Single Review: Garbage “Breaking Up The Girl”

Breaking Up The Girl
Album: beautifulgarbage
Year: 2002

There’s more than one way to destroy a young girl’s confidence, according to Shirley Manson of Garbage in “Breaking Up The Girl.”

She gently threatens her girlfriend’s boyfriend that he needs to be cautious if he wants to survive in today’s society. (“In a modern culture/My friend you must be careful/They’ve a million ways to kill you”).

People do not grow up gracefully. They scratch, fall, and scramble to grasp their dreams, if they ever do. A person needs to takes risks and sometimes their dreams are fully realized. (“In this dangerous world/There’s an art to growing old/taking chances/magic happens”).

However, one wrong choice can stop someone from achieving their potential in life. (“one mistake’s all it takes/and your life has come undone.”). She tells her friend to leave her girlfriend alone. Although it will be tough for the friend, she can’t watch her girlfriend crumble anymore (“walk away ’cause you’re breaking up the girl/it’s a drag/I know it’s hard/but you’re tearing her apart/walk away ’cause you’re breaking up the girl.”

She knows what’s ahead for him. He’s an impulsive, reckless person who doesn’t care much about his life. Her girlfriend has dated guys like him before and she tells not to hit rock bottom. Although, she sees it as inevitable. (“I am afraid that there’s much to be afraid of/Here today, gone tomorrow/Don’t end up in the gutter/Just like the one before”). He’s not any different from her girlfriend’s other exes. (“You’re just the same/you’re such a loser.”).

She tells her girlfriend’s boyfriend to end the relationship and move on. (“You’ve got to let her go because you’re breaking up the girl”).

The lively music which accompanies “Breaking Up The Girl” is complemented wonderfully by the calm intimidation in Manson’s voice.


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