Posted by: Mark Nielsen | March 15, 2011

Co-Dependent Love & Other Funny Breakup Songs

Cover of "Songs from Bright Avenue"

Cover of Songs from Bright Avenue

It’s Day Two of our “Break Up Song” celebration/whine-fest.

Today’s selections are intentionally more humorous or cheerful, because — let’s face it — life can get pretty absurd, especially in times of crisis. And if you can’t laugh about what feels ridiculous and out-of-sorts, you’re bound to get stuck somewhere within the essential grief process, and will probably end up bitter and self-protective.

I’ll add a few comments to go along with today’s two songs:

Our Codependent Love – Bob Bennett (Songs From Bright Avenue, 1991)

Bob Bennett is sort of an old school Christian folkie, and he’s still out there doing it, mostly in California. Most of his album Songs from Bright Avenue from 1991 is about the unexpected break-up of his marriage, and re-orienting his thinking about himself, his family, God, sin, and some psychological issues people often bury without dealing with them. It’s an astonishingly confessional collection of songs, and I may post another one from the album later this week.

But today’s selection is a goofy look at bad thinking habits in a marriage, counseling cliches, and all the self-help lingo that ends up getting tossed around (usually with good reason) when a marriage is in trouble. It was originally produced to sound like a live recording of a fictional lounge act, circa 1974 or so. So put on your leisure suit or Annie Hall polyester pantsuit and let’s get to the singing, …and laughing. I’m also thinking of making a bumper sticker out of one of the lines in this song: “I’m faking my mental health.” Whadya think?

Our Codependent Love – Bob Bennett/Phil Madeira

               Going out of my head over you
               I've got you under my skin
               I'm gonna love you like nobody's loved you
               These boots are made for walkin'
I never did anything
You did not make me do
That's why I can't believe
You're telling me we're through
I sacrificed everything
It was the least that I could do
Now I'm paying the tab
And blaming it all on you
And our codependent love
Re-writing history
It's a twisted kind of fun
You can be Joan of Arc
And I'll be Atilla Hon'
When things get too complex
And I'm feelin' kinda bad
I shift myself into reverse
And blame my mom and dad
And our codependent love
  No matter how hard I try
  To live life to the full
  I know I can never be good enough
  Because I'm so dysfunctional
My life is so lonely now
The hours take too long
But I've got six feet worth of books
To tell me what went wrong
With our codependent love
  When I need a vacation
  From tormenting trouble and trial
  I simply choose to take a cruise
  To the Island of Denial
  That Isle of Denial!
I'm faking my mental health
But I hope it never shows
Hey, I think your inner child
Just punched mine in the nose
There's one thing I have to know
And that will be enough
How did we ever get along
Before we knew all of this stuff
About our codependent love
Our codependent love?
Our codependent love
Did-not-want-to-end-it love
Our codependent love
I'm the defendant guilty of
Our codependent love
I-could-not-mend-it love
Don't I look resplendent
In our codependent love?

Even when you're gone, you're still around


Dairy Queen – Indigo Girls

This is a song I only just recently heard, though it has been around for a few years now. It’s not so much funny as it is cheerful, nostalgic, and hopeful. Musically, it has a bit of a reggae quality about it. So I will use it to help me picture a sunny day at the beach a few years from now, talking casually with my ex-wife about our marriage and the break-up, and what we lovingly gave each other before and even during the break-up.

Also, I will admit that of the two of us, I am actually the more likely person who will be “drunk and mean down at the Dairy Queen”. 😉  But it’s a good statement of my hope for contentment and forgiveness, nevertheless.

DAIRY QUEENAmy Ray/Indigo Girls


Am   F   C   G

Am                    F

I heard that you were drunk and mean

C                 G

Down at the dairy queen

Am                     F

There's just enough of you in me

C              G

For me to have sympathy


Em            C

And take it in stride

F            C

I know I had mine

F               C

And you were as kind


I am told


Ain't it funny how we lose one day

And a lifetime

Slips away

I'm looking back on us that way

Something I

Never thought I'd say

CHORUS: (same)

I take it in stride

I know I had mine

It was good for a time

I am told

It was good for a time

I am told

VERSE: (same)

The love you gave was not for free

But the price

Was truly fair

I never felt so glad to be

So well spent

So beyond repair


I take it in stride

At least you were mine

If not for all the time

Enough to hold… or at least … enough for me to haunt you.


Now take good care that you are true

You said you found it

Hard to do

And find that bit of faith that sets you free

Having everything to prove


You take it in stride

And know you got mine

And it's good for a lifetime

Or more

I love you

I love you more and more
Oh I love you more and more

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