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Help me find music to divorce by.
June 9, 2007 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Untying the Knot: Songs about Divorce.

My friend was recently divorced, and while the breaking-up part was emotionally devastating, she is viewing the actual signing of the papers and being free as a celebratory event. Thus, she is holding a "Divorce Party" at our local dive bar in a few weeks. I want to make a CD of songs about divorce to present to her, and I need the help of the hive in coming up with just the right mix. So far I have:

"Divorce Song" by Liz Phair
"Last Day of Our Acquaintance" by Sinead O'Connor
"D-I-V-O-R-C-E" by Tammy Wynette.

Bonus points if anyone can find a hair/metal band who tackled this subject - Amy's a gigantic cock-rock fan. Thanks in advance!
posted by ScarletSpectrum to Media & Arts (36 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I kind of like Kissing You Goodbye, by Waylon Jennings.

"Get your tongue out of my mouth
I'm kissing you goodbye!"
posted by Liosliath at 11:24 AM on June 9, 2007


Not quite celebratory, but "Her Town" by James Taylor and JD Souther comes to mind.

And "You Can't Keep A Good Man Down" by Alabama, even though the gender isn't right for your friend - but the sentiment is probably enough to make it worthwhile.
posted by davidmsc at 11:52 AM on June 9, 2007


Both by the Dresden Dolls, neither celebratory, but both excellent....

Truce

The Jeep Song
posted by devbrain at 12:02 PM on June 9, 2007


Are you wanting songs performed from the female aspect?
posted by Industrial PhD at 12:03 PM on June 9, 2007


My Give-a-Damn's Busted by Jo Dee Messina.

I HATE country music, but a friend gave me that one in honor of my divorce, and it's great.
posted by The Deej at 12:04 PM on June 9, 2007


"Goin' Through the Big D" (By MARK CHESNUTT) (country)
posted by mrmarley at 12:05 PM on June 9, 2007


You might sneak in the Billy Connolly version of D.I.V.O.R.C.E. at the end :-)
posted by ceri richard at 12:10 PM on June 9, 2007


Violent Femmes "I'm Free"
posted by davey_darling at 12:31 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Radiohead's The Morning Bell. It hasn't been defined as such, but the lyrics point in that direction. Also might not fit the mood, but it was my first thought.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:39 PM on June 9, 2007


Grounds for Divorce by Wolf Parade.

It's technically about breaking up more so than an actual legal divorce, but I thought it might work.
posted by Squee at 12:43 PM on June 9, 2007


Big Business - Grounds for Divorce
posted by The Straightener at 12:46 PM on June 9, 2007


Bob Dylan - Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
Husker Du - She's A Woman And Now He Is A Man
posted by mattholomew at 12:53 PM on June 9, 2007


Not sure of the best version, but the Tompall Glaser "outlaw" country song, "Put Another Log on the Fire" might sum up her reasons for wanting a divorce:

Put another log on the fire.
Cook me up some bacon and some beans.
And go out to the car and change the tire.
Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans.
Come on, baby, you can fill my pipe,
And then go fetch my slippers.
And boil me up another pot of tea.
Then put another log on the fire, babe,
And come and tell me why you're leaving me.

Now don't I let you wash the car on Sunday?
Don't I warn you when you're gettin fat?
Ain't I a-gonna take you fishin' with me someday?
Well, a man can't love a woman more than that.
Ain't I always nice to your kid sister?
Don't I take her driving every night?
So, sit here at my feet
'cos I like you when you're sweet,
And you know it ain't feminine to fight.

So, put another log on the fire.
Cook me up some bacon and some beans.
Go out to the car and lift it up and change the tire.
Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans.
Come on, baby, you can fill my pipe,
And then go fetch my slippers.
And boil me up another pot of tea.
Then put another log on the fire, babe,
And come and tell me why you're leaving me.

posted by mosk at 1:00 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I Hope You're Happy Now," by Elvis Costello and the Attractions.

"Little Kawai" by Walter Becker is a whimsical song about, I think, a divorced father indulging his spoiled son as part of his fight against his ex-wife; may not be appropriate to the situation.

"I Understand It But I Don't Want It" by Ween is more rueful than "screw you."
posted by ibmcginty at 1:08 PM on June 9, 2007


Bettie Serveert - "Leg"

Well, here i stand
I don't feel too good
Slightly canned
I wish you would
Untie the knot

posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:26 PM on June 9, 2007


I'm not sure exactly why it was written, but Nine Inch Nails's Only has been a good cathartic, angry song for me.

Bonus points for repeated f-bombs. A sample, safe-for-work lyric:

Yes I am alone but then again I always was
As far back as I can tell
I think maybe it's because
Because you were never really real to begin with
I just made you up to hurt myself

There is no you
There is only me
There is no you
There is only me ...


From the same CD (With Teeth): You Know What You Are?
posted by The Deej at 1:38 PM on June 9, 2007


There's REM's All the Right Friends ("I don't want to be with you any more/I just don't want you any more.")

