Songs can be cathartic for the listeners-but they can also be cathartic for the singers and the artists as well. This can be seen (or, more aptly, heard) through the music and lyrics of artists and musicians who went through romantic separations with their partners. Their bitter experiences fuel their songs and their lyrics, giving their music depth. These songs-with lyrics that often reveal some secrets about their past relationships-are often controversial; at the very least, they spark some interest in the song. After all, these songs and their revelatory lyrics are no longer rumors; they already speak the truth, since they came directly from the artist.
Not surprisingly, most of these famous celebrity break up songs are often done by young artists. They often say that young artists are likely to base their works on their personal lives; and the lyrics and the inspirations of their songs prove just that. A glaring example of this is Miley Cyrus’ “7 Things.” It was co-written by Cyrus, and it speaks of the things she hates about a certain person.
As the first part of the lyrics reveal, there is no doubt that she is singing about a past relationship (“When I think about the previous / Relationship we shared / It was awesome but we lost it / It’s not possible for me not to care,” the lyrics go). But what makes the lyrics more interesting is how the lyrics describe the boy from her past. At one point, her lyrics accuse him of having feelings for another girl. According to speculations, the song is about her previous boyfriend, Nick Jonas. The two denied the rumors, but there’s really no way of knowing whether she did pertain to him or not.
More mature artists used songs as “therapy” too, as what Cyrus did. For instance, according to reports, Mandy Moore’s “Looking Forward to Looking Back” has lyrics describing her past relationship with actor Zach Braff. And the timing was auspicious too-the lyrics and the music of the songs included in her Wild Hope album mostly refer to a failed love.
At this time, Moore broker up with Braff. The lyrics of the songs also match the speculations that Braff was a “toxic boyfriend and was a “cheater.” Although the truth wasn’t revealed, Moore did reveal what she felt during that time in one of her songs. For instance: “And I know you loved me in your way / I’m looking forward to looking back on these days / And I’m fine, but I’m not okay” (from “Looking Forward to Looking Back”).
But perhaps the most infamous break up song was Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River.” This song retells the story of his break up with Britney Spears, and the lyrics are very revealing-the lyrics tell more than what the two was admitted in the press. Observe: “You don’t have to say what you did/I already know, I found out from him/Now there’s just no chance, for you and me, there’ll never be/And don’t it make you sad about it.”