Neighbour etiquette/breakup songs

3 08 2006

Our diagonally downstairs neighbours broke up. It’s a shame; they both seemed like nice people. Sometimes she’d catch the same bus as me and we’d chat about the weather and buses and the crazy old people in number 4. Once I helped him carry some beer from the driveway to their door.

One day we realised we hadn’t seen her car in a while, and then they were seen having one of those awful not-angry-just-sad talks in the driveway over some boxes of stuff. That’s how we knew it was over. Then it made sense that he’d been singing along at the top of his lungs to ‘High and Dry’ and ‘Last Goodbye’ over and over, pausing only to sob and get another drink. Poor bastard. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there.

So the first question of the day is:
What are your top 10 (5, whatever) breakup songs? I’m talking about the ones you listen to on repeat with tears in your eyes and a bottle of vodka in your hand in those first few weeks with an empty house and a space in the bed. Keeping in mind that there is no accounting for or judgement of musical taste when it comes to such a delicate subject.

Second question is:
How creepy on a scale of one to stalker would it be to leave a nice bottle of homebrew and a freshly burnt copy of your top 10 breakup songs on the doorstep of your nod-and-smile neighbour? The guy is hurting. I can hear him hurting. We appear to have similar tastes in breakup music – maybe I could broaden his repertoire a bit and make it better for everyone.

My top 10, in no particular order:
Sorry I Am – Ani Difranco
State of Things – Turin Brakes
Title and Registration – Death Cab for Cutie
Black Star – Radiohead
Caught a Lite Sneeze – Tori Amos
Plastic Loveless Letter – Magic Dirt
Andy Warhol – Little Birdy
Please Break Me Gently – Tex Perkins
Rain City – Turin Brakes
The Rat – The Walkmen
…and pretty much anything by Jeff Buckley, Interpol, Starsailor and Bloc Party.

Go on, share.

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21 responses

3 08 2006
lan

hmmm I don’t think I could come up with a top ten.You were amazing – Alex Lloyd came out at an opportune time once though – and god damn it we were amazing! I think I sadly have a strong bent toward the girly whiney break up song (as opposed to the fuck off and die break up song)but we said no judgement!

3 08 2006
lan

well at least I was amazing – as time goes on I’m thinking the other person in question was less and less amazing …

3 08 2006
GigPig

I think the guy might have nailed it with High and Dry. My next door neighbours have broken up but the member of the couple left in the house seems FINE. No break up songs at all. And she is much friendlier than she used to be..

3 08 2006
GigPig

I’m sad.. My friend moved to Brisbane and now no-one will come with me to see gigs.. Please send me some home brew and a cd.. *sniff*

3 08 2006
Sherd

lannie, you were and are amazing. Now you’re happy and shmoopy, and he’s got a librarian. I think that’s justice, don’t you? Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with girly whiny breakup songs. I also listened to Bloody Motherfucking Asshole a lot, but that was more in relation to Fuckhead the boss. And Dido. That’s my dirty little secret though. GigPig, I just sent you a freakin’ cd! How quickly we forget. And I already told you, move to the same city as me and we can go to lots of gigs. And be warm.

3 08 2006
Nabla

Due to my bent for buying particular cd’s right at the end of a relationship I have ended up with a random collection of songs – breakup albums, if you like. Magic Dirt’s Tough Love (almost appropriate), Butterfly Effect’s Begins Here (getting off the track, but still angry), the Killers Hot Fuss (wtf?). Also, as the time between girlfriends can be brief, these conveniently tend to serve also as getting together albums.For break-up songs though I’m with Ian. Whingey.Coldplay – Don’t PanicU2 – With Or Without You (trite and terrific)Ben Harper – Walk AwaySmashing Pumpkins – Mayonnaise…and so on.Also, Adalita is still the hottest chick in rock.

