A Playlist of Relationships and Breakups

While creating an Ultimate ’90s Playlist, I got to thinking about my past crushes and relationships. Probably because of the influence of TV and movies, I tend to associate specific songs with each person. Like how on Friends, “With or Without You” was used for Ross and Rachel.

My playlist is roughly in chronological order. Roughly. Share yours in the comments!

1. “I Love You,” Sarah McLachlan

I had two big crushes in high school; they lasted for years. I don’t know if either person ever figured it out (I suspect the boy might have but not the girl). I was waaaaaay too chicken to ask either person out, so I just listened to Sarah and pined.

2. “Airport Song,” Guster

My first actual relationship, which wasn’t until college, was a mess on every front. I don’t regret it per se (every experience has made me who I am now, etc. etc.), but I also wish I could have done without it. Sadly, I can’t even really associate any happy songs with it, only the claustrophobic “Airport Song.”

3. “O Baby,” Siouxsie and the Banshees

My next relationship was even more of a disaster, but also the first time I was in love. I was blind to what was to come, but I strangely don’t regret it the way I do my first relationship.

4. “Arm’s Length,” Mary Prankster

Mary Prankster is hard and gritty and all of her songs are excellent for those facing a breakup.

5. “If Your Kisses Can’t Hold the Man You Love,” Rasputina

Some perspective was helpful, though.

6. Run Lola Run soundtrack

Why this soundtrack for my next boyfriend? I think that sense of escape from the previous one. The illusion of choice, chance, and change. Also, it’s a really good soundtrack. I had some Napster bootleg remix that I loved, with the line “Do not listen, do not wait, do not listen, it’s not too late.” So that was a hopeful view of dating. I mean, looking back now, I was only 21, so jeez, take a chill pill, but at the time, I had been so devastated, you know?

7. “Hung Up,” Madonna

He wasn’t a bad guy, we just had widely different ideas about life. I wanted him to change, he didn’t want to change. He wanted me to change, I didn’t want to.

8. “The Sky is Broken,” Moby

The second time I fell in love was even more all-consuming than the first and ended as a black hole and a supernova. She was fire and ice and so was I.

9. “The Engine Driver,” The Decemberists

She and I listened to this while driving down a long, dark midwestern road and I hoped that road would never end even while desperately wanting to see the bright city in the distance.

10. “This Modern Love,” Bloc Party

I had given up on relationships for a while. Dating while in grad school was nuts. I even got told, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

11. “1234,” Feist

Then I met my future husband, and it was all over.

12. “Dheere Jalna [Burn Slowly],” Paheli Soundtrack

The recessional at our wedding.

13. “Galaxies,” Laura Veirs

Our first dance.

2 replies on “A Playlist of Relationships and Breakups”

I couldn’t listen to #5 (if I was listening to Frustration Plantation, I skipped the track) for months after my sister’s fiance died unexpectedly. I know it’s about a breakup, but “your tears won’t bring him back” caused me to wish they could bring him back from the dead. They were best friends throughout high school, they went their separate ways for college (he stayed local, she moved over 1,000 miles away), then six years later reconnected & instantly fell in love. They were a couple for about six months when he passed.

I tried listening to #8 just now, because I forgot how it went. Couldn’t make it through, so I’m listening to “Next Is The E” from his self-titled album. “Is listening to Moby getting you down? Listen to Moby to cheer up!” :-P

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