2010 might have been the Year Of Living Gingerly, but 2011 seems to be The Year Of Living With Finality. We are coming to the second week of January and I have never had so many friends- male and female- singing, “Let’s call the whole thing off.”

It’s not so much emotional turmoil and being drama queens, but it’s all about The Fat Lady having sung and a sense of being Comfortably Numb but minus the Prozac, Mogadon or Valium.

Being in music and having grown up with and grown up to music, songs become diaries and commentaries on these breakups- not break-ups after 2-3 months, but breakups where both sides have sacrificed years to make things work. And failed miserably.

Of course, here, the thinking process begins along with the insecurity: When did it really end? Was I in a relationship when it had really ended? Were we caught up in the notion of being in love? Was I a stupid ass who gave too much and received token gestures?

Anger, sadness, bitterness, disappointment, they all become weirdly intertwined and our brain patterns probably resemble a railway track heading off in all directions except the right one. But, maybe, disappointment is the one common denominator- and the constant flow of questions: Didn’t I see this coming? Don’t they have a history of non-commitment? Didn’t you last longer than his/her last relationship? Are we now into who gave more to the relationship and who took less?

Even if a poet or songwriter, one finds some refuge and solace in a song.

A song says everything you cannot put into words. It’s like having that dinner together and knowing it’s The Final Supper and that all the words have been said before and there’s nothing more to say other than, “Check, please, and put that, that and that into a doggie bag” so you can get the hell outta there, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and look for someone to slow dance with as misery loves company.

So, what are your favourite Adios “Huxley” songs?

Which songs make grown men and women get down on their knees and wonder what the hell went wrong? And where and why and for how long both parties might have been living a lie?

For me, the most obvious breakup song is, what else, “It’s Over” by Roy Orbison and The Big O’s “Crying”. It’s all there- in the words, in the delivery and in that truly incredible voice, all of which would fit neatly into any David Lynch film.

With those shades, dressed in black and that jet black hair, Roy Orbison could have fit into a Lynchian view of the world: Evil behind the white picket fences and that “candy-coloured clown they called the Snow Man”.

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Of course, Dylan had his “weak” moments when commenting on the fickleness of love, but what he said so well was how glad he was to have got rid of “her”. And he did it with such great ambiguity which could be taken by those with a rhino skin as some back-handed compliment: “I wish just for one time you could stand inside my shoes/And if for just that moment/I could be you/You’d know what a drag it is to see you”.

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There are the beautiful Goodbye songs but which miss that f*** off edge, but these are almost too beautiful. On the surface they sounds like paeans to love as opposed to be pains of love gone horribly wrong: So many by James Taylor, JD Souther, Jackson Browne, Henley, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, nearly every song written by Jimmy Webb and then there is the finality of Bcharach and David’s “Walk On By” and the Walker Brothers’ version of “Make It Easy On Yourself.”

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The funny/ironic thing is being able to walk off with dignity with no silly head games and to rise above it all and believe that it wasn’t just the Eagles singing “Wasted Time”, but love having played out its welcome and the time it was “allocated” by a power much greater than us.

And for this,there is the perfect f*** off song to close that chapter, think of all the loves in your life as your mind wanders through Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park” and opens another new one and allows love to walk in again:

 

 

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