Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Story Songs: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

It's not very often a singer can record an uptempo song and take it to No. 1, then turn around 13 years later and see it reach No. 8 on the charts as a ballad. 

Neil Sedaka, one of the great singer/songwriters in pop music, did just that with "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," in 1962 and 1975. 

I grew up listening to Sedaka's songs, from "The Diary" to "Calendar Girl" to "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen" to "Laughter in the Rain." 

But I thought one of his most expressive songs, written with Howard Greenfield, was "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do."  Those who've been in relationships, and left with a broken heart, know how painful it can be. So much, that you want to avoid it if at all possible.

So the song begins:

"Don't take your love away from me
Don't you leave my heart in misery
If you go then I'll be blue
'Cause breaking up is hard to do"

And later we hear:

"I beg of you, don't say goodbye
Can't we give our love another try
Come on baby, let's start anew
'Cause breaking up is hard to do"

And in the chorus:

"Don't say that this is the end
Instead of breaking up I wish that we were making up again"

I suppose most of us survive those breakups, and perhaps after some reflection, realize it was for the best. But it still hurts.

As for the Sedaka's bittersweet love song, I prefer the slow version because it comes across with so much sincerity. 

"Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" lyrics

Uptempo version:

Slow version:

Until the next time...


  1. Breaking up might be hard to do, but sometimes it’s also the right thing to do.

    Here are 10 excellent reasons to break up:

    1. You know the relationship has no long-term potential. After dating for a while, if you realize that the relationship will eventually run its course, ending it is likely the best thing for both of you. You want to find someone who will be in it for the long haul.

    2. The relationship has run its course. Maybe you didn’t get out early enough. Get out now. When the relationship feels over, let it be over. Don’t cling to it just because you’ve wasted so much time on it already.

    3. You’ve been hurt physically or emotionally. Some damage can’t be undone. Staying in an abusive relationship will only deepen those wounds with time, it won’t heal them. Seek professional help if you’re not sure how to leave.

    4. You’ve been cheated on, or you’ve cheated. Rarely can dating relationships rebound from infidelity. Let him/her go.

    5. Someone else is on your mind. Do. Not. Cheat. If you’re constantly wishing your significant other was someone else — or that you could date other people — take the high road and end the relationship before things get messy.

    6. Everyone else is rallying against the relationship. If your friends and family — people who are generally trustworthy and supportive — hate your relationship, listen to them. Sometimes outsiders have better perspectives of an unhealthy relationship than those in it.

    7. Your values don’t align. Sure, you both like Thai food, reggae and Christopher Nolan films. But if all you have in common is the little stuff, the relationship is going to be stunted. If you know that you don’t agree on things like family, faith and finances, it’s okay to end things amicably so that you can both find people who have similar priorities.

    8. You’re not happy — and haven’t been for a very long time. Every relationship has its ups and downs. But if you can’t remember the last time either of you laughed or had a great time together, assess the health of your relationship. Are you staying because you want to? Or just because you’re stubborn?

    9. You feel uneasy about the relationship. If you’re constantly trying to convince yourself to stay, maybe you shouldn’t. Trust your intuition.

    10. You’re not growing together. Neither of you are at your best when you’re together. There’s no personal growth, you don’t feel good about yourself when you’re with your significant other and you’re no longer thriving. A healthy relationship brings out the best in both partners.


  2. Great points. I hope people would consider them all but I fear that a lot of folks simply make spontaneous decisions without giving those things much thought, and regretting it later.