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Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Songs for Living on Your Own

Solo living is finally getting its due – not as a sad, sad song, but as a cause for celebration – or at least a reason to wake up and pay attention! In a recent issue of Time magazine, the cover story was about 10 ideas that are changing your life. The #1 new idea? “Living alone is the new norm.”

To mark this development that has been decades in the making, but only now getting spotlighted, let’s generate a playlist of tops songs for going solo. If you want to, think about the songs that would be on your list before you read any further.

11 Comments to
Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Songs for Living on Your Own

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  1. How about Irene Cara’s “Out Here On My Own.” It’s got some yearning, but (to me) it’s also about getting out there and trying to succeed on your own terms.

    I’m surprised you include Beyonce’s song, since the chorus is “If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it.”

    • Thanks, Sophia! Actually, the picks are not mine — they are Eric Klinenberg’s. I don’t like the boo-hoo ones or the “put a ring on it” sentiments, either.

      • Beyonce’s song – ugh. I would have never picked this one either!

  2. Wow …. those songs are terrible aren’t they? Plus I don’t recognise the names of some of them …. must be showing my age??!!

    What about “Sisters are doing it for themselves”? It’s not necessarily about being single but about not letting yourself be dictated to by a man etc

    Lyrics are here if you want to read them

    It’s a shame that most music is written based on emotions because many of them are so depressing or so lovely-dovey. Consequently I rarely listen to music on the radio – when I do listen to music it’s to my own private collection and it’s music that’s happy or energetic and lively etc. Consequently I’m loving “Celebrate good times” at the moment 😉

  3. Beyonce’s song, I would have never picked.

  4. This is just one of many songs I have listened to over the decades from my personal collection: Artist: Nina Simone Album: Single Woman
    Song Title: Single Woman

    I live alone.
    That hasn’t always been easy to do.
    But just a single woman;
    Sometimes as night the walls talk back to me.
    They seem to say
    Wasn’t yesterday, a better day.

    Always alone at home or in a crowd;
    A single woman out on a private cloud;
    Caught in a world few people understand.
    I am what I am only one single woman.

    There was a time I can’t remember when.
    The house was full of love but then again
    It might have been imaginations plan,
    Just to help along,
    One single Woman

  5. Yes, these songs captures living on my own from long ago, but they are still relevant to me today Don’t Let Anyone Bring You Down(2:55) Song Lyrics, by the late M. Riperton, R. Rudolph)

    The reasons for my life are in a million faces
    Like aching promises I feel them in my bones
    Slipping through my fingers to dance upon the road
    The reasons for my life are more than I can hold
    But oh, the sweet delight to sing with all my might
    To spark the inner light of wonder burning bright
    You`re not alone
    You`re not alone

    The reasons for my life are buried in deep places
    Words once could awaken them
    these seeds that I have sown
    Ringing through the madness to crash against the cold The reasons for my life cannot be bought or sold

    The reasons for my life are filling all my spaces
    Like rushing waters flow, they carry me along
    Twisting through my memory to pull free from the load
    The reasons for my life are more than I was told
    And, the late Minnie Riperton Anthology’s — I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun(5:45), and,
    The Lord’s Prayer – Sister Janet Mead (Sister Janet Mead is a Roman Catholic nun and is best known for recording a rock version of The Lord’s Prayer. The surprise hit reached #3 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) in 1974[3] and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in that same year.)

  6. I AM SO ELATED I AM SINGLE IN NORTH AMERICA! ANOTHER CASE IN POINT: Sale of big-game trophies to be allowed in divorce cases By TIM MOWRY(03/12/12 13:04:13)
    “Board member Nate Turner, who splits his time between Fairbanks and a homestead on the Kantishna River, said the new regulation might help Alaska’s divorce rate. “I think once people realize they can lose their trophies through divorce they might not want to get divorced,” he said.”