Or "Don’t think twice, it’s all right" ("When your rooster crows at the break o’ dawn/Look out your window and I’ll be gone/
You’re the reason I’m trav’lin’ on.")
posted by frobozz at 1:47 PM on June 9, 2007


Paul Simon: 50 ways to leave your lover
Jo Dee Messina: Bye Bye
posted by happyturtle at 2:01 PM on June 9, 2007


No Children (YouTube live) by the Mountain Goats.
posted by commander_cool at 2:21 PM on June 9, 2007


Just a quick opinion:

I'm not sure the Tammy Wynette song is apt for a "celebratory event." Maybe it's not what I think, but I find it very weepy. It's all about little "joe" and how he's going to be screwed up. Tammy is the divorcee. I dunno, man. I'd stay away from that version, man. ;-)
posted by tcv at 2:26 PM on June 9, 2007


A variety of divorce songs (but no hair metal, unfortunately) were played by Dylan on his radio show a while back.
posted by TedW at 3:31 PM on June 9, 2007


Definitely "Yeah, Oh Yeah" by the Magnetic Fields.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 5:34 PM on June 9, 2007


It's not a divorce song per se, but Erykag Badu's Tyrone would probably be a good fit.
posted by metabrilliant at 6:12 PM on June 9, 2007


Erykah
posted by metabrilliant at 6:13 PM on June 9, 2007


The album Here, My Dear by Marvin Gaye is an incredible divorce record. There are some great individual songs on it too.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:22 PM on June 9, 2007


Andy Partridge of XTC wrote a divorce song called "Your Dictionary" for catharsis when he separated with his wife. When his bandmates and manager heard it they demanded that he put it on their next album (Apple Venus Vol. 1). He grudgingly complied, but now he regrets doing so. It's very bitter -- childishly so -- but knowing the backstory really makes it personal and heartbreaking.

The last few lines make it clear that it's a divorce song, not a generic break-up song. It's about as far from a hair band song as you can get, though. More like Ben Folds Five.
posted by painquale at 7:51 PM on June 9, 2007


Ode to Divorce, by Regina Spektor.
posted by the Real Dan at 7:54 PM on June 9, 2007


Fiona Apple wrote "Extraordinary Machine" after the Paul Thomas Anderson split, so almost every track is perfect.

Tymps "Either I'm so sick in the head I need to be bled dry to quit, or just really used to love him. I sure hope that's it." was the song I liked when I was doing the courthouse shuffle, but the title track is a slightly more positive tack.
posted by Gucky at 8:42 PM on June 9, 2007


I'm so happy I can't stop crying by Sting. A little bit country, but a great song.
posted by pmbuko at 10:27 PM on June 9, 2007


Seconding the Mark Chesnutt "Goin' Through the Big D" recommendation above if what you want is a celebratory ode:

I'm goin' through the big-d and don't mean Dallas
I can't believe what the judge had to tell us,
I got the Jeep, she got the
Two bedroom, mortgage is due siding light blue palace
I'm going through the big-d and don't mean Dallas

posted by spitbull at 4:57 AM on June 10, 2007


A little bit country, but a great song.

Hey! Are those supposed to be contradictory qualities? Dude wants a song about *divorce.* No genre has explored the intimate intricacies of the subject better than country. Divorce songs are practically a subgenre.

Or as someone once said, Metafilter: Your Favorite Genre of Music Still Sucks.

So, in that spirit, how about Bobby Bare's "She Got the Gold Mine (I Got the Shaft?)"
posted by spitbull at 5:00 AM on June 10, 2007


Lots of the suggestions in this thread will work. Here are a few from there:

Nine Inch Nails has a few that might fit ("Up Above It", "Ringfinger", "Head Like A Hole")

Harry Manx's version of "Sittin' On Top Of The World" ("Now she's gone but I don't worry. I'm sittin' on top of the world.")

Tom Petty "Love Is A Long Road" and/or "I Won't Back Down"

Rock anthems written by Desmond Child:
"You Give Love A Bad Name" by Bon Jovi
"I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett
"I Love Myself Today" by Bif Naked (I've wondered if this was a deliberate follow-up to the Joan Jett song. In any case it's fun and positive and really rocks -- just what you're looking for)

"Little Bird" by Annie Lennox (Utah Saints remix)

"50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" Paul Simon
posted by winston at 11:51 AM on June 10, 2007


Some great suggestions, thanks. I can't believe I missed "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying". I may have not gotten my point across well in my initial question - my friend is celebrating the divorce, but I know as a general rule the songs I'll be putting on the CD won't be so upbeat. Divorce in general isn't a celebratory time.

In any case, thanks, hive! Everything here is gold.
posted by ScarletSpectrum at 6:45 PM on June 10, 2007


I should also add George Jones' Memories of Us, his divorce album. Great, great music by one of my all-time favorite country stylists.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:43 PM on June 10, 2007


Oh, man! Piss Up a Rope, by Ween!

It's not stated that they were married, though they did at least cohabitate. It's a spectacular country break-up song, albeit from the guy's perspective.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:29 PM on June 12, 2007


Someone mentioned No Children above, but the whole of Tallahassee by The Mountain Goats is a great album about the bittersweet world of a divorce.
posted by OmieWise at 7:46 AM on June 14, 2007


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