The 90s to the mid-2000’s was an era of pop/punk/alternative rock music. Punk rock bands spoke to the youth through songs about not fitting in, anger and angst, taboo areas like depression and suicide, and of course, romance and heartbreak.
So when Buzzfeed released this list last year, the teenager in me cried from the nostalgia. Even though I didn’t dress in all black or spend my weekends at Hot Topic, I did occasionally enjoy blasting what everyone called “emo” music in my room as I contemplated my place in this world and why my love life sucked.
Scanning my hopeless romantic 16-year-old self’s old music, and asking former “emo kids,” here are 10 memorable emo love songs of the early 2000’s:
1. “Only One,” Yellowcard (2003)
“Here I go, scream my lungs out and try to get to you … You are my only one.”
A song that everyone would indeed scream at the top of their lungs, “Only One” is an ideal theme for when your significant other decides you are no longer “the one” for them. You still have feelings for them and feel like you can never love again, so for one last time you want to tell them that they are your only one, in hopes that they’ll return to you.
2. “I Miss You,” Blink-182
“Where are you? And I’m so sorry. I cannot sleep, I cannot dream tonight.”
You play this on nights when you’re lonely and missing your significant other. How can you sleep without them by your side to chase away the nightmares? Thoughts of them plague you, preventing sweet dreams. Not to mention that they are already the voice inside your head. How on earth can you ever sleep?
3. “Grand Theft Autumn (Where Is Your Boy Tonight),” Fall Out Boy (2003)
“Where is your boy tonight? I hope he is a gentleman. And maybe he won’t find out what I know, you were the last good thing about this part of town.”
Ever been totally in love with that one girl who already has a boyfriend who’s such a jerk to her? But she just can’t seem to leave him! This is a song with all the words you want to tell her: she’s special, he doesn’t realize what he has, and you hope that you actually get enough nerve to actually tell her this in person.
4. “Bring Me To Life,” Evanescence (2003)
“Wake me up inside … Call my name and save me from the dark.”
The song has a bit of an eerie feel to it, perfect for a night of staring out at the rain from your window, feeling sad and unworthy, and waiting for that person to save you from the darkness you feel inside.
5. “Scars,” Papa Roach (2004)
“I tear my heart open, I sew myself shut. My weakness is that I care too much.”
Caring too much is an unfortunate weakness to have. This is relatable because when it comes to love, you do end up caring … a lot. Whether someone broke your heart, you’re plagued by unrequited love, or you’re just so damn angry at your significant other, this is the perfect song to scream to (especially when you get to the “Go fix yourself!” part).
6. “Ohio is For Lovers,” Hawthorne Heights (2004)
“And I can’t make it on my own because my heart is in Ohio.”
Long-distance relationships, man. They’re brutal! You want to make it work, but what happens if the other wants to give up? Do you keep fighting or do you let go? Suffice to say, if you’re sad and angry, and want to scream, this is what you play on repeat.
7. “Dark Blue,” Jack’s Mannequin (2005)
“Slow down … this night a perfect shade of dark blue, dark blue. Have you ever been alone in a crowded room when I’m here with you?”
Sometimes, couples find their love deteriorating but refuse to acknowledge it. So, it gets worse and worse until they’re both drowning in the relationship. The lesson is, if you feel your love waning, talk about it and try to resolve it. Leaving it alone will only drown you. At least, that’s my interpretation. I just really like this song.
8. “MakeDamnSure,” Taking Back Sunday (2006)
“I just wanna break you down so badly. Well, I trip over everything you say. I just wanna break you down so badly, in the worst way.”
Some of us have that one ex who made our life so miserable. They made you so angry, but for some god-awful reason, you were still hopelessly in love with them. You wanted to break them, but one word from them and you gave in. Talk about conflicting emotions. So, again, another song you’d play if you want to yell and scream about it.
9. “Thnks fr th Mmrs,” Fall Out Boy (2007)
“One night and one more time, thanks for the memories, even though they weren’t so great.”
Listening to the lyrics now, I realize that this could be about a one-night stand, or at least a fleeting infatuation … until you realize how horrible the other person is. Or, a relationship that wasn’t as good as you thought it would be. Does it matter? They replaced you with someone who “tastes like you, only sweeter.”
10. “I’d Hate To Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About,” Mayday Parade (2007)
“Well, I’m thinking of the worst things that I could say to you. But a promise doesn’t mean a thing anymore, and this never will be right with me.”
Is this the ultimate revenge song for an ex? Maybe yes, maybe no. But I see this more as a “missing-your-ex-but-remember-why-you-broke-up-with-them” song, a reminder that you had a great love, but there were issues. These were issues that the other person could not accept. You deserve better.
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