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Ten Divorce Songs

April 16, 2009  |  7:00am
Ten Divorce Songs

So Mel Gibson is getting divorced, and it could be the most expensive in Hollywood history. The event got us thinking about divorce songs. Divorce is usually a bummer, but it’s inspired some great music.

1. “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” Tammy Wynette

A classic-country tearjerker about spelling out the bad word so the kids won’t understand.

2. “She Got The Goldmine, I Got The Shaft” Jerry Reed

Another country song, this time from a man’s perspective—Reed’s sarcastic delivery should lighten the mood.

3. “Ode To Divorce” Regina Spektor

This one’s about a miserable divorcee. She sees her ex kiss another woman—watching from inside his mouth (a dramatic effect that only Spektor could pull off).

4. “Don’t Renege On Our Love” Richard and Linda Thompson

This album was recorded while Linda was pregnant—and released as the Thompsons’ marriage was coming to an end.

5. “Guess I’m Doing Fine” Beck

Though it’s not technically about divorce, this beauty should appear on any breakup-related playlist.

6. “Wedding Day” Rosie Thomas

Comparing the freedom of leaving to the wedding day—ouch.

7. “Jezebel” 10,000 Maniacs

“Before I say that the vows we made weigh like a stone in my heart / Family is family, don’t let this tear us apart”—and it only gets sadder from there.

8. “Grounds For Divorce” Wolf Parade

This one seems to be about the tedious arguments partners have—and how they eventually take a toll.

9. “Album Of The Year” The Good Life

I threw in a so-emo breakup song for good measure. It ends with packed boxes and a woman dividing up the record collection.

10. “The Grand Tour” George Jones

A man walks around the house after his wife left him and points out the bed, her clothes and the nursery, remembering their life together along the way. When I first heard the song, I got a little teary at this part: “As you leave you’ll see the nursery / Oh she left me without mercy / Taking nothing but our baby and my heart.” Wow.

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