The five sassiest breakup songs of all time
Katie and Tom, Katy and Russell -- everybody's breaking up these days, it seems. Hell, even Adam Levine traded in one Victoria's Secret model for another. Break ups aren't just relegated to the super couples or the superstars, obviously. Everybody's been on the receiving end of being dumped -- or done the dumping, as the case may be. It's no wonder then that Deerhoof decided to title its forthcoming album, Breakup Song. With this in mind, here are five of the sassiest breakup songs of all time. What are yours?
5. Rilo Kiley: "Breakin' Up"
"Here's to all the pretty girls you're gonna meet," sings a confident and subtly vindictive Jenny Lewis on this upbeat single. While the massive canon of breakup songs by Morrissey, Beck and Patsy Cline will often deal in apologetic self-loathing, this toe-tapping number carries an unmistakable air of celebration, particularly the disco-boogie breakdown where Lewis repeats the line, "ooh, yeah, feels good to be free," with declarative glee. Never did someone sound so happy making someone so sad.
4. Carly Simon: "You're So Vain"
Whether about Mick Jagger, Warren Betaty or David Bowie (who have all been suspected sources of inspiration), "You're So Vain" remains a universal slap in the face of an ex-lover with an inflated self image. Ever since the single was released, fans and curiosity seekers have been desperate to know the identity of the man in the apricot ascot, but Simon has remained silent, only releasing tiny clues here and there. The overwhelming pressure for her to reveal the Narcissus-like subject of the song only speaks to how deep a sting these lyrics cut.
3. Bob Dylan: "Idiot Wind"
While there are a number of sassy breakup songs penned by Bob Dylan ("Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine"), there is possibly nothing more poisonously cheeky in his repertoire than this 1974 gem. Coming from the greatest breakup album of the era, Blood on the Tracks, here, Dylan presents us with a character so debased, so unfathomably daft, it's a wonder to him that she can even breathe or feed herself.
2. Gloria Gaynor: "I Will Survive"
Disco is known as the premier celebration music of the twentieth century, and no one is in need of celebration more than those suffering a proper dumping. Tracing the path of being first "afraid" and "petrified," wondering how she "could ever live without you by my side," the protagonist here travels through the all-too-common catharsis of recalling "how you done me wrong" and reaches the inevitable zen conclusion of growing strong, learning "how to get a long." The song climaxes with the all too familiar scenario of the dumper wanting her back, but, alas, the dumpee has moved on.
1. Ween: "You Fucked Up"
This is perfect soundtrack to gathering all memories of your ex, retreating to the backyard, and burning them in effigy. Preferably played at full volume.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.