► Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. Let’s face it: Valentine’s Day is not for everybody. For some people, this holiday may not be strewn with conversation hearts, perforated cards, and teddy bears. Especially if mid-February finds you more heartbroken than head-over-heels.
Well, then this playlist is for you: A mix of songs for the lovelorn.
With an abundance of worthy heartbreak songs, this playlist may just have to be expanded into multiple additions. I mean, I could fill up a lovelorn playlist with songs just by Bob Dylan. Or Tom Petty. Or Joni Mitchell. Or–well, just about anybody. It’s a pretty popular topic in popular music.
But today we’ll start with some of the songs I have long thought would make a fitting antithesis to the traditional Valentine’s celebration of the love-happy.
Not the angsty girl-power break-up ballads of pop stars nor the crying music of folk-influenced singer-songwriters, this playlist falls somewhere in between:
A little bit sad, a little bit beautiful, a whole lot of awesome.
► A countdown:
8 • Good Morning, Heartache • Sheryl Crow ► A blues song (cover) to kick off a tribute to the lovelorn.
7 • It Ain’t Me, Babe • Bob Dylan ► This song keeps it real, to the point of being a bit harsh. Even though Dylan’s saying “it ain’t me” what he really means is “it’s not you, it’s me.”
6 • Another Place to Fall • K.T. Tunstall ► Just enough edgy anger to get the sense of girl power without resorting to the full-on guilty pleasure of tween music.
5 • Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around • Stevi Nicks & Tom Petty ► For people with a special someone they are so over they can’t quite quit.
4 • English Girls Approximately • Ryan Adams ► They can be so mean.
3 • Boots of Spanish Leather • The Lumineers ► A nearly acapella track, raw with emotion. As one who views The Lumineers as a cross between Bob Dylan in sensibility and the Counting Crows in sentiment, I take particular pleasure when this band covers a Dylan song, especially in such a powerful, spot-on manner.
2 • Raining in Baltimore • the Counting Crows ► It’s my personal opinion that this song best expresses the gaping sense of loss that accompanies the end of something. The void to be filled, the need for change, the need for a sunburn or a raincoat or maybe a plane ride…
1 • Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right • the Foggy Gulch Band ► You just kind of wasted my precious time. Maybe the best line to summarize a break-up ever.
This harmonic cover is a light and lovely version of this poignant song about moving on, and it features some pleasant banjo-ing. I am not the only one crazy about this song: It’s been covered by Elvis Presley, the Indigo Girls, Johnny Cash, Joan Boaz, Cher, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Or, of course, you could just go straight to the source: Dylan himself. ■
► Bonus Track » Heartbreak Hotel • Elvis Presley ► » To lighten the mood. I mean, if you are going to be heartbroken, at least you can feel good about keeping company with the King.
View playlists or follow me on Spotify ► hilwolfe
graphics, text © 2017 hilary hall photograph "Pink Roses of Valentine's Day" courtesy of GoodFreePhotos
► In the queue » songs for Mardi Gras •