    FAIRBANKS — Alaskans who get divorced and don’t want to look at the moose head their hunting-crazy spouse hung on the wall now have an option. They can sell it.
    While the Alaska Board of Game rejected a proposal to allow the sale of big-game trophies in Alaska during its meeting in Fairbanks last week, the board agreed to add divorces to the list of special circumstances under which the sale of big-game trophies in Alaska would be allowed. Previously it was legal to sell big-game trophies ONLY if they were part of an estate settlement, included in a bankruptcy sale, or if they were mounts prepared by taxidermists that went unclaimed. “I support this,” board member Ted Spraker of Soldotna said during discussion of the proposal. “There will be very limited cases and it’s probably usually a case where people are in some financial situation.” The proposal was submitted by Mary Jane Sutliff, an Anchorage attorney who said she ended up with a Dall sheep mount and black bear hide as a result of her 2008 divorce. “I inherited trophies from a divorce,” Sutliff wrote in her proposal. “I did not want them. I would like to sell them.” In a phone interview, Sutliff said her ex-husband “unloaded” the trophies on her, as well as several others, thinking his son would get them. “It was a way for him not to have to pay to store them,” she said.
    Dale Rabe, interim director for the state’s Division of Wildlife Conservation, said the Alaska Department of Fish and Game didn’t have a problem with adding divorces to the list of circumstances allowing the sale of big-game trophies. “I don’t see this happening very often,” Rabe told the board. The proposal passed by a 5-2 vote. Lynn Keough of Anchorage was one of two board members to vote against it. “Can you tell me how you get divorced and end up with things you don’t want?” Keough asked. “I’ve been divorced twice; I can tell you how,” replied Spraker, drawing a laugh from the audience and fellow board members. For example, Spraker said, a divorce settlement may stipulate that one person gets the house with the furnishings, which might include mounts on the wall. “Say the wife didn’t want that mounted moose head over the fire place and wants to sell it,” Spraker said. Board member Nate Turner, who splits his time between Fairbanks and a homestead on the Kantishna River, said the new regulation might help Alaska’s divorce rate. “I think once people realize they can lose their trophies through divorce they might not want to get divorced,” he said.
    Sutliff said she intends to talk to her son to see if he “has an emotional attachment” to any of the trophies she acquired and if he doesn’t, she plans to sell them. “I’m not going to store them,” she said. “I’ll market them and sell them.” The Game Board had a more serious discussion on a proposal to allow the sale of trophy mounts, which was submitted by the Fairbanks Fish and Game Advisory Committee. The proposal asked that hunters be allowed to sell trophies that have been prepared by taxidermists because they are personal property. In the last two months, there have been two cases in Fairbanks where people were cited for selling big-game trophies. One man was fined $500 for selling a Dall sheep mount he claimed to have purchased at a garage sale several years ago. He advertised the mount on Craigslist and an undercover Alaska Wildlife Trooper responded to the ad. The same thing happened to another man who was fined $500 for selling the skull and horns of a musk ox on eBay. Spraker said he was “solidly opposed” to allowing the sale of taxidermy mounts in Alaska. Enterprising hunters and taxidermists would be able to cash in on such a law by selling trophies to tourists for big bucks, he said. “If we open the sale of trophies I think we’re heading down a path to the market hunting scheme we had years ago,” Spraker said. “Everybody I’ve talked to has said if you don’t have sale of trophies in your state, don’t start it.'” Board member Nick Yurko of Juneau said allowing the sale of trophies is “another place for an outlaw to get started.” Initially the proposal received some support from board members Lynn Keough, Cliff Judkins and Teresa Sager-Albaugh. Keough, of Anchorage, said the state already allows the sale of black bear hides and noted other states allow the sale of big-game trophies. “We can choose to broaden our horizons or bury our head in the sand and live in the past,” he said. Judkins, of Wasilla, said once a hunter pays to have a trophy prepared, it should become his or her personal property and they should be able to do with it whatever they want. “If someone’s got a mount on the wall and they move to a house with a smaller wall where it won’t fit or they’re moving out of state, they ought to be able to sell an item instead of throwing it away,” he said. Sager-Albaugh, of Tok, agreed and said the fears of about selling big-game trophies are “overstated.” “Legalizing the sale of trophies won’t increase the bag limits,” she said. “It’s not like we’re opening up opportunities to harvest dozens of trophy grizzly bears or sheep to be taken down to a shop to be sold. “Once you’ve legally harvested a trophy it’s yours,” Sager-Albaugh said. “You should be able to do with it what you want.” But Turner, who works as a big-game guide, pointed out hunters pay thousands of dollars to come to Alaska seeking big-game trophies. Many of those hunters probably would be willing to pay the same kind of prices if they didn’t have to actually go hunting. “I imagine there would be quite a number of people willing to pay to have a trophy if they didn’t have to go hunting,” Turner said. “I have no doubt I could make a living with this if it was freed up.” In the end, after hearing from legal adviser Kevin Saxby with the Department of Law, the board voted the proposal down 7-0. “The more we turn wildlife into an article of commerce the harder we make it to defend the preferences we make between residents and non-residents,” Saxby advised.

    • Please keep comments fairly short and relevant to the theme of the post.

  7. Sisters are Doing It For Themselves – I remember coming to a dead stop the first time I heard those lyrics! A
    s for the living Fully Single vs as Half-a-Couple, good grief – this is 2012 – choosing to live single was a newish idea about 35 years ago. Why is there always this pressure to measure, to make it seem as if women must demonstrate that we are HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY as proof that we are fully engaged with life and don’t need anyone’s pity? No one is always happy; we all mourn broken relationships; we all feel lonely. Single or married, you aren’t guaranteed a thing.

    This is a lead in to : so I am entitled to consider Billie Holiday a necessary part of my adult woman’s lonely day collection; Ella Fitzgerald – I love the Harold Arlen Songbook sets,and her duets with Louis Armstrong which so smart, so savvy and make you feel like you are dressed to the nines and dancing with partners;
    Emmy Lou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Patti Smith, Bonnie Raitt – songs do not have to be manifestos, but I like up there, raw and polished, female singers where I can sing along. That Rolling Stones list has a lot of guys with disco era females thrown in (No quibbles about Patti …, it just was a limited selection)

  8. Wow!!! Thank you so much for the link to the Rolling Stone article. I love Rufus Wainwright’s cover of his father’s song “One Man Guy”. I heard it was originally written to be about religion (one man guy = Christianity). It’s still a beautiful song that I love. In embracing my single-for-life status, I removed most of the love songs from my iPhone. I kept the ones I could spin another way (“Come and get it” by Selena Gomez I made about food just because I love the beat). I was very happy to read Eric’s singlehood interpretation of the song and will add it to my singles songs list.


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