Adele’s 15 most heartbreaking, weepy songs


Brace yourselves, get your cries on ready because there’s going to be plenty of sad songs coming out very soon from the award winning multi-talented British superstar, Adele. Well, this seems to be the consensus from everyone after news broke out that Adele and her husband, Simon have split.

“Adele and her partner have separated,” her representatives, Benny Tarantini and Carl Fysh, wrote Friday. “They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always, they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.”

Adele is known as the master of making even the manliest of men and the toughest women break down and feel all the feelings with her powerhouse vocals and a songwriting ability that is raw and honest.

So you know, Adele is aware that her music makes you cry, and in fact uses herself as the barometer for whether or not a song is good enough to be tear-inducing. In a new interview with the New York Times, Adele said that she knows she’s got a keeper on her hands when it makes her own waterworks start going. “In order for me to feel confident with one of my songs it has to really move me,” she explained. “That’s how I know that I’ve written a good song for myself — it’s when I start crying. It’s when I just break out in [expletive] tears in the vocal booth or in the studio, and I’ll need a moment to myself.” So when you hear “Hello” and start sobbing over relationship drama you’ve never even experienced, you’re playing right into Adele’s hands.

So, in honor of the queen of heartbreak and sad songs in anticipation of her fourth album which we all anticipate will be sad songs, here are our top 15 heartbreaking sad songs by Queen Adele.

  1. Set fire to the rain

Adele was frantically rewriting lyrics to reflect her state of mind after splitting with her boyfriend. It was like everything was going wrong in her life and being unable to light a cigarette was the final straw. The emotion was pouring out of her and that made her exceptionally creative.

  1. Hometown Glory

The singer told Q  magazine that the song’s lyrics were partly inspired by a drunken stagger home after a night out in Central London. She confessed: “I was really pissed, wobbling all over the place. This French woman comes up to me and goes, You need help, dar-leeeng? And I went, Nah, it’s me hometown, luv.”

  1. One and Only

Adele had a rebound romance with the guy she sings about on this track. It didn’t work out and Adele commented during her performance, which was captured on the Live at the Royal Albert Hall CD/DVD: “When I wrote this song, I was really an optimist. I thought the sun shone out of his ass… Not enough time has gone by since he was a f—ing pr–k to me. So I will chat s–t about him until I’m blue in the face.”

“That one’s just about someone I’ve known for years who I’ve always loved and I think he’s always loved me but we’re too scared to be with each other in case that’s it.”

  1. Chasing Pavements

Adele explained to the Sun  newspaper January 18, 2008 that “Chasing Pavements” is about splitting up with her ex and having her heart broken for the first time: “That song is about should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there’s nothing there? I was only with him for four months but when I signed my record deal, I had to write an album, as I hardly had any songs, so I wrote about him.”

  1. Take it all

Adele explained this about the song: “It turned out to be about the early stages of a relationship falling apart.”

When Adele introduces this track during her performance captured on the Live at the Royal Albert Hall CD/DVD, she reveals this, “He left me a couple of weeks after I played him this song. It was for the best, though. He was an ass and I was a bitch — it wasn’t going to work.”

  1. Turning Tables

The song was written following a confrontation with her former boyfriend. She had found herself distressed about the way her ex had kept “turning the tables” on her during their arguments.

  1. All I ask

This is a sad, bittersweet song about a relationship on the brink of extinction, and Adele only wants to pause that destruction for one night more, so she can always remember how good it was and what love really should look like. She wants to find comfort in her boyfriend but knows that the next day he’ll be gone.

  1. Hello

Lyrically, the song focuses on themes of nostalgia and regret and plays out like a conversation.

“The song is about hurting someone’s feelings but it’s also about trying to stay in touch with myself, which sometimes can be a little bit hard to do,” she said. “It’s about a yearning for the other side of me. When I’m away, I really, really miss my life at home. The way that I feel when I’m not in England, is… desperation. I can’t breathe anywhere else,” Adele explains.

“I’m so attached to my whole life here,” Adele added. “I get worked up that I’m missing out on things. So Hello is about wanting to be at home and wanting to reach out to everyone I’ve ever hurt – including myself – and apologize for it.”

  1. Water under The Bridge

Lyrically, the track is about a critical point in a relationship and trying to figure out if your partner is in or out.

  1. Million years ago

The track is about how fame has personally affected her and everyone around her. The song finds Adele singing about missing her mother, her friends and how people react to her differently now she’s famous

  1. Don’t you remember

Adele explained that it was about a former flame: “You know when you forget why you loved someone? I was just thinking about how my entire body would just shiver if my ex touched me to say hello. It’s sad when you can’t remember why you loved someone.”

“It’s about how my skin would tingle any time he ever touched me,” she said. “I’d wait by my phone going crazy cause he didn’t text me back in 10 minutes. It’s just like, ‘I bet he doesn’t remember why he loved me.’”

  1. When we were young

Adele says the inspiration for this song came after going to a party and seeing everyone she used to be close to. She told the story behind the song during a SiriusXM interview. “It was based on us being older, and being at a party at this house, and seeing everyone that you’ve ever fallen out with, everyone that you’ve ever loved, everyone that you’ve never loved, and stuff like that, where you can’t find the time to be in each other lives,” she explained. “And you’re all thrown together at this party when you’re like 50, and it doesn’t matter and you have so much fun and you feel like you’re 15 again. So that’s the vibe of it really.”

  1. Daydreamer

Its about falling for someone you know you can’t have and it wont work. Adele explained to the Sun newspaper that this song is about falling for a bisexual friend: “It was about a friend of mine, who’s still one of my best friends and he was bi. I am so jealous of girls anyway that having to fight with boys as well, I just couldn’t do it. But I started falling in love with him around my 18th birthday. He convinced me that it would be fine but that night he kissed one of my best boyfriends and I was like: ‘Get lost!'”

2. Make You Feel my Love

Adele said this about the lyrics, “It’s about regretting not being with someone, and it’s beautiful. It’s weird that my favorite song on my album is a cover, but I couldn’t not put it on there.”

  1. Someone like You

This song is about getting over an ex, hoping to find another who can bring back those feelings that made it so special. Adele revealed that she was struggling emotionally when she composed it. She told The Sun: “It’s simple – just letting go. It makes me really upset. It’s my most articulate song. It’s just to the point, it’s not trying to be clever, I think that’s why I like it so much, because it’s just so honest, no glitter on it.” It’s the perfect break up song.


Ladies and Gentlemen, grab lots of tissues because the next album, we will all need lots and lots of hugs.

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