Heartbreak Hits: Top 30 Breakup Songs
Not everyone equates Valentine's Day with red hearts and roses. For those that have not found cupid to be so kind, February 14 can be a reminder that sometimes, love really can suck. This fact has not been lost on pop musicians; for every whimsical song about love's dizzying highs, there's a woeful tune referencing its heartbreaking lows.
These are the 30 biggest heartbreak songs ever recorded. Ranked by their performance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, each song is included based on its lyrical content. Every song celebrates the darker side of love: heartaches, breakups, lying, cheating, unhealthy obsessions and general relationship dysfunction. Crank up your computer and get ready for a good cry.
"Love The Way You Lie" (2010) Eminem feat. Rihanna
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "Just gonna stand there and watch me burn? / That's alright because I like the way it hurts / Just gonna stand there and hear me cry? That's alright because I love the way you lie."
"Cathy's Clown" (1960) The Everly Brothers
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "When you see me shed a tear and you know that it's sincere / Dont you think it's kinda sad that you're treating me so bad? / Or don't you even care?"
"Need You Now" (2009) Lady Antebellum
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "Another shot of whiskey can't stop looking at the door / wishing you'd come sweeping in the way you did before. / And I wonder if I ever cross your mind. / For me it happens all the time."
"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" (1958) The Platters
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: Now laughing friends deride / tears I can not hide / Oh, so I smile and say / When a lovely flame dies / smoke gets in your eyes."
"It Must Have Been Love" (1990) Roxette
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: It must have been love, but it's over now. / It must have been good, but I lost it somehow / It must have been love, but it's over now. / From the moment we touched till the time had run out."
"Love Takes Time" (1990) Mariah Carey
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "Couldn't see that I was blind to let you go? / I can't escape the pain inside / Cause love takes time / I don't wanna be here, I don't wanna be here alone."
"Big Girls Don't Cry" (1962) The 4 Seasons
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "(Silly girl) 'Shame on You, you're crying in bed? / (Silly girl) 'Shame on you, you told me lies!' Big girls do cry."
"Maggie May" (1971) Rod Stewart
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "I know I keep you amused but I feel I'm being used. / Oh Maggie, I couldn't have tried anymore. / You lured me away from home just to save you from being alone / You stole my heart and that's what really hurt."
"Careless Whisper" (1985) Wham! Feat. George Michael
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "I should have known better than to cheat a friend / and waste a chance that I've been given. / So I'm never gonna dance again / the way I danced with you."
"Total Eclipse of the Heart" (1983) Bonnie Tyler
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "Once upon a time I was falling in love. / Now I'm only falling apart. / There's nothing I can do / total eclipse of the heart."
"Irreplaceable" (2006) Beyonce
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "So since I'm not your everything (irreplaceable) / How about I'll be nothing? / Nothing at all to you. / Baby I won't shed a tear for you / I won't lose a wink of sleep / Cause the truth of the matter is / replacing you is so easy"
"I'm Sorry" (1960) Brenda Lee
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "I'm sorry, so sorry / that I was such a fool. / I didn't know / love could be so cruel. / ¨Oh, uh-oh. Oh, yes"
"Burn" (2004) Usher
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "Think it's best we go our separate ways. / Tell me why I should stay in this relationship / when I'm hurting baby, I ain't happy baby? / Plus theres so many other things I gotta deal with. / I think that you should let it burn."
"Alone Again (Naturally)" (1972) Gilbert O'Sullivan
Most Heart Breaking Lyric: "When you're shattered / left standing in the lurch at a church / Were people saying, 'My God, that's tough / She stood him up. / No point in us remaining. / We may as well go home' / As I did on my own / Alone again, naturally."
"Nobody Knows" (1995) The Tony Rich Project
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "I carry a smile when I'm broken in two. / And I'm nobody without someone like you. / I'm trembling at night and nobody knows it but me."
"Foolish" (2002) Ashanti
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "Baby why you hurt me leave me and desert me? / Boy, I gave you all my heart and all you do is tear it up."
"I Will Survive" (1978) Gloria Gaynor
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "It took all the strength I had not to fall apart. / Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart. / And I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself. / I used to cry / now I hold my head up high."
"Big Girls Don't Cry" (2007) Fergie
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "The path that I'm walkin' I must go alone. / I must take the baby steps 'til I'm full grown, full grown. / Fairy tales don't always have a happy ending, do they? / And I foresee the dark ahead if I stay."
"Nothing Compares 2 U" (1990) Sinead O'Connor
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "It's been so lonely without you here / Like a bird without a song. / Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling. / Tell me baby, where did I go wrong?"
"You're So Vain" (1972) Carly Simon
Most Heart Breaking Lyric: "You said that we made such a pretty pair / and that you would never leave. / But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me."
"I Will Always Love You" (1992) Whitney Houston
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "Bittersweet memories / that is all I'm taking with me. / So goodbye. Please don't cry. / We both know I'm not what you need."
"I Heard It Through The Grapevine" (1968) Marvin Gaye
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "I know that a man ain't supposed to cry, but these tears I can't hold inside. / Losing you would end my life you see, cause you mean that much to me."
"The Sign" (1993) Ace Of Base
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "How can a person like me care for you? / Why do I bother when you're not the one for me? / Is enough enough?"
"Apologize" (2006) Timbaland feat. OneRepublic
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "You tell me that you need me then you go and cut me down. / But wait, you tell me that you're sorry. / Didn't think I'd turn around and say / that it's too late to apologize. It's too late."
"Rolling In The Deep" (2010) Adele
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "We could have had it all, / rolling in the deep. / You had my heart inside of your hand / and you played it to the beat."
"End Of The Road" (1992) Boyz II Men
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "When I can't sleep at night without holding you tight. / Girl, each time I try I just break down and cry. / Pain in my head. Oh, I'd rather be dead, / spinning around and around."
"Every Breath You Take" (1983) The Police
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "Since you've gone I've been lost without a trace. / I dream at night, I can only see your face. / I look around but it's you I can't replace."
"Foolish Games" (1997) Jewel
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "These foolish games are tearing me apart. / And your thoughtless words are breaking my heart. / You're breaking my heart."
"Un-Break My Heart" (1996) Toni Braxton
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "Un-break my heart. / Say you'll love me again. / Undo this hurt you caused when you walked out the door / and walked out of my life."
"We Belong Together" (2005) Mariah Carey
Most Heartbreaking Lyric: "The pain reflected in this song ain't even half of what I'm feeling inside. / I need you, need you back in my life, baby. / We belong together."