Meryl Streep’s closing line at the Golden Globes was given to her by her friend, Princess Leia, aka the late Carrie Fisher.
It resonated with me, as many times I have wanted to take all the emotion that is in my person and to create something with it. As for art, well, I’m probably still wanting in that department.
So if I can’t create my own, I can use other people’s… and there was born the idea for my Top Ten Heartbreak playlist. Well, top 13, actually, as there were some I just couldn’t leave out. And 13 seemed quite apt. Unlucky for some, most definitely unlucky in love for me…
Music has been my best friend in recent years. Music to lift my mood and elevate me just at the right moment. I remember one difficult day hearing Nina Simone’s ‘Here comes the Sun’ come over the car radio waves and how it raised my spirits to a hopeful optimism. The full orchestral scores from ‘Friday Night is music night’ on Radio 2 have often turned a routine Friday night washing the dishes into something magical. In the same way sometimes a heart-searing ballad is just what you need to let it all out.
With that in mind, here’s a run-down of my Top 13 Heart-breakers:
1. All Cried Out – Alison Moyet – Alison captures all that pent up emotion, resentment and frustration in this perfectly executed break-up ballad that is one you can blast out in unison with.
2. You Don’t Own Me – The Blow Monkeys – there have been lots of covers of this since the original by Lesley Gore in 1963, however I love this one from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Its Dr. Robert’s sardonic delivery and the lyric ‘don’t tell me what to do, don’t tell me what to say…’ that was a perfect fit for one of my break-ups.
3. Go Ahead and Break My Heart – Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani – This song is a happy/sad song – happy as they’re telling their own love story of how they met whilst nursing broken hearts, while obviously still bruised, and daring each other to ‘go ahead and break my heart’. I love this, as a huge Gwen fan, and Blake’s country twang is endearing. A good reminder that by putting your heart out there we’re all taking a risk, right?
4. Forget You -Ceelo Green – a great tune for kitchen dancing and for getting back in the mindset that you’re ok and better off without a certain person…
5. Boys Don’t Cry – The Cure – another timeless classic with a great chorus, with lyrics capturing the stoic pretense: ‘I try and laugh about it hiding the tears in my eyes’.
6. Don’t Speak – No Doubt – Gwen again at her best, capturing real emotion and putting it into a song. Of course as a Gwen fan-girl I have to give a mention to her song ‘Used to Love you’ which if you haven’t seen the video is a must. Written at the end of her marriage to Gavin Rossdale she takes her broken heart and lays it out for all to see.
7. A New England – Kirsty MacColl – this may not be an obvious choice but I love her Englishness that comes through on the lyrics ‘I loved the words you wrote to me but that was b***** yesterday’
8. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley – we may as well get cheesy with a bit of ol’ Elvis – another good one to rock around the kitchen with.
9. Only Love Can Hurt Like This – Paloma Faith – As I’ve had mostly ‘oldies’ so far I need to put this one in for balance – one of the best heartbreak songs in recent times. She gets the emotion in on this one with her searing vocals.
10. Wicked Game – Chris Isaak- the deep melancholia of this tune and the accusatory ‘what a wicked thing to do, to make me fall in love with you’ captures something quite unique.
11. A Little Time – The Beautiful South – I love the Beautiful South as they weave clever lyrics that tell a story into upbeat ditties. This one is a classic two-part story, the guy wanting ‘a little time’, and once he’s had said time the girl realises she doesn’t want him ‘the freedom that you wanted bad, is yours for good, I hope you’re glad’.
12. Strong Enough – Sheryl Crow – I love the daring of this song ‘are you strong enough to be my man’ but also the contradiction ‘Lie to me, I promise I’ll believe’.
13.Linger – The Cranberries – I’d never thought of this as a break-up song before, but Dolores heart-felt delivery is there and every word tells a tale ‘I’m in so deep, you know I’m such a fool for you’. What a great way to let it all out, to sing along to Dolores!