Most people think about relationships or death when someone mentions losing. Sometimes it’s worse to lose, faith, integrity, or a personal battle. Loss can also be positive, losing a toxic relationship, or behavior that stops you from growing. These are 10 songs that deal with common losses we face.
10. Stay With Me – Sam Smith
Why am I so emotional?
No, it’s not a good look; gain some self-control
And deep down, I know this never works
This song is an inner monologue about giving up negative behaviors that he realizes he needs to lose to have a joyous life. He sings about numbing himself with one-night stands. Despite knowing how toxic they are, he is having a hard time letting them go.
9. Hurt – Nine Inch Nails
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
Depression and losing the battle to an altered self is something you can lose without a choice. Reznor’s sad Song chronicles the depth and hell that mental illness can bring someone. Even if we try to control our depression, we can lose because it’s a dark demon.
8. Halo – Beyonce
Remember those walls I built
Well, baby, they’re tumbling down
And they didn’t even put up a fight
They didn’t even make a sound
When we have lost ourselves and been scarred in a relationship, putting up healthy boundaries is the best way to keep being hurt. The woman can’t help herself in this Song when she lets go of everything she thought she needed to fall again.
7. Not An Addict – K’s Choice
The deeper you stick it in your vein
The deeper the thoughts, there’s no more pain
I’m in heaven I’m a god
Too many times, losing the addiction ballad is losing your life. This Song is a dark tome about intervenous drug use and how you can lose yourself in your addiction before you know what’s happening.
6. White Flag – Dido
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be
I will go down with this ship
Codependent relationships are ones where we give up every bit of ourselves to keep the person we’re with satiated. This song speaks to the core of that toxicity. The woman refuses to give up even that the very end on someone who should be a loss. Instead, she decides losing herself will save her from the hurt she’ll feel walking away.
5. The Freshman – Verve Pipe
For the life of me, I cannot remember
What made us think that we were wise and we’d never compromise
For the life of me, I cannot believe we’d ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen
Growing up and experiencing more of the world means that we shed rose-colored glasses of childhood. “This song was based on a true story about a group of friends who slept with the same girl. Sadly, she took her own life. Americansongwriter.com spoke with lead singer Brian Vandermark, in the interview 9Behind the Song: “The Freshman,” by The Verve Pipe he stated I had this idea of a short story that pertained to me and a friend of mine who had dated the same girl and kind of went back and forth with her – I dated her for a while, and then we broke up, and he dated her and then I dated her again. And then one of us got her pregnant, and she had an abortion.”
4. I’m Awesome – Spose
No, you’re not dude, don’t lie
I’m driving round in my mom’s ride
Although Spose makes this Song comical, it’s entirely about someone who has no delusion he is losing at life. The lyrics poke fun at the insanity of someone who is so wholly uncool he’s almost hip.
3. For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
There’s something happening here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me, I got to beware
This song was an anthem during the sixties. The United States was divided, and people felt disenchanted with the government. We can empathize with someone who has shared a similar loss. A nationwide loss is much more powerful.
2. Lose Yourself – Eminem
Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?
This song was historic. Jeff Bass reflected about winning the Oscar for the Song, stating Not only did the 8 Mile smash become a cultural phenomenon, but it also helped steer a significant and vital conversation about race in the rap game. The track also made history the first rap song to win an Academy Award for the Best Original song at the 2003 ceremony.8 mile is the semi-autobiographical story of Eminem. He uses his music to try and lose the black hole that most of the people around him have fallen. This song is about not losing the moment when we can make things happen instead of pushing ourselves to the limits to ensure success.
1. Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteen
Now I been lookin’ for a job but it’s hard to find
Down here it’s just winners and losers, and don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line
Atlantic City is an impoverished city in New Jersey where gambling is legal. When casinos were built there in the early ’80s, it was supposed to revitalize the city. The casinos made it a popular tourist destination, but the city itself continues to be very run-down. There is a stark contrast between the glamorous casinos on the boardwalk and the city itself. “Even if you’ve lost everything else, ethics are free. Yet, in this reflective ballad, Bruce Springsteen sings about having to take a job that’s illegal so he can physically survive. The Song is poignant because he has to let the woman he loves know that he is doing something that goes against the life they had been building.