The Big Break-Up

It appears some people in Congress who were faithful supporters of the administration will not go along with the tax compromise announced this week. I guess we need a break-up song for President Obama and factions inside the Democratic Party.

There are many, many break up songs. One of the most popular new ones is by Cee-Lo Green.

I see you drivin’ round town
with the girl I love and I’m like,
F— You. Ooo Ooo Ooo.

Catchy tune, and it has the cultural advantage of sounding like the kind of thing you actually hear real people saying on some street corners, in select coffee shops, on certain bus routes, at every local bar, and at the customer service counter in Wal-Mart. But for my money, “F— You” is missing something important – the wounded innocence that makes a break-up song great. And class. I do like the “Ooo Ooo Ooo” part, though.

Lesley Gore, backed up here by her Frantic Handkerchief Dancers, made this one a hit in the mid-60’s.

“It’s My Party” is one of those rare songs that starts with the chorus.

It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you

It’s classic lyrical victimhood, and it will work for just about any break up situation or intra-party political dispute as long as you are willing to assume that it’s your birthday and you’ve been wronged in the most public way possible. Plus, it’s catchy, and that’s what most people remember.

The rest of the words … well, we can make them what we want. Right? For President Obama and the Democrats, we could do this:

I thought my guy would stay right by my side
You all know what we had.
But now he’s drifting away
Compromising like mad.


Taxing the rich was our favorite dream
We agreed. It was grand.
Now he’s slow dancing with them
On our line in the sand!



He’s says it’s just a bipartisan thing.
He won’t love them like me.
I hoped he never would change.
Oh what audacity!

What is your favorite music for when you’re feeling blue (at a red state party)?

92 thoughts on “The Big Break-Up”

      1. must be in the air. I have had a heck of a week too. Kind of a trifecta of situational stress.

        Getting the Christmas tree tonight instead of tomorrow.

        If I can do my pilgrimage to Ingebretsens in the morning, will bring some Gjetost to Steve’s (as an indulgence for those of us who love it and for educational purposes for those of us who have no idea what I am talking about).


  1. Rise and Weep Babooners. Then pull yourselves together:

    I had not ever seen the Frantic Hankies before despite having heard this tune countless times. When they dab their eyes mid-spin, it yanks on my heartstrings. Boohoo.

    Nothing says RECOVER FROM THE HEARTBREAK better than Stan Carter’s “Mary Ellen Carter” for me. I think I finally had it at home when I bought Comfort Keepers. Then I did not have to request it from the Morning Show anymore. Man, do I miss that ritual.

    “Rise again, Rise again….” There is the hostile line about “the ruthless bastards” or something like that (the creepy owner guys with no good judgement who would let the ship just languish on the bottom of the Big Lake) that inspires me to strike back at life with a willful and focused plan.

    Meanwhile, “John Denver and the Muppets” have been playing at the office this week. Makes everyone laugh!

    Now wring out that damp hankie. Chin up. You can get over this.


    1. I’m looking forwards to seeing the Blevinses tomorrow at book group, despite having not read the book. Watch the weather. I just heard the forecast and it is not looking good! Steve, I hope the front walk is shovelled, salted and sanded so we can shuffle to the front door!


  2. I’ve spent a little bit trying to find the lyrics to “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World” but couldn’t. Rats. But if you are blue…. it’s one of the funniest movies ever made with more cameos than you can imagine.


      1. and— TPT is airing it Christmas night for the Big Show.

        We love that movie and it is on our list of things to do that day. (and no Christmas music in it, just for you, Ben!)


  3. If I were feeling blue and wanted to laugh, watching the Frantic Hankies again would do it. What a hoot!

    Oddly, in all the world of love songs, I know of only one that is dead-on perfect at describing the particular pain of being in a loving relationship that is doomed. The song, which I think is pure poetry, is Karen Savoca’s “Between Girl and Gone.” Dale used to play it on TMS.

    When you are at the end of a loving relationship you have two overwhelming feelings, and they are utterly incompatible. First, both of you cannot imagine living without the other. At the same time, at least one of you knows this will not work in the long run, and so you must separate. Staying together is impossible, yet splitting is inconceivable. Only this song expresses that hideous paradox.

    I stand at the mirror,
    Somewhere between girl and gone,
    Somewhere between here and moving on

    The point is that there is no somewhere between girl and gone. There is nothing between here and moving on. And yet that is exactly where you are.

