Ylvis’s “What Does the Fox Say”? All about breakups. Let’s face it, nothing captures the feeling of being dumped like “fish go blub, and the seal goes OW OW OW”. Because songwriters – like all artists – love a bit of pain.
|I give it six months. Tops.|
There’s a scene in the excellent film The Tall Guy where Jeff Goldblum wallowing in post-break-up misery turns on the radio only to find the song all-too-horribly fits his situation. He flips to another station and then another only to find that he is continually taunted by post-breakup themed. Hey, we’ve all been there. The only problem with the scene is that all the songs chosen – Neil Sedaka’s Breaking up is Hard to do, Everley Brothers Crying In the Rain, Long John Baldry’s Let the Heartaches Begin and Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel are all sort of the same. 1960s croony numbers to a man. Whereas in real life, break up songs know no boundaries. Your ironic post-break-up radio listening might just as well see you taunted by Bob Dylan or some Swedish Pop Rock.
|Jeff tries to find some less salt-into-wound-rubbing music|
I have a longstanding love of Billy Bragg. I spent my adolescence being roundly mocked for it so I always sort of assume that if anyone else ever says that they like his music then they’re being sarcastic. Bragg does a great line in break-up songs. No-one explores the futility of attempting to successfully negotiate interpersonal relationships quite like him.
too early in the journey/Our love went flat just like that”. Bragg’s best break-up themed lyric comes from The Saturday Boy:
I never made the first team. I just made the first team laugh
And you never came to the phone. You were always in the bath.
|Although the heroine Meg does kind of ruin it by living happily ever after with the hero afterwards.|
If you want my personal recommendation of the best song to listen to post-breakup then I heartily recommend “There’s a fine, fine line” as sung by Kate Monster in Avenue Q.
There is something immensely satisfying in bellowing out the lines “I don’t have the time to waste on you any more / I don’t think that you even know what you’re looking for” at the top of your voice.