Lesbian Break-Up Songs

Songs to Heal Your Broken Heart

Nothing lasts forever. So maybe not nothing, but pretty close to it. But one thing lesbians seem to do exceptionally well is sound really cool and rockin’ when they break up with each other. Compiling a list of good wedding songs takes a few solid hours of research, but finding songs to break up to, be they bittersweet or just bitter, was all too easy. Misery totally loves company, or maybe when you’re happy you’re too busy having sex to write decent music.
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"One More Hour" or "Good Things": Sleater-Kinney

Before they actually broke up as a band ("indefinite hiatus" is such a gay euphemism for a break-up), Sleater-Kinney’s vocalist Corin Tucker and guitarist Carrie Brownstein broke up with each other as lovers. "One More Hour" is supposedly about this; it’s also the final song the band played together at their very last show. "Good Things" is another one that’s sad but sweet, for when you know it can’t work out but wish it could: "It’s a hard place / We can’t be friends, we can’t be enemies … Why do good things never wanna stay? / Some things you lose, some things you give away."
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The entire So Jealous album: Tegan and Sara

Every time Tegan and Sara release a new album, someone dumps me. The good news is that they write really amazing sad songs, the kind of music that makes feeling sorry for yourself enjoyable. "Where Does the Good Go?", penned by Tegan, is one of my favorites, a plea for a lost lover to come back: "Look me in the eye and promise no love is like our love / Look me in the heart and un-break broken / It won’t happen." Sara’s more cryptic, infectious single, "Walking With a Ghost" has a tendency to get stuck in your head for days, just like its subject—an ex you can’t stop obsessing over.
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"Untouchable Face": Ani DiFranco

Ani manages to sound kind of sweet as she sings "fuck you." This one’s got a chorus that’s fun to sing along to, and verses that give me chills: "I don’t look forward to seeing you again soon / You’ll look like a photograph of yourself taken from far away." Isn’t that just how your ex looks after it’s over?
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"Divorce Song": Liz Phair

Liz doesn’t identify as lesbian, but she’s one of those women the queer community has kind of kidnapped and claimed as our own. (She never really protested.) This song captures both the anger and the vulnerability that come with heartbreak; she sings defeated lyrics in a tough-girl voice, as if trying to hold herself together. My favorite lines: "And the license said you had to stick around until I was dead / But if you're tired of looking at my face, I guess I already am." Ouch.
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"Break Up Song": Melissa Ferrick

"And I'm certain the one thing is / What I'll never love anyone again / Not the way that I loved you." Oh, Melissa, yes you will! But we’ve all had that feeling before. This one’s actually really depressing, so proceed with caution. It’s for the stage where your break-up is all-consuming and you stop eating, sleeping and showering. Avoid it at all costs once you begin to feel better; it will drag you back down.
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"Breathe": Melissa Etheridge

While "I’m the Only One" is her more famous break-up song, "Breathe" is tragic, twisted and underrated. Melissa’s voice sounds so sad and desperate here, it breaks my heart to hear this song: "Longing for home again / Home is a feeling I buried in you / I’m alright, I’m alright / It only hurts when I breathe." It makes me want to hug someone. Anyone.
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"Yr Mangled Heart": The Gossip

Break-ups are always hard, but they’re usually for the best. When you’ve had enough self-pity, this is a good empowering song to get you back on your feet: "I don’t want the world, I only want what I deserve … I’ve had enough, you’ll build me up to let me down." I’ve found it’s way easier to be the dumper than the dumpee, so screaming along with Beth Ditto feels really good, even if it’s not technically true that you were the one who ended it.
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"Last Tears": Indigo Girls

It’s the ultimate country break-up song, with a pedal steel, sweet harmonies, lots of twang and lyrics about drowning your sorrows in a "good stiff drink." Sing along when you certainly don’t hate your ex, but are ready to move on: "I don’t regret and I won’t forget / A single thing that we went through / But these are the last tears I’m gonna cry for you." How many times have we told ourselves that?
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"Love is Everything": Jane Siberry or k.d. lang

While Jane Siberry did the original, both women do great versions of this bittersweet goodbye song. This one goes well with excessive introspection and a glass of chardonnay: "Love is everything they said it would be / Love made sweet and sad the same / But love forgot to make me too blind to see … I can’t wait ’til you make / The whole kingdom come / So I’m leaving."
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"Fool of Me", "Bitter" or "Wasted Time": Me’Shell Ndegeocello

While there are some simply gorgeous pure love songs on this album (I love “Beautiful” and “Grace”), the aptly titled Bitter is perfect for when things go sour as well. If you’re feeling miserable and sorry for yourself, check out “Fool of Me”, “Bitter” and “Wasted Time”, in that order, as they mark the unraveling of bliss. Then when you find a hot new girl to occupy your mind and body, go back and enjoy the sexy songs with her.
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Honorable Mention: "Give Me One Reason": Tracy Chapman

This doesn’t make my official list just because I don’t think it technically counts as a break-up song. It’s an ultimatum, last-chance, on-the-threshold song, like the final page in a chapter of a choose-your-own adventure novel. Will your lover get her act together and get you to stay—see our list of wedding songs here or is it really time to say good-bye?