    Finally, for a real tears-in-yer-beer singer, I think Bonnie Raitt stands alone. Listen to her sing “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and you know nobody could wring that much pain out of a lyric line unless they had lived the song. She once gave a moving interview with Scott Simon. In it she said she had to space those heartbreak songs far apart in her concerts because after she had sung one, she had turned herself inside-out emotionally and needed to recover.


  4. I always think a break up is a lot like Dr. Kuebler Ross’ 5 stages of dying. Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, as it was drilled into my brain in the 80’s movie, All That Jazz, which also had a snappy rendition of After You’ve Gone that has just the right amount of defiance and humor for my taste.

    If I just need to cry it out, Mary Ellen Carter works everytime-I try save it for emergencies so as to not become immune to its effects.


      1. Nice image. Did you ever see “Beetle Juice”? When they say his name three times and restore the ghost’s powers, Michael Keaton grins and says “It’s showtime!” with such wicked joy.

        Under-appreciated actor, Michael Keaton. Some of the funniest writing you’ll ever hear is in “Night Shift.”


    1. Good to know I’m not the only one who remembers the five stages of grieving based on the bits in All That Jazz…and definitely can see Obama doing the “showtime!” thing (“jazz hands!”).

      Perhaps an album title could be “Songs in the Key of Grief?”…


  5. I have to think about my favorite, but Holy Goat, there’s a(t least one) website devoted to breaking up — but I can’t figure out how to get to the songs…
    Here are the various options (edited slightly due to raciness):
    | Join Our Breakup Community! | Online Breakup Books | Break Up Links | Search | Breakup Songs Home Page |
    | Win Her Back! | The Bastard System – Women Really Do Love Bastards | Romance Advice For Men | How to Get Your Boyfriend Back | How to Get The Attention of a Secret Crush | | Become the women men adore! | Flip This Break Up |


    1. There’s a section in the book The Best American Non-Required Reading 2010 called Best Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak. My favorite: Leap of faith. S**t, no parachute. (Katherine Yunker)


  6. Steve’s right about the Bonnie Raitt. I’ve always loved the Cat Stevens one, Wild World — “Now that I’ve lost everything to you…”

    OT: tim, would you want to post some of your thoughts on the Hemingway in the book club log? A way of having you there a bit…


  7. I have found that belting out “Crazy” along with Patsy Cline can be quite therapeutic. She’s good at all that heart-wrenching-end-of-the-relationship stuff.

    “…I’m crazy for feelin’ so blue
    I knew you’d cave in as soon as you wanted
    And someday you’d leave me for a stance that was new
    Worry? Why should I let myself worry?
    Wonderin’ what in the world can I do?…
    Crazy for thinkin that my tax would hold you
    …I will not just buy-in
    I’m crazy for tryin
    And crazy for loooovin you…”


  8. An interesting mix of music suggestions. I hate to be general but usually if I want to pull myself out the emotional doldrums, I usually turn to 70’s pop/disco. If I feel like a little self-indulgent wallowing, I really enjoy A Girl Called Eddy’s “Somebody Hurt You” and a song from a 1998 AT&T promo CD (called Stormy Weather) that they sent out in the mail that had highlights of that year’s Walden Woods Concert benefit. Bjork does a version of “Gloomy Sunday” that is amazing.


    1. With ya on the 70s disco – also some of the New Wave girl groups of the 80s (hard to stay cranky when Cyndi Lauper is telling you that “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”).


    2. Cyndi wanted a lot more than that! She wanted her fun “Time After Time.”

      If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
      Time after time
      If you fall I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
      Time after time

      That sounds like MIG’s “negotiation” phase to me.


  9. Good morning to all,

    Any good music would be my choice when I am blue. I would put on something I really like such as Boiled in Lead, or good jazz, or good blues, or one of the great bands that you can hear at the Cedar. Tonight I could even go to the Cedar to hear Boiled in Lead. It would also be great to hear the warm up band, Zation, which includes Kip Jones, a very good local fidler who sat in with The Orange Mighty Trio a couple weeks ago.


    1. i wish i would have read this yesterday morning when you wrote it. i could have gone to see boiled in lead last night. i love boiled in lead. the percussion guy is to die for. and i’m not even breaking up


    1. An odd memory, Renee, from the old “The Morning Show.” I remember when Dale played that song and Tom Keith made a little speech to make it clear he didn’t approve of the sentiments of the song. It wasn’t quite a Billy Marty Barry Rant, but he was sincere. And I thought, “Tom Keith really believes in fidelity. Cool!”


