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A Selection of Breakup Songs

Sad Breakup

Ryan Adams: "When the Stars Go Blue"

The Beatles: "Yesterday," "For No One"

Beck: "Lost Cause"

James Blunt: "Goodbye My Lover"

Toni Braxton: "Unbreak My Heart"

Jeff Buckley: "Last Goodbye," "Lover You Should've Come Over"

Carpenters: "Goodbye to Love"

Patsy Cline: "Walkin' After Midnight," "Sweet Dreams of You," "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces," "She's Got You," "Leavin' On Your Mind"

Coldplay: "The Scientist"

Elvis Costello: "Almost Blue," "I Hope You're Happy Now"

The Cure: "Pictures of You," "Boys Don't Cry"

Elvis: "Separate Ways," "Heartbreak Hotel"

Marvin Gaye: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"

Go-Betweens: "Part Company"

Lauryn Hill: "Ex-Factor"

George Jones: "He Stopped Loving Her Today"

Carole King: "It's Too Late"

Gladys Knight and the Pips: "Midnight Train to Georgia"

Brenda Lee: "Break it to Me Gently"

Annie Lennox: "Why?"

The Magnetic Fields: "All My Little Words"

Aimee Mann: "One"

Mental As Anything: "If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?"

Joni Mitchell: "Blue," "River"

Willie Nelson: "Always on My Mind"

Nilsson: "Without You"

Nine Inch Nails: "Hurt" (also covered by Johnny Cash, above)

Sinead O'Connor: "Nothing Compares to You"

Roy Orbison: "It's Over," "Crying"

Pearl Jam: "Black"

Liz Phair: "Divorce Song"

The Police: "Can't Stand Losing You," "Bed's Too Big Without You," "I'll be Watching You"

Righteous Brothers: "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"

Kenny Rogers: "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town"

The Smiths: "I Know It's Over," "Well I Wonder"

Split Enz: "I Hope Never"

The Streets: "Dry Your Eyes Mate"

Patti Smith: "Pissing in a River"

U2: "One," "With or Without You"

Usher: "Burn"

Tom Waits: "Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis"

Hank Williams: "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"

Bill Withers: "Ain't No Sunshine"

Tammy Wynette: "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"

Angry Breakup

Ben Folds Five: "Song for the Dumped"

Black Eyed Peas: "Shut Up"

Mary J Blige: "Not Gon' Cry"

Ray Charles: "Hit the Road Jack"

Eminem: "Go to Sleep"

Marianne Faithfull: "Why'd Ya Do It?"

Fleetwood Mac: "You Can Go Your Own Way"

Alanis Morissette: "You Oughta Know"

Green Day: "Good Riddance"

Gloria Gaynor: "I Will Survive"

Lauryn Hill: "I Used to Love Him"

J Geils Band: "Love Stinks"

Janis Joplin: "Take Another Little Piece of My Heart"

Jazz Standard: "Cry Me a River"

Greg Kihn Band: "The Breakup Song"

Nilsson: "You're Breaking My Heart"

The Rascals: "You Better Run"

Nancy Sinatra: "These Boots Are Made for Walking"

Richard and Linda Thompson: "Shoot Out the Lights"

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Christian Bordal
Christian Bordal is a Norwegian-American (via Australia) musician, radio producer, and freelance music journalist who contributes regularly to Day to Day. He's very good at making faces and making a fool of himself, and he once impressed his NPR editors with a drunken recitation of the gibberish poem "Jabberwocky." He briefly considered launching a career performing at children's parties, but he finds his own children to be trouble enough. In addition to this list of remarkable professional accomplishments, he is a producer at member station KCRW in Los Angeles.