BSR Web Staff: Best Breakup Song And Best Love Song

Written by on February 13, 2020

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This year in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the BSR Web Staff decided to write about their favorite breakup song, and their favorite love song.

Rory Larrison

Best Love Song – “Your Song” by Elton John

Finding the best love song is like trying to find the best star in the sky– there’s so many of them in our seemingly infinite existence that it’s nearly impossible to narrow it down. Well, don’t worry! Through a series of scientific experiments and data analysis, I have come to the conclusion that “Your Song” by Elton John is objectively the greatest love song of all time. And by scientific experiments and data analysis, I mean that I just like it the best.

The simplicity of the song allows us to focus on what’s important: The lyrics, which are written in such a way that they address us as an audience. That’s what makes it so special. “Your Song” isn’t written about some idealized, unattainable concept of a person– even Elton John admits to not knowing who the song is truly about. It captures a pure, true sense of the giddiness and disbelief that are associated with love, and with the anonymity of the song’s inspiration, it’s easy for the listener to enter into their own world in which “Your Song” is about them… and isn’t that really what we all dream of?

Best Breakup Song – “Chiquitita” by ABBA

This one is for all of my ladies out there. Whether or not you’ve seen “Mamma Mia” is irrelevant (but seriously, if you haven’t, I’m going to be upset). The perspective of the song comes from caring friends rather than a lover, making it much more compassionate and optimistic than other breakup songs. People place too much emphasis on dealing with the pain of heartbreak in solitude, and a reminder that your friends will always be there for you to help get you back on your feet is comforting. When listening, you really feel like you’re crying on Agnetha and Anni-Frid’s shoulders while they pat your head and dry your tears, which is something we all just need now and then.


Brittany Miller

Best Love Song- ”Animal Spirits” by Vulfpeck

“Animal Spirits” by Vulfpeck takes everything that we think a love song should be and flips it onto its head. It’s not a ballad with a pianist plucking away softly at ivory keys. It’s a group of friends forming a rotating lineup who make obscure lyrical references with a bouncing guitar and a driving bass.

It’s not even about a couple! Theo Katzman sings about a love story that is about to happen, featuring a hyper-rational guy and an astrology-loving girl who happens to have sixteen mutual friends. When you’re listening, you don’t really process it as a love song until you read the lyrics because it sounds so different from the love songs that are expected from artists. If you’re like me and aren’t much of a person for romance and sappy ballads, give “Animal Spirits” by Vulfpeck a try this Valentine’s Day.


Best Breakup Song- ”Night Shift” by Lucy Dacus

If you’re looking for a song to cry to in your bathtub this weekend, boy do I have good news for you. “Night Shift” by Lucy Dacus isn’t a song about the breakup, but the aftermath of the breakup itself. The only instrument that accompanies Dacus’s melancholic and beautiful voice is the soft strumming of her acoustic guitar until the bridge kicks up to the climax with a wailing, overdriven electric guitar. Dacus tells the story of how after leaving a long-term relationship, she’s trying to restructure her life around never seeing her ex again all while doubting her readiness to be in another relationship.

Told you this one hurts!


Kayla Ann Mullins

Best Love Song – “Head Over Feet” by Alanis Morissette

“Head Over Feet” by Alanis Morissette is a song for soulmates. The original song itself is stunning. The song has a very happy, upbeat feeling. It’s perfect for dancing to.

In fact, the song itself makes you think of dancing in your pajamas with your partner. Beyond that, the version of the song that was written for the Alanis Morissette jukebox musical, Jagged Little Pill, is a duet. The song is a conversation between a couple who are so deeply in love, it’s amazing. Also, “Head Over Feet” popularized the term ‘friends with benefits’ which doesn’t make it a better love song, that’s just a fun fact.

Best Breakup Song – “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morisette

Again, the winner is by Alanis Morisette. And not because I absolutely love Alanis Morisette, she just happens to write really good love songs. “You Oughta Know” manages to evoke every feeling one can have after a breakup. The lyrics are petty, heartbroken, insulted, still in love, wishing the one you loved the best, but also still being so utterly angry with them. The singer wants their lover to still end up happy, but she’s also so mad that she’s been left behind. Whatever you are dealing with after your break-up, “You Oughta Know” will help you cry, rage, laugh, or scream all of those emotions.


Kelsey Paulus

Best Love Song – “Warm” by Dre’es ft. Mia

The woozy tones and smooth beats in “Warm” are reminiscent of the feelings one may experience when falling in love. Holding hands, feeling something new and many other clichés are found in the lyrics of the song, making the emotions of love seem real and valid in song format. One of the best ideas to associate with this song is the feeling of you, and a lover being the only ones in the room with the lyric “World ain’t nothin’ if we both ain’t in it.” 

Best Breakup Song – “GONE GONE / THANK YOU” by Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, The Creator’s “IGOR” is one of the best breakup albums thus far. It tells the story of falling in and out of love and every feeling in between. “GONE GONE / THANK YOU” is a song that takes time to reflect upon a failed relationship and being grateful for the times spent in love with another person. Although the song is upbeat, the message behind it is rather somber. It shows that rather than draining yourself being sad over something that didn’t work out, you should be happy that you got to experience great times with someone you loved at one point. 


Khiara McCarroll 

Best Love song – “Acolyte” by Slaughter Beach, Dog 

Listening to this song feels like being in love. It’s melodic, cute, and it makes me feel warm inside listening to it. The song is about knowing you want to spend the rest of your life with a person and being so sure of that when you look at them. 

Best Breakup song – “Ruined” by Speak Low If You Speak Love 

The lyrics “You ruined me, and I ruined you” get me every time. The song is about thinking of what could’ve been with you and your partner if they didn’t just get up and leave you. Reminiscing on the good times you had together. this song embodies all of the feelings of a breakup to me.  


