10 Good Goodbye Songs

Of all the proverbial and obscure songs we know, what would you say are the 10 best goodbye songs? There are both winsome and disenchanting lyrics penned about virtually everything, from existing in a utopia to pedophilia (Danny Elfman gets cheers for both). Therefore, surely there must be a few insightful ways to say “see ya later” with a jingle. And this doesn’t only necessarily mean bidding farewell to a significant other because she misunderstood that those four other women in your bed were just your “advisors.”

  1. "American Pie" – Don McLean. A slow dirge of the oldies variety, this song was a tribute in memory of “the day the music died,” which was when musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash. This is one of the atypical goodbye songs wherein the vocalist croons about someone he did not know personally.
  2. "Now You’re Gone" – Basshunter. Wow, a dance-techno melody that doesn’t have completely absurd lyrics; but hey, most of Basshunter’s songs kind of make sense. This is a breakup tune about how forlorn the vocalist is after his girlfriend leaves him and how he can only dream that she misses him or will call him. The instrumental parts sound kind of like an ultramodern Irish jig too.
  3. "Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone" – The Springdales. Now here’s a fine little ditty for people with legally challenged other halves. Although short, the overall idea of this title is, “Bye, I’m off to jail. See you in six years.” So this isn’t one of the “goodbye forever” songs…just a “goodbye for now” one.
  4. "Goodbye Goodbye" – Oingo Boingo. For a change, this is not one of the incalculable goodbye songs about some whiny dork grousing about his miserable newly-single life. Nope, this one is about the guy leaving because he can’t stand his mate, and it’s got this funky swing-jitterbug kind of feel to it as well. Evidently, Elfman is happy about his own send-off.
  5. "School’s Out" – Alice Cooper. For some people, graduating is exhilarating – an escape from the bloody drama and entry into adulthood. For others, the escape from the bloody drama and needing to grow up is the most disheartening event possible.
  6. "One More Day" – Diamond Rio. And what list of any songs could be absolute without the obligatory country canticle? Every pathetic sack of crap in the world could have a country anthem about their lives. But this one’s not too bad – it’s about someone who didn’t want to have to say goodbye and how they long for one more day with who they left behind.
  7. "Hit The Road, Jack" – Ray Charles. See? Saying goodbye isn’t always dismal – it might be a matter of telling the person to get out and stay out.
  8. "Goodbye Cruel World" –Pink Floyd. Avowing adios doesn’t even have to mean saying it to a specific someone. And for any emos reading this list, this is not a good song to kill yourself to, so put away your razors. Floyd is talking about his mental disintegration and the wall of reclusion he is building around himself – so he bids adieu to the outside world before he entirely seals himself away.
  9. "Every Time We Say Goodbye" – Ella. Here’s a good example of the few goodbye songs where godspeed is temporary (albeit repeated).
  10. "Time For Me To Fly" – REO Speedwagon. Another one about someone wising up to their lousy girlfriend and leaving of their own accord. The "Reader’s Digest" version of the song goes like this: “I love you. You don’t love me. Bye-bye.”
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