Every person on Earth experiences abandonment at least once in their life. Perhaps a romantic partner leaves, or someone you love dies and you feel alone and abandoned. Luckily, there are plenty of songs about abandonment to get you through your grief, so here are my top ten songs (in no particular order) about abandonment you should add to your Spotify playlist ASAP.
Songs About Abandonment You Will Appreciate
Let’s begin with a Taylor Swift song.
Haunted by Taylor Swift
“Haunted” isn’t one of Taylor’s most famous hits and it still isn’t widely known today, even if it has been popularized on the famous music app, TikTok. It has a different feel from the rest of the album with a rock influence and it’s speculated the song was never meant to be part of her Speak Now era.
There are rumors circulating around Reddit and TikTok that the song was written for the Twilight Saga’s New Moon but was ultimately pulled from the soundtrack due to Swift and Lautner breaking up. These rumors began due to the lyrics similarities with the plot of the book and movie with Edward’s abandonment of Bella.
It’s getting dark and it’s all too quiet seems to reference Bella being left in the woods by Edward when he leaves and her being lost, then Come on, come on, don’t leave me like this, looks at Bella’s fight for Edward to stay and her denial of the situation.
Of course, Swift has never commented on this herself, so fans are left to their speculation. Here’s a fun Reddit thread of Swifties doing just that.
Gone Forever by Three Days Grace
Three Days Grace’s second studio album was a chart topper and all of the lead singles went platinum or triple platinum, but “Gone Forever” is one of the forgotten songs on the album even though it has one of the best stories on the album. I always find myself turning the volume up to this song because it catches the nuances of being hurt by someone leaving you, but in the end it was the best decision for everyone.
So I’ll stay up all night/With these bloodshot eyes is a visual of how rough it can feel to be left and we’ve all had these moments so it’s relatable, but then there’s a shift halfway through the song where the speaker is coming out of the fog of heartbreak and everything is clearer to them. Definitely a plus for any emo kid playlist.
Dead and Gone by T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake
Okay, stay with me for this one because I’m dusting off my English 101 skills for this. The song can be argued to be about many different things, but what stuck with me and why I included it on this list is the chorus: the old me is dead and gone.
T.I. raps about his experiences growing up and how he knew a change needed to come, but how does he get there? He abandons his old self. The act of abandonment is voluntary, usually without much choice, and T.I. realizes he needs to leave his old life (Driving on this road too long). Not to mention, it has Justin Timberlake on the chorus and it’s the early 2000’s vibes we all need in our lives and definitely one of the more upbeat songs on this list.
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Alone by Heart
Two eighties hits are next, but we’ll start with “Alone” by Heart. Music from the 1980s has my heart and Heart is no exception. “Alone” spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the charts for twenty-one weeks all together. It’s easy to see why when the lyrics speak to anyone who is suffering from being left to their own devices by someone they love. It’s not the most heartbreaking song about abandonment, but it gets the job done when you’re in your feels.
I hear the ticking of the clock
I’m lying here the room’s pitch dark
I wonder where you are tonight
No answer on the telephone
The opening lines are easy to picture and all she’s missing is a pint of ice cream. Her person isn’t answering her phone calls and leaving her alone at home. She doesn’t want the night to end alone in her bed. We never find out who or where this mystery person is, but it’s an easy enough scenario to imagine, and probably why it spent so long on the charts.
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham!
I can still picture my mom singing this song in the car on the way home from school. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized it’s about a woman who continually leaves her romantic partner hanging at the end of the night. I always thought it was a fun song about going dancing (and I guess to an extent it is!). It’s definitely a love song to this mystery woman, but has the nuance of an abandonment song because behind the fun upbeat rhythm that’s exactly what it is.
Wake me up before you go-go
Don’t leave me hanging on like a yo-yo
I mean, what is more fun than these lyrics? However, throughout the chorus, it’s a plea for this woman to stay throughout the night and not to leave their dancing partner at home.