3 08 2006
mskp

sherd, i think that’s a darling idea. i don’t think my selections would tally with your tastes but i’m getting in the spirit of things…1. ryan adams – call me on your way back home2. ben harper – another lonely day3. radiohead – fake plastic trees4. the cure – pictures of you5. gillian welch – hickory wind6. johnny cash – hurt7. nick cave & the bad seeds – the ship song8. bruce springsteen – i’m on fire9. the police – every breath you take10. tom waits – hold onthis would be my break-up top-ten. with apologies to all those offended by cliche [esp. 7 & 9…okay, most of them]. and apologies to myself for including a ben harper tune but that one is too good for sobbing along to.*cries in solidarity with the broken-hearted*

3 08 2006
MadameBoffin

I’m with mskp – in times of crisis, Nick Cave is the only one who understands. Although I prefer Into My Arms. Another song that finds itself on repeat in those dark days is Garbage’s Bleed Like Me.In answer to your other question, if you accompany your gift with a nice, non-threatening/non-stalkery note, I think he’d appreciate it. Sounds like the guy needs it, poor bugger.

3 08 2006
GigPig

To Nabla- as Mayonnaise remains the world’s best song, I don’t think you should pigeon-hole it as part of a break up soundtrack.. It is appropriate for any situation.

3 08 2006
Saturday Night Fiver

Dear Sherdie,I would recommend “I Want You” by Elvis Costello, although probably not a wise choice if one is ever so slightly unstable. Having said that, it’s much better going through the day singing:Nothing’s impossible, I have found.For when my chinIs on the ground,I pick myself up,Dust myself off,And start all over again.

3 08 2006
Sherd

Ah, Mr Cave knows all the right words to sing, it’s true. mskp we have closer tastes than you think, although I have only the vaguest idea who Gillian Welch is. Ryan Adam’s version of Wonderwall pretty much breaks my heart (although it’s not in my top 10), and I’m on Fire is the first song I learnt all the words to when I was a little tacker. I remember telling my granny that (I was very proud) and her being somewhat nonplussed. Poor Granny. My parents not only brought us up as scruffy heathens, they let us listen to the devil’s music from a young age. Also, an honourable mention for Clare Bowditch – Winding Up. Girly and sad without being whiny (in my opinion, anyway) (and, being as this is my blog…)

3 08 2006
Sherd

Thanks, SNF! Although, I am ever so slightly unstable at times, so I’ll keep the warning in mind.

3 08 2006
K

I would like to note that B’s mention of the Killers’ ‘Hot Fuss’ was not a getting together album due to the fact that someone was to gutless to go and get it from scary ex-girlfriend. Now we only have the case.I Vote for:You Am I – Heavy Heart, How Much is EnoughPJ Harvey – Entire Stories from the City Stories From the Sea.

3 08 2006
Sherd

Wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute. Elvis Costello… Duncan?

3 08 2006
Saturday Night Fiver

Rest easy, dear Sherdie; I am not he.

4 08 2006
nabla

oops! I forgot to mention the ultimate.”In my life, there’s been heartache and pain…..I don no, eef I can faaaace it again….”Ahh, don’t ANYONE pretend they can’t sing all the next lines, and sing them like a glowing match is being pressed against their privates…..

4 08 2006
nabla

I’m just now listening to the new ultimate break up song. “top yourself off….pleeeease don’t doo it….. go talk to your friends….don’t let them suffer through it.” For those really difficult ones. And, just to reiterate, Adalita is hot. I asked her this morning when she was touring again and she said she may not come back to Brisbane as she can’t stand seeing how happy I am with my girlfriend. Sorry, guys.

4 08 2006
Bonestorm

There’s a song called ‘Roads’ by Portishead. It is sooo sad. That one comes out at certain times when I am emotional.

4 08 2006
Miff

There was some painful time after a friend’s break up where all she played in her car was Casey Chambers ‘Am I not pretty enough’Gah! My ears bled. Well, they should have.

4 08 2006
That Guy

…and now, for a weird-ass avant garde Brazilian album that none of you will ever have heard of, in the aftermath of the apartment I listened a lot to ‘Tucuma’ by Vinicius Cantuaria…that album WAS me……..I’ll join the Radiohead bandwagon here too and mention ‘No Surprises’, I suppose in the vein of getting back on the horse while still hurting some…….and of course, an honourable mention for that Ben Folds song (can’t remember title) with the lyric ‘Give me my money back you bitch!’…

5 08 2006
Sherd

I got nobody on my side, and surely that ain’t right…I love that whole album Bonestorm.nabla, your obsession with Magic Dirt knows no bounds.Poor Miff. Kasey Chambers. Blech.That Guy, that’s why we love ya. You know all the answers to the weird arse avant-garde Brazilian trivia questions. By the way, it’s “Black T-shirt”.

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