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Swinging single?

Music can mitigate those Valentine's Day moods

Web posted on:
Friday, February 05, 1999 12:17:40 PM EST

  • Check out's Valentine's Day Special

    From Donna Freydkin
    Special to CNN Interactive

    (CNN) -- To say that being single on Valentine's Day is merely disheartening is to call the Spice Girls subtle. Singles are duly sidelined every year on the lovefest to end all lovefests, but it behooves those doomed to ring in February 14 with only their dogs and televisions for company to keep in mind that "cupid" rhymes with "stupid."

    Fortunately, lots of bands share those sentiments. For the lovesick, lovelorn and loveless, music can provide a reprieve from the syrupy greeting cards, saccharine candy boxes and cuddly pink stuffed animals that glut all retail outlets through mid-February. After all, all cynics know that Valentine's Day was concocted by greeting card, candy and toy manufacturers to drum up some cash in the post-Christmas lag.

    A good song won't resurrect your significant other or miraculously conjure up a new one, but it can sure help you avoid being derailed by dejection. So, ditch the overblown odes of love goddesses Mariah, Whitney and Celine in favor of a whole slew of songs for the distressed, depressed and unforgiving.

    If you happen to get dumped in the general vicinity of Valentine's Day, or are the one doing the dumping (for shame!), music can help you laugh, cry and shove.

    Adam Sandler
    • Adam Sandler, "Somebody Kill Me": Anyone can relate to Sandler's agony, showcased on the retro-soundtrack to 1998's "The Wedding Singer." He's sad, he's mad and he says it better than most.
    • Aerosmith, "Cryin'": Aerosmith's 1993 radio-ready power pop ballad has Steven Tyler cryin' over a lost beloved, tryin' to forget her and wallowing in the sweet misery of her love.
    • Ben Folds Five, "Song for the Dumped": Piano popster Ben Folds lashes out at his ex on this 1997 sharp, smug and very sour little ditty.
    • Madonna, "Love Don't Live Here Anymore": Miss Ciccone's sober ballad from 1984's colossal "Like a Virgin" is one of her lesser-known but most heartfelt wails of abandonment.
    • No Doubt, "Don't Speak": On her band's 1995 debut "Tragic Kingdom," singer Gwen Stefani is about to be disposed of, and she knows it. So do you, on the band's simple, sweet new-wave pop ballad.
    • Prince, "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?": Back in '79, way before he became The Artist, Prince released a wonderfully soulful plea that echoes the bewilderment of the brokenhearted.
    • Sinéad O'Connor, "Nothing Compares 2 U": The Irish singer's 1990 fervent, Prince-penned eulogy for her lost lover drips with enough grief to make your own shrivel in comparison. Keep the Kleenex handy.

    So you've gotten past the weeping, whining and wallowing. You're ready to hit the town and search for a new love. And here are some tunes to get you going.

    Romantically linked:
    It's a shockwave game.
    One sweet quiz:
    What do you know about the holiday?
    *4.0 or newer browsers
    Cooking with Cupid
    Couch potatoes in love
    Check your scent sense:
    smell this quiz
    more, more, amour!
    • Garbage, "Special": Swaggering mouthpiece Shirley Manson tells it like it is on this shiny, techno pop gem that finds her blowing off an ex-love and refusing to take him back.
    • J. Geils Band, "Love Stinks": Amen, brother. Who could disagree with this '80s mainstay's shrewd, poignant and very catchy observation?
    • Janet Jackson, "What Have You Done for Me Lately?": Miz Jackson dumps some dead emotional weight and throws her own weight around on this 1986 affirmation of her independence and authority.
    • NWA, "Bitch Iz a Bitch": 'Nuff said from the lyrical masters of gangsta rap.
    • Stevie Nicks, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around": Nicks' 1981 rootsy duet with Tom Petty is an earthy, classic effort to straighten out her man and relationship.
    • The Cars, "Drive": You're single, and now what? In 1984, Benjamin Orr couldn't go on, thinking that nothing's wrong, and wondered who, indeed, would drive her home, tonight. A perfectly sound, practical question.
    • The Murmurs, "You Suck": Quite possibly one of the cutest pop concoctions you probably never heard of, this New York duo's 1994 fluffy alternative radio hit lashes out at the guys who paralyzed their lives.

    Get over it already, and consider yourself lucky this year to not be forcing down those acrid, nasty little candy hearts and actually pretending to like them. And now, some tales of bittersweet revenge.

      Liz Phair
    • Dead Milkmen, "If You Love Somebody, Set Them On Fire": Burn, baby, burn. The Milkmen spotlight their sick sense of humor on this 1990 adaptation of Sting's similarly titled hit.
    • Dead or Alive, "Brand New Lover": Britain's bizarro gender-bending boys resoundingly moved on with this zippy disco-flavored dance tune from 1987.
    • Eurythmics, "Thorn in My Side": Even once you've moved on, your ex will be like that proverbial substance stuck to the bottom of your shoe, as Annie Lennox declared on the Eurythmics' sophisticated, slinky 1986 release.
    • Guns N'Roses, "I Used to Love Her (But I had to Kill Her)": G N'R lead singer W. Axl Rose offers this 1989 acoustic country-fried, tongue-in-cheek suggestion on removing a tired dalliance that drove him nuts.
    • James Brown, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag": The Godfather of Soul found himself a new bag on this gospel-flavored, frenzied 1965 release.
    • Liz Phair, "F--k and Run": You fill in the blanks. Phair didn't mince words when she flayed certain men on her phenomenal 1993 debut, "Exile in Guyville."
    • Motley Crue, "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)": The amusing 1989 release finds the glam gods of Motley Crue thrashing stale lovers and musty relationships.

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