Tanisha Thomas

Best Love Song – “Love Me Right” by Amber Mark.

Ever since I found this song on Spotify last year, I have not stopped listening to it. Mark does a phenomenal job of illustrating what it is like to date these days, and oof do my feelings come out when I listen to this song. Mark talks about a relationship that obviously brings butterflies to her stomach but also frustration because she feels like she is putting more effort into the relationship than her significant other who can’t seem to grasp the fact she is unhappy.

When Mark asks, “Or is it just me? Am I not what you want? ‘Cause if that’s the case baby, why lead me on?” That struck a chord in me because I have been in that situation far too often with guys, and dating is far more complicated than I thought it would be. 

Mark did an excellent job describing the reality of love at times.


Best Break-Up Song – “Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5

This was a hard one to narrow down, but lately I have been jamming to “Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5 again. When I was younger, I always thought it was a happy upbeat song because of the 80s inspired production, and the lively-colored music video they released. However, recently I figured out this song is about a failing relationship, and Adam Levine is fed up.


When Levine sings the iconic line “I still don’t have a reason / And you don’t have the time / And it really makes me wonder if I ever gave a f*** about you,” I feel it every time. This song captures the perfect response to being done with trying to make a relationship work and knowing it’s time to give it up. This song is super underrated, and I wish it was regarded as one of Maroon 5’s best songs because it is a gem and the upbeat tempo, yet aggressive lyrics are the perfect combo to empower you during those hard times of love.

Nolan Shumate

Best Love Song- “Hannah Hunt” by Vampire Weekend

This might be cheating. Hannah Hunt could just as easily be a break-up song depending on how you hear it. It certainly tells the story of a relationship, but it’s kind of split down the middle as to whether it’s a successful relationship or not. Even if you do believe it is a break-up song, I feel as if it’s one of desperation rather than animosity.

Maybe it’s just me, but there are few songs where I can so vividly picture characters, and their arcs. Hannah Hunt is a story start to finish. It’s a story of love, separation and fallout.

It’s a story held together by a thread of humanity unparalleled by other songs. I don’t know how to put it other than saying that it feels like real people doing real stuff. They’re countless love songs in the world, and the only thing that you can hope is to find one that you like. Love songs hold up to time better than most, so if you do find one, hold on to it. Maybe it’ll come true some day. Plus, how can anybody deny that piano break down before the final verse?! I mean, c’mon!


Best Break-Up Song- “Self Control” by Frank Ocean

Please help. It is so sad. 


Brandon Lewis

Best Love Song- “Love Ain’t” by Eli Young Band

This top country song talks about what true love is, hence the name of the title. Eli Young Band describes in perfect fashion what love is.

“Love ain’t you on a sidewalk with your new dress all alone,

Love ain’t you calling me ‘cause he ain’t picking up his phone 

The way you’re talking sounds like somebody you should hate,

I may not know what love is girl, but I know what love ain’t”.

This song defines love for me. If you are not happy with your relationship in any capacity, he or she is probably not the one for you. All the time in life, we see and hear people talk bad about their significant other behind their back, and that is not love. Love should be unconditional, and in the end that is Young Band’s message through this song.


Best Breakup Song- “What If I Never Get Over You” by Lady Antebellum

Country music is not just music about trucks and beers readers. Country music defines who I am. Country music helps me cope, and country music can help you handle any life problem.

Whether it’s depression, excitement, football, love songs or even break up songs, country music does it better than any other genre in my opinion. Lady Antebellum’s What If I Never Get Over You” is one of the songs I listen to every night before I fall asleep. The song is about somebody dating somebody for a long time, breaking up with them, finding new love, but then still not quite over that first person they dated for so long. I feel like the song can relate to many people across the world in so many ways.

Now, from my first hand experience, I don’t know the feeling of loving a partner because I have not had one real date yet, but I use this song when I think of my friends. In high school, I was what some people would call “nerdy” or unpopular. I had three friends, and we were all the ones that people did not want to take to prom or anything like that. After high school, two of those friends disappeared, and I haven’t heard from them since. Sometimes at night when I’m alone, I think about those friends. I wonder if I will ever see them again. 

When you know somebody so well, and then they just unexpectedly leave your life, you wonder what your life would be currently if they were in it, and that’s what Antebellum expresses in this song. The song has been a No. 1 on WGAR’s Top 30 for 2 out of the last three weeks. 


Reegan Saunders

For this collab piece we were asked to name our favorite love song, and our favorite breakup song. Decidedly, I wanted to declare the Arctic Monkeys as the experts on love and love songs. Alex Turner’s smooth, dynamic voice combined with the poetic masterpiece of their lyrics paints the listener a picture of watching a lovesick man serenade a bar full of people.

However, I have now realized that my entire perspective on their music is wrong. Originally, I chose to write about “Baby I’m Yours”, my favorite song to come from Alex’s lips. As I was examining the lyrics, I found that this song was written by Van McCoy for Michigan native Barbara Lewis in 1965 and reached the No. 1 spot in Detroit.  I was excited to learn that the song was a collaboration between two African Americans in the music industry.

“Baby I’m Yours” is one of those typical songs about an endless love. It’s about the solidarity of love. 

“Baby I’m yours

And I’ll be yours until the sun no longer shines

Yours until the poets run out of rhyme

In other words, until the end of time

I’m gonna stay right here by your side”

There is something so breathtaking about a song that is so simple in nature that it could seemingly be written by anyone. 

 Today, my love for Arctic Monkeys love songs died a little but from the ashes, something else has been born.

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