Valentine’s Day brings out the best and the worst in people. The romantic become extra-gushy, and the cynics turn even more vile. I would classify myself as a cynic, proudly. I’m not a big fan of over-the-top cheesy love. But I do love music.
So I threw together some songs for Cupid’s holiday. Being a cynic, they are all terribly lonely and depressing. I consider it the cure for the Valentine’s Day hangover, that feeling one gets after a day full of candy and cheesy love. Because if you are lonely and currently sobbing into a pillow while watching a sad romance film, this will save you from the bad acting and assist in the crying-yourself-to-sleep process. And if you are one of those lovestruck fools, these songs will bring you back down to Earth.
Harry Nilsson- One: “One” is probably the most famous song for the lonely. Harry Nilsson wrote it while trying to call someone and only getting the busy signal. That tone became the opening notes in the song, making “One” sound even lonelier.
Otis Redding- I’ve Been Loving You Too Long: Otis is the king of Soul, and he’ll make your heart melt.
Tom Waits- Blue Valentine: Tom Waits runs from the bad memories of love in this song.
J. Geil’s Band- Love Stinks: Personally, I prefer Adam Sandler’s version from the movie The Wedding Singer. It’s the perfect song to sing when you’re in the anti-love mood.
Roy Orbison- Only The Lonely: Orbison’s beautiful voice makes this song tender.
Bruce Springsteen- Ain’t Good Enough For You: The Boss’s attitude really comes through on this song, as he comes to terms with not being good enough for his lover.
Vanilla Fudge- You Keep Me Hangin’ On: It’s not the original, The Supremes get credit for that. But Vanilla Fudge’s psychedelic take on the Motown classic is a must listen for any lonely soul.
Gram Parsons- Love Hurts: Simple, humble and honest; Gram Parson’s signature style delivers a sad account of his broken heart.
Frank Sinatra- In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning: Even Sinatra went through heartbreak. The sweet symphony matches his voice, and it’s easy to imagine Ol’ Blue Eyes tearing up as he sings.
The Beatles- Yesterday: Regret is something we all relate to. Sometimes it helps to look back on the better times.
Elvis Presley- Heartbreak Hotel: The King’s voice carries the grit of a real blues singer in this classic rock and roll tune.
Patsy Cline- Three Cigarettes in an Ash Tray: Almost any Patsy Cline song can bring you to tears, but something about this song places it above the rest on the lonely scale. I recommend playing it from the other room. It makes the song sound even more desolate and sad.
Neil Young- Only Love Can Break Your Heart: The song is simple, but Neil Young focused on the small details. It’s matter-of-fact lyrics will put you in your place.