You can find 40-31 of the list HERE
and 30-21 HERE
and 20-11 HERE
Track 3 on Anything Else but the Truth (2004)
Ahhh, the emo days of 2004 when everyone was in touch with their emotional sides and music was weirdly poignant while being hilariously melodramatic. The Honorary Title was one of those bands I heard in passing and enjoyed somewhat but never really latched on a fan—that being said, this song is amazing and it really is a great breakup song, chronicling the deterioration of a relationship and the need to move on but the impossibility of doing so. It shows the feeling of betrayal so perfectly, covering both the sadness and bitterness the artist feels.
*Key Line” – “February, Valentine’s Day. Did my best to avoid the red cliché so you dumped me on the subway, on my way to work at 9 in the morning. Everybody else is holding bouquets, now I’m holding face.”
Track 8 on In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (2003)
Anyone who has ever read anything from me or knows anything about me knows my devotion to all things Coheed and Cambria. They are without a doubt my favorite band. Claudio Sanchez has a knack for writing lyrics that touch the soul and although a majority of the words form a large, overarching story, there are still universal truths acknowledged. While these songs may deal with fictional characters, we can feel his emotion and the way in which he has poured his life into the lyrics. This song is about realizing that after you’ve separated from a partner and gained clarity on a situation, you were better off without that person in the first place.
*Key Line* - “But you had your back turned as you faded away, the end of my day I found out you weren’t worth what I thought of you.”
Track 6 on The Earth Pushed Back (2013)
There are few songs in the world that can make this grown man weep but this is one. Have Mercy deserves a category of their own when it comes to making brutally sad music about the deterioration of relationships. Brian Swindle’s lyrics speak truths that are both painfully simple and incredibly complex. This song in particular is the perfect representation of a relationship where both parties are aware that the relationship isn’t working but they are too afraid to face the truth and so they focus on shallow, surface-level distractions. This song in particular comes from male perspective, commenting on his love for the woman who no longer feels the same. Enjoy this one. It may be one of the most perfect breakup songs in existence.
*Key Line* - “I know that you know that I know that you don’t really care. Let’s talk about your hair and how it’s grown and how we know that we’re not getting anywhere.”
Track 3 on My Favourite Faded Fantasy (2014)
A great track from his newest album, “The Greatest Bastard” shows just how much Rice seems to regret the poor decisions he has made and what they have led to. It also shows that he understands the relationship can be no more and he has to deal with it. It is everything wonderful about Damien Rice: Simple, melancholy, self-deprecating. Perfect for all of you who have caused your own heartbreak.
*Key Line* - “Am I just dreaming once again? Some dreams are better when they end.”
Track 8 on O (2002)
This is a simple, sad song with held out piano chords and a wonderfully understated acoustic guitar. Damien Rice’s voice belts out near the end, focusing all of his anguish into the words “cold water surrounds me now.” It bleeds sadness and the addition of Lisa Hannigan’s vocals just adds to the sadness. The desperate pleas of “Lord, can you hear me now?” are a beautifully ethereal end to a song that tears at the heartstrings.
*Key Line* - “Cold, cold water surrounds me now and all I've got is your hand. Lord, can you hear me now?”
Track 7 on O (2002)
This song doesn’t really need a lot of introduction. If you’ve ever been left by the one you love and have decided to get drunk and suffer, this song is the best for such a purpose. It begins with the sounds of a crowd in a bar and a very sporadic and disjointed tune being played followed by “Cheers Darlin’, here’s to you and your lover boy.” Rice’s delivery is even somewhat stuttered, really pulling the whole vibe together. It is bitter and sad and has a strangely haunting chorus, singing, “I die when you mention his name.” This one is perfect for those who have just ended their relationships, whether by choice or against their own will.
*Key Line* - “Cheers darlin'. Here's to you and your lover boy. Cheers darlin'. I got years to wait around for you.”
Track 1 on My Favourite Faded Fantasy (2014)
I waited for years for Damien Rice to release a new album. Finally, in 2014 he released My Favourite Faded Fantasy and all was right with the world. This album, much in the same vein as his previous two LPs is full of music that could destroy even the happiest of hearts. The title track starts off the album in full force, detailing someone who has lost their love. Rice understands that the person is gone and that they aren’t coming back but he can’t seem to let go of the feelings for that person. I love the line “I know someone who could serve me love but it wouldn’t fill me up” because it says so much about how much he needs the person who has left. He could get love again but it will never be as strong as it was originally. Also, he repeats the phrase “it wouldn’t be the same as with you,” over and over, further driving home the point that he is now doomed to pine after her forever.
*Key Line* - “You could be my favourite taste to touch my tongue. I know someone who could serve me love but it wouldn’t fill me up.”
Track 4 on 9 (2006)
There are few songs which bring to mind the hurt and bitterness of a broken relationship like the chorus of this Damien Rice song. It details the understanding that a relationship is going to end and the singer knows that he can’t do anything to stop this. He has to sit there and watch it happen and the pain and sadness weighs on him. That’s why we get the amazingly bitter chorus line listed below. I’ve provided two links to the song below. The first is the album version which is wonderful in and of itself but the second is a paired down version recorded at what I believe is Abbey Road Studios (although I could be wrong so don’t quote me). It is slowed, paired down, and really emphasizes the pain in the song. Enjoy both. And if you re vulnerable today, get some tissues as well.
*Key Line* - “So fuck you and all we’ve been through. I said leave it, it's nothing to you and if you hate me, then hate me so good that you can let me out. It’s hell when you're around.”
Track 4 on 9 (2006)
This song achieved a lot of mainstream success on the back of its appearance in Shrek 3 but when listened to by itself, it is brutal. The song is a perfect representation of someone who knows they are making bad decisions but continues to anyway. His conscience, or the memory of his lover, echo in his head but it doesn’t stop him from cheating. There is also the interpretation that the 9 in the title is a reference to the 9th commandment about adultery. Either way, it is a great song and works perfectly for our intended purposes.
*Key Line* - “It’s the wrong time for somebody new, It’s a small crime and I’ve got no excuse.”
Track 9 on O (2002)
This is without a doubt my favorite of Rice’s songs. It is sad and angry and bitter and everything else that you feel when you experience relationship problems. It starts slow with Lisa Hannigan reflecting about how strong the relationship used to be and then as she trails off, Damien Rice comes in with more anger and bitterness. The song talks of how the man has made the mistake but that he is still hurt by the outcome. By the end of the song he is singing at the top of his register, belting out “I want to hear what you have to say about me. Hear, if you’re going to live without me,” suffering the pain of loss and responding in turn with bitterness and hurt. I can’t think of a more perfect #1 for this list.
*Key Line* - “I want to hear what you have to say about me. Hear if you’re going to live without me. I want to hear what you want.”
Hopefully you have enjoyed the list I have presented. For my money, these are the songs that I listen to/have listened to when I have been upset about my significant other. Luckily I’ve been in a pretty solid marriage for almost 10 years now but there are those out there still suffering and this list is for them. If nothing else, this is full of some great, dark music to add to your collection. So go hug your lover, or your friends, or yourself, or your bottle. Whatever it is, celebrate the emotions you are feeling—it is the holidays after all.
Find the full Top 40 Playlist on YouTube below:
Images - Amazon