Because who’s actually celebrating anyway?
I feel like most holidays (at least here in the United States) are commercialized to the point they don’t even seem real. Valentine’s Day is capitalist paradise—mass production of chocolates, flowers, balloons, and more. I’d rather not contribute to it, though discount chocolate the day after doesn’t seem half bad. It’s also a time for the most gushy, disgustingly, gross love songs ever created, but I feel like there are also an adequate number of anti-Valentine’s Day songs too, from those lamenting broken hearts to those criticizing the culture of it all. For everyone who’s not a fan of the holiday, here’s a list of songs that represent the opposite of love.
- Kill Bill – SZA
“I might kill my ex, I still love him, though / Rather be in jail than alone”
Though SZA’s murderous intent may or may not be relatable to some, it seems as anti-Valentine’s (and anti-love) as a song can get. Sure, she’s saying she’s still in love with her ex, but above all, if she can’t have him, “no one should.” It’s a love letter to murder, and getting revenge on all of those who have wronged you. She croons that she “did it all for love,” completely sober, but the message is abundantly clear: don’t flaunt your new love in front of her, she might just end it all—violently.
- fuk u lol – CORPSE
“Woke up to your text, now I’m nauseous / Three strikes, our trust, we lost it”
If you’ve ever listened to any of CORPSE’s other songs, then you probably know that his general tone tends to be pretty angry and upset at either the world, or at whoever he’s referencing in his lyrics. Though most of the feelings his music evokes can be attributed to the content of the lyrics themselves, his incredibly deep, gravelly voice helps too. This song isn’t as angsty as the rest of his work, opting instead for fun beats that lighten the mood a little. It’s not overwhelmingly sad or angry like some songs on this list, but don’t be mistaken—despite this more upbeat sound, it is still profanity-riddled.
- Anti-Romantic – Tomorrow X Together
“I don’t know who loves me / And I don’t care, it’s a waste anyway*”
*translated from Korean
Upon first listen, I thought this song was memey at best. The TikTok snippet sounded unnecessarily emo, but having listened to the full song, it’s definitely grown on me (even if my sister clowns me for it). It’s not angry, just sad, and captures the true anti-Valentine’s spirit remarkably well. They sing about the same old chocolate, and stupid rom-coms, so it’s fair to say that they’re probably sick of the whole thing as well, but in an anguished way. At the very least, it’s a soothing song to listen to.
- Heartache – Hot Freaks
“Oh no my head hurts (Heartache, Heartache) / Oh no this will never never work (Heartache, Heartache)”
Heartache seems to be a pretty reasonable explanation for not wanting to partake in lovey dovey activities, especially during a holiday meant to celebrate this kind of thing. There are plenty of reasons why things don’t work out in romantic relationships, and Hot Freaks seems to list most of them, plus some pretty awful feelings like being alone. Who wants to “crash land” and “hit dirt” when you can just not try at all? They say it best, “For every hundred thousand good connections / Five hundred thousand hearts break, why does that happen?”
- Sabotage – JAWNY
“I’m just a stupid kid and stupid is as stupid does / I sabotage my love, my, my, my love”
When it comes to love, it’s really easy to mess things up. At least that’s what JAWNY says in chronicling his own mess-ups. It seems like all he can do is sabotage his own love, cause he’s stupid. It’s not super clear if it’s really appropriate to call him a kid because he is 27 years old, but at least he’s acknowledging that it is his own fault that his relationship isn’t working out. Not everyone does that, and so I can respect that he knows what he’s doing wrong.The real question is whether or not he gets a pass for this disclosure. If you mess up that badly, you probably shouldn’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day anyway.
- Hate Yourself – TV Girl
“And how long will it take before you start to hate yourself and go / Straight to the arms of someone else”
The situation is very much a, ‘it’s you, not me’ problem. Because if I were to take on the role of the speaker here, why should I wait for someone who doesn’t care enough to show? Someone who’s instead going into the arms of another? Perhaps, even multiple others? At that point, some friendly advice would be that it’d be easier to not be in a relationship at all than to lead various other people on. But then again, who’s asking?
- Looking Out for You – Joy Again
“I guess I should stop looking out for you like I always do / When will you start looking out for me too”
Some key takeaways here include the fact that all relationships are messy, especially when one party is more invested than the other. It’s an awful feeling to not have both your feelings and your actions reciprocated, and not just in a romantic way. Toxic friends and families do the same all the time, so it might be worth it to stop looking out for them. Ignoring the fact that this is a so-called love song “for a girl who will never know it’s about her” (and the fact that the singer ends up with her years later), it’s still pretty good advice to take. Cut people out of your life—and don’t assume that you’ll end up with them in the future.
- Crush Culture – Conan Gray
“Crush culture makes me wanna spill my guts out / I know what you’re doing, tryna get me to pursue ya”
Of all the songs on this list, this one has to be the most, quintessentially anti-Valentine’s song. Even though murdering your ex and telling them to **** off is pretty bad, this one probably details in the most explicit detail why Valentine’s Day (and crush culture as a whole) is gross, disgusting, and completely awful. According to Gray, here’s a list of what love is: a game of manipulation, suffocating, beautiful lies, and a kissing cult. Seems like he has a point, and so does all of his sad break-up music created afterwards. It’s like he says best, “Just let me be sad and lonely.”