When I was a younger man, single and insecure and full of anxiety and dumb ideas, I was a bit of a sad sack. Okay, a lot of a sad sack. I moped around the campus fountain at midnight listening to sad songs on my Discman like some mooney-eyed twit. And I made mix CDs of songs about love gone sour and losers.
Nowadays, I tend to mope less, mostly because I finally got medication and therapy. Marrying an amazing woman helped, too. While I don’t make mix CDs anymore (I make playlists on my phone instead, because it’s 2017), I do still enjoy putting together thematic lists for special occasions. While I think of myself as less of a loser than I once did, I thought it might be fun to put together one more Loser List for Valentine’s Day.
Before the list, though, a few words on this holiday. I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Maybe it’s a result of being single throughout college and grad school. Maybe I resent being told I have to be romantic on a set day in a specific way (today’s comic is a pretty clear indicator that the Wife and I have our own unique brand of affection and romance). Honestly, I don’t think there’s any real reason to feel obligated to do some big, ridiculous thing today, unless you really want to. Some folks really love Valentine’s Day, and that’s great for them! For the rest of us, let’s just act like it’s a regular ol’ Tuesday, and everyone has joined Garibaldi’s Red Shirts for the day for some weird reason.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s the Losers List.
The Beatles, “I’m a Loser”: A Hard Day’s Night is one of my absolute favorite Beatles albums, and this manages to be one of the best songs on the record.
Beck, “Loser”: Like this song wasn’t going to show up on this list.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, “Even the Losers”: More a song of hope than anything else, it always gives me strength to think that even the losers can get lucky sometime.
The Avett Brothers, “Shame”: Sometimes we feel so sure of ourselves, only to realize we’re being tremendous assholes.
Bob Dylan, “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”: Blood on the Tracks is full of sad songs of love gone wrong, but this is one of my favorites.
Cake, “Friend is a Four-Letter Word”: If early-20s me had an anthem, this was probably it. If anyone needed a punch in the face, it was early-20s me.
Camera Obscura, “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken”: “‘Cause I can’t see further than my own nose at the moment.” Brilliant.
Sting, “Seven Days”: Sting’s face is pretty punchable, too, if only because he refers to his rival as “Neanderthal.”
Jesse Malin, “She Don’t Love Me Now”: I’m a sucker for great horn arrangements.
Led Zeppelin, “Hey Hey What Can I Do”: Your woman runs around on you while everyone’s at church? Robert Plant feels your pain.