The Art of The Heartbreak Song

We waited until after Valentine's Day to set the record straight on the art of the heartbreak song. Not much is worse than a heart that is trying to recover from a fresh and often unexpected sting, but the only silver lining is the beauty of the music that can be born from it…

When it comes to what constitutes as an actual breakup song, although sometimes people look down upon the simplicity of Wikipedia, we cheer them on for their precise, concise and often eloquent way of describing the world around us. Specifically, when it comes to this particular style of song, this is what they had to say, “a breakup song is a song describing the breakup of an intimate relationship, with associated emotions of sadness, frustration, anger, and sometimes of acceptance or relief. As one source states (discussing the upbeat breakup song "Better Things" by The Kinks), Pop music is littered with break-up masterpieces, but it's a rare break-up song that isn't bitter”. 

A peculiar element of the art of the song built on heartbreak is just how many of us seem to find comfort and community within the sad songs that so many of us spotlight on our daily playlists. How does one even attempt to explain this? Well, this is where our animalistic pack mentality comes into play.We all love to feel comforted, understood and comfortable to express our most dear and truest thoughts. This is where the sad song comes into play, almost feeling like a fresh-out-the-dryer blanket during a particularly cold night. 

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The sad song is nothing new. If you really rack your brain, you’ll come to find that every decade, genre and artist knows a little something about sad elements being woven into a song, particularly when it comes to love. Some artists specialize in sad songs, often unintentionally, as sometimes they simply connect with or are able to perform those rough, heart-tugging tracks that really get listeners for a lifetime.

How about the most famous heartbreak song of all time? This award would go to “The all-time best-selling single of a breakup song is the 1992 Whitney Houston version of "I Will Always Love You", which sold over 20 million copies. The song had originally been written and recorded in 1973 by American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton and topped the country charts in 1974. It was written as a farewell to her one-time partner and mentor of seven years, Porter Wagoner, following Parton's decision to pursue a solo career.” says Wikipedia.

When it comes to writing your very own breakup song, the nice part about this is that its one of the styles of songwriting that often comes the easiest, as the feelings are typically so visceral, real and physical, they seem to pour out effortlessly, if you allow them to. The key is to not self-edit as you write in real time and to instead just let your feelings flow.