      1. I meant this song more in the realm of politics, not intimate relationships. I certainly don’t approve of the sentiment as a way to a harmonious life.


  10. My daughter needs some musics for the blues. They were going to take the kids to The Nutcracker at the Ordway tonight and now cannot go. Lost ticket money and lost experience for the kids, who were so looking forward to it.


      1. They did go; by the forecast, by our beloved WB which loves to exaggerate forecasts reference Renee below), there will be a blizzard. So Sunday they do not need to be back for church and they will stay two nights and have an adventure. I am so glad to kids are going to go to this. I suspect the 5-year-old testosterone-laden boy will tolerate it, but you never know what he is going to do, but the seven-year-old always-pink-and-purple-clad frilly girl will fall in love with it.


      2. i have never mande it through the nutcracker without a good nap. i love the music and love the dance but something about length and no voice puts me under every time.


  11. OT, but a coincidence:
    Remember my son’s wedding in Balboa Park in San Diego last September? We debated invited his twin godfather’s, who both live in the TC area, but in the end did not–to keep the list down, to not be expecting either to come, because only one of the twins is close to us and neither really to him. The twin who is close to us just told us that he was not in Balboa Park that day.


  12. Morning–

    Music– one of my favorite things.

    I have so many favorites… does ‘loud’ count? When I’m in a funk or mad it’s just whatever music I have going cranked up to 11 that helps… And last night, during the ‘sing along’ part of the Christmas concerts I found some headphones and plugged in the music on my phone and drowned out the crowd w/ the soundtrack of ‘Spring Awakening’. () Really, I love Christmas! It’s just– I can’t take the music… and I’ll stop talking about that now. Sorry.

    ‘All That Jazz’… my absolute favorite! I have the audio of the DVD on CD so I can play that when I need it…
    A few specific songs over the years related to specific things; When the space shuttle’s exploded it was Pink Floyds ‘The Gunners Dream’ with the lyrics:
    “Floating down through the clouds
    Memories come rushing up to meet me now.
    In the space between the heavens
    and the corner of some foreign field
    I had a dream… ”

    My college computer got ‘Re-imaged’ last night and now I have Windows 7. ….we’re both still trying to find each other again….



    1. ben try the late great john faheys two christmas albums. they are christmas music but only in so much as they use those notes. give it a listen when you ge a chance


  13. I get along without you very well (especially when Chet Baker is singing it)… and then when I’ve really moved into the acceptance stage of grief I’ll be seeing you”.😉

    Bon weekend à tous!


  14. (with some help from my country music-loving hub)
    Anger “Thank God and Greyhound You’re Gone” Roy Clark
    Denial “Queen of Denial” Pam Tillis
    Bargaining “One More Night” Phil Collins
    Depression “Tears of a Clown” Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
    Acceptance “Don’t Worry About Me” Marty Robins


  15. the song that i love to cry to: The Runaway Horse – oh, sob, sob. i think has to do with relationships and just what Steve was talking about neither her nor there

    OT Kona got bloat wednesday – have been busy caring for her and worrying. she’s fine now. Gerta (Dream’s “Desiree” doeling) here to go to T – she is not interested but he loves the chase.

    a good and gracious weekend to You All. stay safe and warm


  16. For those of us mad enough to get involved with an artistic type, most of what Bernadette Peters has to sing in Sunday in the Park with George (but especially, We Do Not Belong Together) is quite good stuff.


    1. I may have to watch that DVD this weekend… It’s one I don’t pull out often enough. We saw the show in Seattle on our Honeymoon. Presumably after a free toasted bagel from the hotel! (Reference to yesterday in case that didn’t make any sense…)


      1. i love bernadette peters. johnny carson years a go she looks just like the face on all the victorian cameo profile sillouettes on broaches etc. love her face and her voice. ben , wa sbernadette in seatle road show?


  17. JASPER is currently playing “Chain of Fools” – another good song on the topic. Aretha really knows how to channel anguish and anger (and about half an hour ago “Careless Love” was on).

    Chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain
    Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools
    Five long years I thought you were my man
    But I found out I’m just a link in your chain
    You got me where you want me
    I ain’t nothing but your fool
    You treated me mean oh you treated me cruel
    Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools

    Oh, it would be so easy to hear some of the House Democrats singing this on Capitol Hill….


      1. One of the best-written movies in history is “The Apartment.” Shirley MacLaine’s character finds out that her big affair with the boss was just him using her for sex. Before she tries to commit suicide, she makes a practical observation: “When you’re in love with a married man you shouldn’t wear mascara.”


