Some of you reading this went to my wedding back in 1999, and you probably remember that along with the wedding invitation was a cd, which had songs we both chose, plus some narration that we added. (I chose songs by bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Boston and Foo Fighters; she chose songs by bands like the Dave Matthews Band and Barenaked Ladies.)
As my marriage deteriorated, and certain songs became representative of what was going wrong and why they were going wrong, the meme of the "divorce cd" came into being. Eventually after the divorce, I started compiling songs that I thought belonged on such an item. I didn't actually finalize the list, though, for two reasons: first, I didn't actually have all the songs that were on the list, and second, I had no easy way to compile the songs together to listen to them all in one go to make sure that the song order made sense.
And so the file ~/txt/divorce-cd sat for quite a while. I stopped adding songs to it over a decade ago; after that the only changes to it were deleting songs that I had decided didn't fit as well as they should. I didn't declare it done, because I wanted to listen to all the songs in order to make sure the order made sense, since I had the songs roughly in an order that made chronological sense with how my marriage fell apart.
Then around a year ago, both reason I hadn't finalized the list became no longer an obstacle, so eventually I burned a cd with the songs I'd reduced the list down to, and listened to the whole thing. Unsurprisingly as it turned out, it didn't really work having The Offspring after either Electric Light Orchestra or Supertramp, so I tweaked the order, burned another cd, and listened to the whole thing again.
This is how the list below came into being. It seems appropriate that it ended up being 13 tracks, and in any case I wouldn't want to add anything to it now anyways; my divorce was literally nearly a third of my life ago, and I'm not the same person I was then, so I don't feel like I'm qualified to add anything to it even if I wanted to.
If this was a vinyl album instead of a cd, the break between side 1 and side 2 would be between Alanis Morrissette and Meat Loaf; side 1 would be named Before and side 2 After. If it was a 45, it'd just be the Boston and the Meat Loaf songs.
I put some quotes that are fairly representative of each song, since I doubt that hardly any of you are going to go listen to each song. But if you wanted to, and you're in the Atlanta area, you can have the copy that I burned for myself; I don't anticipate that I'm going to want to listen to these songs again together as a set for many years.
The Beatles, We Can Work It Out
Think of what you're saying / You can get it wrong and still you think that it's all right / Think of what I'm saying / We can work it out and get it straight or say good night / We can work it out / We can work it out
Boston, A Man I'll Never Be
I can't get any stronger, and I can't climb any higher / You'll never know just how hard I've tried / Cry a liitle longer, and hold a little tighter / Emotions can't be satisfied / You look up at me, and somewhere in your mind you see / A man I'll never be
No Doubt, Home Now
And to make it real / I need to have you here / I need to have you / It can't be sincere / Unless you spend time here / I need to see you / I need you
Genesis, That's All
Just as I thought it was going all right / I find out I'm wrong when I thought I was right / It's always the same, it's just a shame, that's all / I could say day, you'd say night / Tell me it's black when I know that it's white / It's always the same, it's just a shame, that's all / That's all
Alan Parsons Project, You Don't Believe
But when I look into your eyes, you don't believe in me / I can see it in your eyes you don't believe
The Offspring, Can't Get My Head Around You
Deep inside your soul there's a hole you don't wanna see / Every single day what you say makes no sense to me / Even though I try I can't get my head around you
Alanis Morrissette, That I Would Be Good
That I would be good whether with or without you
Meat Loaf, Read 'Em And Weep
I've been trying for hours just to think of what exactly to say / I thought I'd leave you with a letter or a fiery speech / Like when an actor makes an exit at the end of a play // And I've been dying for hours trying to fill up all the holes with some sense / I'd like to know how you faded and you threw it away / I'd like to give you all the reasons and what everything meant // Well I could tell you good-bye or maybe see you around / With just a touch of a sarcastic thanks / We started out with a bang and at the top of the world / Now the guns are exhausted / The bullets are blanks / And everything's blank // If I could only find the words then I would write it all down / If I could only find a voice I would speak / Oh it's there in my eyes so can't you see me tonight / C'mon and look at me and read 'em and weep
The Offspring, Leave It Behind
What a surprise, you're fucked with again, yeah / It's a way of life you need to get over / All the rage just eats you alive / Can you leave it behind / I don't know where it'll end / The sun has set and I can't be friends / I don't know if I can forgive / The day is long, but you were so dead wrong
Electric Light Orchestra, Ordinary Dream
Though reality keeps calling me away from my dream / And the wreckage isn't all it might have been
Supertramp, Casual Conversations
And now it's all been said / If you must leave, then go ahead / Should feel sad / But I really believe that I'm glad / I really believe that I'm glad / I really believe that I'm glad
Electric Light Orchestra, Lonesome Lullaby
I listened to the whine for way too long / Time for me to hear a different song / I waited overtime for things to turn around / Tired of waiting for it all to hit the ground
You took the wrong turn at the city of dreams / You ended up back where you came from it seems / Back there to where there's nothing else to do / Back there where you can sit and think of only you
Elton John, I'm Still Standing
I'm still standing better than I ever did / Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid / I'm still standing after all this time / Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind