Don't go breaking their hearts

Pop Music

July 14, 2002|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Halfway through Wednesday's Britney Spears concert in Washington, the girl-pop diva took a break from her vigorous dance routines to perch on a piano stool and connect with her fans.

"Let me tell you about what's been happening in my life," she began. "Honestly, I've been a little bit overwhelmed. Sometimes my life feels bigger than me. ... I've been writing a lot and here's something I wrote just the other day. ...

"I gave you my heart ... Baby boy, and now you are gone," she belted out. "I'm out the door. I can't take no more. "

Not groundbreaking lyrics by any measure, except that it was clear the "Baby boy" was Justin Timberlake of 'N Sync, who recently ditched her. Spears has joined generations of artists before her in channeling the pain into a song that tells her side of the breakup.

"Therapists recommend that girls write poems, stories or letters to get the hurt outside of themselves," said Gilda Carle, a psychology professor who has dispensed advice to teens as MTV Online's "Love Doc." "This is a very healthy means by which they can heal and share their feelings with the rest of the world. It certainly beats drinking, hurting yourself, cutting yourself or any of the other things teen-age girls turn to because they can't handle their emotions."

However, if you're a national star, there can be drawbacks.

"The more you share with the world, the more vulnerable you become," added Carle, whose new book Teen Talk with Dr. Gilda: A Girl's Guide to Dating is expected next spring. "And if it's viewed as a manipulative device to get back at him because you have a public forum, that's negative."

Which might have been the case with some of pop's most high-profile breakup ditties inspired by real-life heartaches. Take a look:

"But you gave away the things you loved/

And one of them was me/

... You're so vain/

You probably think this song is about you"

- "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon

Inspired by: The rumor has long been Warren Beatty.

"Rosanna, Rosanna/

I never thought that losing you could ever hurt so bad."

- "Rosanna" by Toto

Inspired by: Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro's ex, Rosanna Arquette, who ran off with Peter Gabriel."'

Cause you could be mine/

But you're way out of line/

With your bitch slap rappin'/

And your cocaine tongue ... "

- "You Could Be Mine" by Guns N' Roses

Inspired by: Axl Rose's 1990 breakup with wife Erin Everly (who had also been the inspiration for "Sweet Child O' Mine").

"And every time you speak her name/

Does she know how you told me you'd hold me/

Until you died, 'till you died/

But you're still alive ..."

- "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette.

Inspired by: A man who dumped her for an older woman.".

.. Now shut the [expletive] up and get what's comin to you/

... You were supposed to love me."

- "Kim" by Eminem.

Inspired by: Estranged wife, Kim.

"I had a girl that would've died for me/

Didn't 'preciate her so I made her cry for me/

Every night she had tears in her eyes for me/

... But as long as you happy, I'ma tell you this/

I love you girl and you're the one that I will always miss."

- "I Need a Girl" by P. Diddy.

Inspired by: Rumor has it, Jennifer Lopez.

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