      2. Great movie–great script.
        An obscure little Christmas comedy–We’re No Angels, Bogart, Rathbone, Ustinov. Three escaping prisoners on Devils Island end up helping out an incompetent shopkeeper and his daughter’s love life at Christmas time. Not great, just quirky and fun. Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Ustinov have very good chemistry as the film’s version of Three Wisemen/Prisoners.


      You’re the dead course I put in my frigedaire
      You’re the flaky specks of dandruff in my hairYou’re the tickle in my throat that makes me cough
      You’re the hangnail in my lifeAnd I can’t bite you off

      You’re the soap suds and pollution in my streamWhen I’m sleeping you’re the nightmare in my dream
      You’re the fattening foods that sometimes gives me gout
      You’re just like my ingrown toe nail
      Cause I can’t cut you out

      You’re the sun that gives me sunburn
      You’re the cinder in my eye
      Your voice can make my stomach turn
      You’re the rain cloud in my sky
      -Instrumental Break-
      You’re the dirty ring around my clean bath tub
      You’re the razor blade that always leaves the nubs
      You’re the broken handle on my coffee cup
      You’re a tire that just went flatAnd I can’t pump you up

      You’re the sun that gives me sunburn
      You’re the cinder in my eye
      Your voice can make my stomach turn
      You’re the rain cloud in my sky

      You’re the cycle seat that made me saddle sore
      You’re the piece of chalk that scrapes across the board
      You’re the tickle in my throat that makes me cough
      You’re the hangnail in my life
      And I can’t bite you off

      Whoa, you’re the hangnail in my life
      But I can’t bite you off


  18. I understand the Democrats are discussing whether someone should challenge Obama for the nomination in 2012. I think “The First Cut Is the Deepest” would be an appropriate anthem for that effort (Sheryl Crow’s version is a good one):

    I would have given you all of my heart
    but there’s someone who’s torn it apart
    and he’s taken just all that I had
    but if you want, I’ll try to love again
    baby I’ll try to love again but I know

    The first cut is the deepest, baby I know
    The first cut is the deepest
    ’cause when it comes to being lucky he’s cursed
    when it comes to lovin’ me he’s worst…


  19. Maybe it’s just a form of denial, but I am partial to Stand By Your Man (it has that great line in it—“after all, he’s just a man”)


    1. I posted once before on the most glorious bit of irony in the movies. “The Crying Game” ends with Fergus visiting Dil, his “girlfriend” in prison, who is a transsexual. Over it all we hear Tammy Singing her classic song, with that line, “after all, he’s just a man.” This film on tape is one of those I’m giving away.


  20. Snorting from reading Steve’s “denial ” country song. Speaking of denial, I remembered another favorite, Lucinda Williams’ “I Can’t Let Go”

    He won’t take me back when I come around
    Says he’s sorry then he pulls me out
    I got a big chain around my neck
    And I’m broken down like a train wreck
    Well it’s over I know it but I can’t let go


  21. I’m just skimming these at home for a minute while I get ready to go back out BEFORE THE SNOW.

    So what song exemplifies the Baboon Break UP with MPR after they gave Dale unpaid time off to consider his career options?




  22. Mem0: To the National Weather Service:

    We were promised 4 inches of snow today and 3 tonight. All we have had is freezing fog. Don’t promise me a storm and then not deliver!


      1. I was always amazed when people started cancelling plans before even a flake of snow had materialized in DC, but it seems to be happening here now too.

        Are we Midwesterners OR WHAT??

        I’m all for not being stupid about driving in bad conditions, and we did get our tree tonight instead of tomorrow, and I did pick up a chunk of Brie in case I can’t get to gtetost tomorrow morning, but I’m not ruling it out entirely at this point either.

        On the other hand, Clyde, glad all this worry about the snownami scored your daughter’s family an adventure!


  23. kind of like what we were all hoping for from obama. the storm looked so promising then the filibusters and sniping kept it from occuring. extend the bush tax cuts… extend the bush anything is enough to make you throw up. between the lying , caniving, bushies, and the tea party zealots, i am still glad to be a liberal democrat but it aint easy to see pocket lining carpetbaggers and bigoted anti gay mexican tax concerns with god on their side keeping the eye anywhere but on the target. what was obama thinking? he could have become a regular citizen shaking his fist at the air like the rest of us but no… he had to go and be the leader of the free world. what was he thinking?


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