Shot Through The Heart: Breakup Songs

From Alt.Latino, NPR's New Latin Alternative Music Show

Crying man; credit: Getty Images

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Alfred Lord Tennyson once said, " 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." Whatever. Those wise words your mom tells you can be annoying when you're going through a bad breakup. We've all been there: For the first few days — even weeks — you revel in your self-pity, anger and anguish like a piglet in mud. And you listen to music the whole time.

In this, the second edition of Alt.Latino, we give you a list of our favorite songs to listen to during a breakup. They're not all sad, either: From a fierce Spanish rap to a ballad about letting go from the Dominican Republic and a Colombian singer's daydream, we've assembled an awesome list of songs to play as you ride the train to Splitsville.

Today's theme song is "No. 114" by Mexico's Rey Pila. For more about the band, click here. Please leave your thoughts on breakups, breakup music and this episode of Alt.Latino in the comments section below.

Below, you'll find the full versions of the songs featured on this week's show.

Shot Through The Heart: Breakup Songs

Mala Rodriguez's Con Los Ojos de Engana

Con los Ojos de Engana

  • Artist: Mala Rodríguez
  • Album: Lujo Ibérico

Here's a song leading up to a breakup. In "Con los Ojos de Engana" ("Lying Eyes"), Spanish rapper Mala Rodriguez is her usual confrontational self. She tells her man to be honest with her: "If you're going to lie to me / Look at me with a liar's eyes / If you're going to kill me / Look at me with a killer's eyes." Check out how she slips into a rough, gravelly flamenco voice while lying on a bed of killer beats.

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  • "Con los Ojos de Engañá"
  • Album: Lujo Iberico
  • Artist: Mala Rodríguez
  • Label: Universal Distribution
  • Released: 2002
 
Shakira's "Si Te vas" ("If You Leave")

Si Te Vas

  • Artist: Shakira
  • Album: Dónde Están los Ladrones?/Pies Descalzos

Here's another breakup song that's not sad. In "Si Te Vas" ("If You Leave"), Shakira issues her lover a stern warning: If you decide to go now, don't even think about coming back, because I won't be here anymore. Point taken. This is one of Shakira's early songs, and a reminder (or lesson, for those who were introduced to a softer, English-speaking Shakira) of just how hard this Colombian native can rock.

You can hear this song on YouTube.

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Si Te Vas"
  • Album: Dónde Están los Ladrones?/Pies Descalzos
  • Artist: Shakira
  • Label: Sony Music Distribution
  • Released: 2008
 
Aterciopelados' "Estaca"

Estaca

  • Artist: Aterciopelados
  • Album: Evolucion

For some reason, Aterciopelados has a deep catalog of breakup songs. In "Estaca," the Colombian group's lead singer, Andrea Echeverri, sounds genuinely angry. She sings: "Goodbye / I hope you do well in life / I hope a car runs you over / You get struck by lightning / And hit by a train." No hard feelings.

You can hear this song on YouTube.

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  • "Estaca"
  • Album: Evolucion
  • Artist: Aterciopelados
  • Label: Sony BMG Latin
  • Released: 2002
 
Cafe Tacvba's "La Ingrata"

La Ingrata

  • Artist: Cafe Tacvba
  • Album: Un Viaje Pt. 2

In this song, Cafe Tacvba stays true to its Northern Mexican roots by playing a traditional polka style -- without losing its ska edge. "La Ingrata" ("The Ingrate") is about a woman who doesn't appreciate the awesome loving she's been getting.

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  • "La Ingrata"
  • Album: Un Viaje Pt. 2
  • Artist: Cafe Tacvba
  • Label: Universal Distribution
 
Marlango's "Vete"

Vete

  • Artist: Marlango
  • Album: Marlango

Spanish band Marlango's "Vete" ("Leave") is a real tearjerker. The sound of lead singer Leonor Watling's sweet voice reprimanding someone for selfishly hurting her after she gave him everything is heartbreaking. A tragic piano melody + violins = let the crying begin.

Find out more about Marlango here.

 
Sociedad Tabu's "Te Vas En Silencio"

Te Vas en Silencio

  • Artist: Sociedad Tabu
  • Album: Sociedad Tabu

The Dominican Republic's Sociedad Tabu explores feelings of relief and sadness about walking away from a relationship that was out of control. "Te Vas en Silencio" ("You Leave Quietly") is reminiscent of Pearl Jam; the dense guitars capture the difficult emotions of having to break free from a damaging love.

Check out more Sociedad Tabu here.

 
La Cosa Mostra's "Por Que"

Por Que

  • Artist: La Cosa Mostra
  • Album: La Cosa Mostra

Up-and-coming Argentine band La Cosa Mostra's "Por Que" ("Why") is the perfect song for coming to terms with a breakup. The acoustic guitar work is lovely, and the lyrics, written by singer Paula Maffia, beautifully weave feelings of love and hurt: "You deserve punishment / You deserve my deepest respect / But you do NOT deserve my attention."

Check out more of La Cosa Mostra here.

 

Felix Contreras is an award-winning journalist who covers arts and culture. He plays congas and percussion when he's not interviewing people for NPR or hanging with his two young sons and his wife. Jasmine Garsd is an Argentine journalist. She loves music, soccer and good food; occasionally, if given enough wine, she will sing for Felix's band.

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