My best friend told me
What you did last night
You left me sleeping in my bed
I was dreaming
But I should’ve been with you instead
She’s even caught by the best friend in the escape! What a tragedy. It’s also arguably the most upbeat song on the list and one I definitely dance to.
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Tell Me How by Paramore
Haley Williams’ voice is beautiful in any song she sings, but there is truly something magical in this pop ballad. The song is obviously about a breakup, so we’re toeing the line between being abandoned and simply breaking up, but they’re really the same, right? Well, let’s break down the song.
I can’t call you a stranger
But I can’t call you
As far as opening lyrics go, these showcase Paramore’s artistry. When you leave someone, especially one you love, you’re never going to be a stranger again because you’ve grown with that person. However, they’re not someone you can speak with ever again, especially if it’s a clean break.
Of all the weapons you fight with
Your silence is the most violent
Silence is a common theme throughout the song and it is the worst weapon. You want to find your person and find out what went wrong, but instead, you’re really left without answers. They’re hard hitting lyrics and ones I always expect from Paramore.
Save Myself by Ed Sheeran
Have you ever had a friend ghost you? It’s the worst form of abandonment by far, especially when you’ve been friends for years. Ed Sheeran describes how he has put all of himself into this friendship, but not to receive anything back, so he has to choose between himself and this friend (So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself).
Of course, this results in the abandonment of the friend, but for good reason. He explains how most want to turn around and continue in the same cycle, however, this time he’s choosing to break the continuous heartbreaking circle of friendship. This is what most people would describe as a toxic friendship. Sheeran paints the picture clearly through the chorus:
Life can get you down so I just numb the way it feels
I drown it with a drink and out of date prescription pills
And all the ones that love me they just left me on the shelf
So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself
If you’re looking for impactful songs about abandonment issues, you’ve definitely found one here.
Give Your Heart A Break by Demi Lovato
Lovato’s early work is some of their best work and “Give Your Heart A Break” is no exception. They discussed the song in several interviews around the time it was released. While it has a fun beat, and it’s easy to sing along to, it does have a deeper meaning behind it. Sometimes it’s not easy to be left behind, so you fight for the person you love.
On Sunday you went home alone
There were tears in your eyes
I called your cell phone, my love
But you did not reply
Lovato wants their mystery man to know they’re fighting for them to return their love, even if it takes time, and they need a break. Of course, it’s not as heartbreaking as some of the other songs on the list, but it’s a different form of abandonment. It’s the type that you know you need and you have to step away, even if the other person still has faith you’re going to return to them.
Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks
We don’t discriminate between song genres on this list, so why not add “Friends in Low Places”? This song can be found in many honkey tonks and football stadiums around the country. This song is about a man crashing his ex-girlfriend’s wedding and letting her know he doesn’t miss her because he still has friends where it matters.
He was obviously left by his girl because he didn’t meet societal standards. These are referenced through the lyrics: black tie affair, Well, I’ll be as high as that ivory tower/That you’re livin’ in, I’m not big on social graces.
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Here Without You by 3 Doors Down
3 Doors Down is officially considered “dad rock,” but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t a certified hit and definitely don’t deny you weren’t staring out the bus window with your iPod turned all the way up to this one.
A hundred days have made me older
Since the last time that I saw your pretty face
A thousand lies have made me colder
And I don’t think I can look at this the same
But all the miles that separate
Disappear now when I’m dreaming of your face
It’s unclear what exactly happened between this couple, but it’s easy to see this song is about dreaming away the wrongs this woman has done to the singer. She left him and he continues to dream about her. He obviously still loves her and wants her to return to him, but it probably won’t happen.
Songs about abandonment all share common elements to them, whether it’s about a breakup or being left with no explanation. What truly matters is how a listener connects to the song when they need it most. Be sure to add these songs to your playlist so you’re prepared for the unexpected, or simply enjoy them on your next car ride!
This song was written by Abigail and edited by Michael.
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