No matter how you choose to celebrate Valentine's Day, you can hardly deny the looming presence it claims during the first few weeks of February. Thankfully, it's all over now. No more 1-800-Flowers emails assailing your Blackberry or E.E. Robbins commercials impinging on your commute. Only the humble observance of President's Day remains on February's holiday schedule, and most of us couldn't be more relieved.
...and nothing says "you're all alone" quite like a country song.
"Forget The Flowers," Wilco: The urban cowboy's theme to wishy-washy romance.
"I Used To Call My Heart A Home," Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers: A forlorn tune of love that makes Muth "long for the days when I was a dreaming child."
"Hello Walls," Willie Nelson: Faron Young popularized this honky-tonkin' anthem to loneliness in the early '60s.
"I Don't Wanna Play House," Billy Sherrill and Glenn Sutton: Tammy Wynette, the queen of country heartbreak, sings it true.
"Close Up The Honky Tonks," Red Simpson: Simpson composed this song about wild women made famous by Bakersfield balladeer Buck Owens and later, by his prodigy Dwight Yoakam.
"She Thinks I Still Care," George Jones: A ode to self-deception if there ever was one.
"I Still Miss Someone," Johnny Cash: Cash's lonesome ballad has been covered by many country greats, but this version, performed live at Folsom Prison in 1968, had bittersweet significance for the inmates he played for.
"Metal Firecracker," Lucinda Williams: Williams' humble acceptance of lost love is achingly captured in the refrain, "All I ask/don't tell anybody the secrets/I told you."
"Single Girl, Married Girl," The Carter Family: A classic, folky "grass-is-always-greener" scenario.
"Some Broken Hearts Never Mend," Don Williams: One of country music's easiest-listening, smoothest operators, this was Williams' catchiest tune of heartbreak.