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Valentine Songs for the Relationship Impaired

Valentine’s Day. I don’t think there’s a day throughout the year that evokes a more mixed range of emotions. Some people love the opportunity to be with ‘The One’, while others feel it just generates feelings of inadequacy and despair. Guys, on the other hand, see it for what it is: just another Hallmark attempt to grab a greater share of the wallet.

These diametrically opposed feelings though do not map cleanly onto the ‘have’s’ and ‘have nots’, as the sight of a restaurant on Valentine’s evening can testify. Call me a cynic but the rows of couples they cram into these places reminds me more of a sweatshop in South East Asia than a romantic soiree. A mass produced night for a mass produced nation. Somewhere out there, Henry Ford is laughing. Spontaneity seems to have been replaced by a cookie cutter approach to celebrating, with most people looking like they’ve been forced into doing something romantic, rather than having a celebration of their love. But I digress.

Whatever your feelings about the day itself, it certainly forces feelings to a head. More marriage proposals occur on this one day than on any other day in the year. On the flipside, more couples split up, decide to go their separate ways, or realise its ‘just not working’. Now we, the editor’s of the A&E section, hate to see our classmates downhearted. So apart from offering our bereavement counselling services to any newly single ladies, we thought we’d do our bit to help you through this potentially troubling time.

As we saw in Strategy last week, the reason people buy and listen to music is because it allows us to express our feelings and ‘connect to our mood’, as one of my section mates eloquently put it. So we’ve run through our extensive music collections to come up with a track list that may help you do just this. For as my therapist (and one ex) told me. “It is better out than in”. Feelings, that is. Whether you just want to curl up in front of the TV in a Haagan Daas-induced stupor or get even by planning creative ways to express your anger, we feel there is something for you.

By the way, while we could never endorse any act of vandalism or abuse no matter how cathartic or how much they deserve it, we have ‘heard’ that the watercress on a carpet trick works wonders.
So without further ado

The Top 5 “I’m feeling depressed and don’t want to do anything about it – please just let me wallow” songs

5. Always On My Mind – Elvis Presley
The king makes a welcome entrance and a fine introduction to our selection of songs. Sad, soulful, reflective. The perfect song for the emotionally wrecked.

4. Hello – Lionel Ritchie
Ignore the hilarious video. Longing and despair just permeate this tune.

3. With or Without You – U2
Ireland’s finest, at their best. “With or without you. I can’t live with or without you.” A troubling dilemma.

2. Missing You – John Waite
If ever there was a song to reinforce to the recently dumped that they’ve just lost the best thing to ever happen to them, this is it. “I keep lying to myself (that) I ain’t missing you at all.”

1. All by Myself – Celine Dion (or Eric Carmen)
“All by myself, don’t wanna be all by myself…” Is there a better song to wail along to? We don’t think so.

Top 5 “Everyone stay out of my way I’m liable to get violent I’m so annoyed” songs

5. Song for the Dumped – Ben Folds Five
A horribly underrated band. Song for the dumped features the classic lines “Wish I hadn’t bought you dinner, Right before you dumped me, on your front porch; Give me my money back, I want my money back (and don’t forget my black t-shirt).”

4. Caught Out There – Kelis
Catchy as hell. If you remember screaming “I hate you so much right now” back in 1999 then you were ‘singing’ along to this corker. Or you were having a fight on Springer.

3. You Oughta Know – Alanis Morisette
This really doesn’t need any introduction. (The censor’s would never let us print half the lyrics in any case).

2. Limp – Fiona Apple
“It won’t be long till you’ll be/ Lying limp in your own hand.” Nuff said.

1. Nookie – Limp Bizkit
Trust Fred Durst to come up with the ultimate anti-romantic song. With a chorus of “I did it all for the nookie,” this is the ultimate angry break up song.

The Top 5 “I am indeed better off without that chain” Songs

5. Better Off Alone – Alice Deejay
When Alice asks you “Do you think you’re better off alone?” try replying with a resounding – YES. (Come on we had to have one random comedy one.)

4. You’re So Vain – Carly Simon
One of the most famous break up songs of all time. We just had to find space for it somewhere.

3. Hold On – Wilson Phillips
Whatever happened to Wilson Phillips? No one’s really sure. Apparently their musical talent was directly tied to weight. Thank heavens they released this track before they disappeared without a trace. “I know there’s pain. Why do you lock yourself up with these chains? No one can change your life except for you. Don’t ever let anyone step all over you.” Strong, stirring stuff makes it our number 3.

2. Cry me a river – Justin Timberlake
A legendary song about a legendary break-up. Standout lyric – “Girl there is no chance, that you and me, could ever be”…”so go on and just, cry me a river.” Britney, you’re better off without him. However, my phone number is…

1. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
The eternal classic. Come on sing along with me. “At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side…”

February 17, 2004
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