Mary Chain "Cut Dead"

"You're tearing up my weary head/Do I still shine/after such a lonely time?/You cut me dead/You nail me down and kick my head"

This is the song you listen to when you don't feel like moving your body ever again.

7. Damien Rice "Cheers Darlin'"

"Cheers, darlin'/I've got your wedding bells in my ears/[...]/What am I, darlin'?/A whisper in your ear?/A piece of your cake?"

The sound of clinking barroom glasses and a sloppily played piano back up inebriated and miserable Damien Rice as he toasts his ex's new marriage. Yikes.

8. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers "Don't Come Around Here No More"

"I've given up/you tangle my emotions/I've given up/honey please admit it's over"

Again, pretty self explanatory. We're starting to move on here. Also, I like when everyone yells "Hey!"

9. ? & The Mysterians "96 Tears"

"And when the sun comes up I'll be on top/You'll be right down there looking up/I'm gonna get to you but I know now/You're gonna cry 96 tears"

Oh, hello change of pace. Do I sense a small new feeling of victory? Do I sense a bit of ass-shaking? Are we starting to feel a bit better? Yes. We are.

10. Roxy Music "Cry Cry Cry"

"Now the last laugh is mine/You ready for hot stuff? Be prepared/I'm sick of your cheap, cheap hustle/Oh, don't you dare"

Now we're talkin'. Listen to those horns! Bryan Ferry has written so many wonderful break-up songs over the years ("Dance Away" is another favourite of mine because it gives me the image of him crying and dancing in the middle of a nightclub while everyone watches), but I chose "Cry Cry Cry" because it is so fun, so ~glamorous~, and so triumphant. Like, screw you Jerry Hall. You have nice hair and all and Mick was a babe but ... let's just ... ugh.

11. Blonde "Heart Of Glass"

"Once I had a love, and it was divine/Soon found out I was losing my mind/It seemed like the real thing/but I was so blind/Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind"

My go-to karaoke song, you can't help but feel bubbly and happy when it comes on even though Debbie is lamenting the crumminess of the dating scene. Oh well, just hit those high notes and feather your hair. You'll be fine!

12. Train In Vain "The Clash"

"So all alone I keep the wolves at bay/There is only one thing I can say/Did you stand by me?/No, not at all"

I think this may be my favourite song ever, and it's definitely what I consider to be the best break-up song ever. That bouncy riff! Mick's heartbroken scolding! The harmonica! Haven't we all felt this way too? Not just in romantic relationships but with platonic ones, too. Some people are just so unreliable!

13. OMD "So In Love"

"Heaven is cold/without any soul/It's hard to believe/I was so in love with you"

Now, we've reached the end. Time for some introspection and inner peace. This mellow little OMD track provides just that, complete with a super misleading title. I mean, it's got some pretty heavy realizations going on in the lyrics but it's just so airy and full of '80s delightfulness that it provides the perfect balance.

I hope you've enjoyed my first foray into making mixes for you, xoJaners. Should I do more? Did you like this one? Did I forget your favourite break-up song? (I'm sure I did.)

Oh, and feel free to share your best(/worst) break-up stories. Let it all out! And bring tacos. Thanks!