20 Songs About Being Replaced and Left Behind

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Written By Julia Mehalko

Julia is a music journalist with a passion for retro songs. She holds a degree in journalism from University of Nevada.

Sometimes, relationships go south. When this happens, it can feel as if you’re being replaced and left behind by the one you love, whether this is in a romantic or platonic relationship.

These intense feelings can often be difficult to deal with. So, why not turn to music to help gain some comfort? The 20 songs listed below are all about being replaced and left behind. Listen to these gems if you’re feeling lonely and lost, as they’re sure to bring a little bit of comfort or understanding your way!

1. “traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo’s “traitor” follows the singer as she sings about her romantic relationship that has come to an end. Quickly after this breakup, her ex begins to date another girl — the same woman that he assured her he wasn’t interested in when they were together!

As she’s still hurting from the end of the relationship, she finds it difficult to move on and feels as if he replaced her with another. In the chorus, she sings the lyrics, “You talked to her when we were together / Loved you at your worst, but that didn’t matter / It took you two weeks to go off and date her / Guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor.”

2. “Unhappy Birthday” by The Smiths

1987’s “Unhappy Birthday” by The Smiths details celebrating a birthday for someone who left you behind. The lead singer is sarcastic, morbid, and despises this person now. This song could be directed at anyone, as there’s no telling who this person was to the singer. Therefore, it could be a great song about being replaced by your best friend!

The singer sings how he hopes this person has the worst birthday. Who is this message from? well, it’s “from the one you left behind.”

3. “Missing U” by Robyn

“Missing U” by Robyn is about being left by someone you love. Robyn sings about how much she misses this person. Even though this person left her, she remembers the good times. She can’t believe that things ended this way — and she can’t stop herself from missing them.

She sings the lyrics, “There’s this empty space you left behind / Now you’re not here with me.”

4. “Seasons” by Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell’s 1992 song “Seasons” follows the singer as he feels that his friends, family, town, and everyone around him are moving on and leaving him behind. He just wants everything to slow down. However, this doesn’t help him, as he just ends up feeling even more left behind!

He sings, “And I’m lost, behind / The words I’ll never find / And I’m left behind / As seasons roll on by.”

5. “Aftertaste” by Shawn Mendes

“Aftertaste” by Shawn Mendes is a breakup song. The 2015 track opens with the line, “Re-rewind Friday night, never forget it, how you let me go.” Mendes then goes on to explain that his ex is the one who left him behind and wanted to replace him.

However, as the song continues to progress, we learn that she’s realized that she cannot replace him. As a result, Mendes sings about how he’s moving on from her — though she’ll never quite be able to get over him!

6. “deja vu” by Olivia Rodrigo

Here’s another Olivia Rodrigo song for you! In “deja vu”, Rodrigo sings about her ex that has moved on with another girl quickly after ending things with her. As a result, Rodrigo feels that he replaced her with another quite easily.

She also sings about how he’s doing all the same things with his new girlfriend that he did with her. Rodrigo sings, “So when you gonna tell her that we did that, too? / She thinks it’s special, but it’s all reused.”

7. “Beat 54 (All Good Now)” by Jungle

“Beat 54 (All Good Now)” by Jungle describes someone leaving you for someone else. The band sings about a relationship that seemingly has some issues. The singer feels that their partner has no time for them — and that their partner believes that the singer can easily be replaced.

The band sings, “And I never had enough for you, but you said someone / Would come and replace me, how can you replace me?”

8. “Just Like a Dream” by Lykke Li

“Just Like a Dream” by Lykke Li is technically a breakup song. However, it does also have quite a lot of hope in it! Li sings about how this romance of hers is coming to an end. She sings about how her ex will replace her with another — and how she’ll replace her ex with someone new.

But she also sings about how she hopes her ex returns to her “just like a dream.” So, even though their romance ends, she does have hope that they’ll reunite in the future!

9. “exile” by Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver

Taylor Swift and Bon Iver’s duet “exile” follows two exes who run into each other after their breakup. Bon Iver sings from the point of view of an ex that feels hurt that his ex has moved on so quickly and replaced him. Swift, meanwhile, sings about how he should’ve seen the warning signs and how unhappy she was while in a relationship with him.

10. “Left Behind” by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

In “Left Behind”, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals describes a romance that had warning signs early on. Potter explains that she loves the man she’s with. However, she also knows that he’s not good for her — and he does eventually leave her behind.

To this, she just sings the lyrics, “This ain’t the first time that I’ve been left behind.”

11. “Happier” by Ed Sheeran

“Happier” by Ed Sheeran follows the singer as he describes his emotions after a breakup. Sheeran sings that his ex already replaced him with another man. While he feels hurt by this, he also loves her enough to hope that she feels happier with her new boyfriend.

12. “Someday” by Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey’s 1990 song “Someday”, which appears on her self-titled album, opens with the lyrics, “You were so blind to let me go / You had it all but did not know / No one you’ll find will ever be.”

Carey goes on to sing about how she knows her ex will miss her someday. He’ll learn to regret leaving her behind!

13. “Someone Like You” by Adele

“Someone Like You” by Adele is one of the best sad songs about someone leaving you. Adele sings to her ex, saying that she hopes he’s happy with his new partner. However, she still struggles with the fact that he moved on and replaced her.

So, she ends up singing, “I heard that your dreams came true / Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you.”

14. “Beggin’” by Maneskin

In “Beggin’”, a cover of the 1967 classic, Maneskin sings about wanting to be with one woman. The singer says that he only wants to be with this girl. However, there are clearly some issues — and he often feels that she wants to replace him.

He sings, “Why the feel for the need to replace me?”

15. “How Do I Breathe” by Mario

Mario’s 2007 song “How Do I Breathe” also discusses feeling replaced and left behind. In this song, Mario sings about his ex and how she left him. However, she left him because of his own mistakes. Now that she’s gone, he definitely struggles!

He sings, “I miss you so bad, I can’t sleep / I wish I knew where you could be / Another dude is replacing me.”

16. “Bring It On Home to Me” by Wilson Pickett

1968’s “Bring It On Home to Me” by Wilson Pickett opens with the lyrics, “If you ever change your mind / About leavin’, leavin’ me behind / Oh honey, bring it to me.”

Pickett goes on to say that the one he loves left him. However, he wants her to return — and feels that she might if she misses him enough!

17. “Kiss Me Goodbye” by Petula Clark

Petula Clark’s “Kiss Me Goodbye” also deals with feeling left behind and replaced. Clark sings about her romantic relationship coming to an end. Even though she still loves this person, he has already replaced her.

To this, Clark sings, “There’s someone new / And she’s waiting for you / Soon your heart will be leaving me behind.”

18. “It All Seems to Fall Into Line” by Perry Como

“It All Seems to Fall Into Line” by Perry Como, which appears on his 1973 album And I Love You So, describes a romantic relationship slowly coming to an end. Como sings how he knows something is amiss in his romance. However, he at first can’t quite understand what’s wrong.

But then, it all starts to make sense to him. So, he sings, “In a fog that isn’t lifting / We are drifting apart / I can see someone’s replaced me in your heart.”

19. “Don’t Let My Teardrops Bother You” by Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick’s 1973 song “Don’t Let My Teardrops Bother You” also details the end of a romantic relationship. Warwick sings about how upset she is that this romance is coming to an end. She never thought this would happen!

She sings that she’ll never stop loving her ex, even if he replaces her with someone new. As a result, she sings, “And where you go, my love will be there with you / No matter where you are or if you find someone new.”

20. “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)” by The Isley Brothers

Finally, we’re at the last song on our list! “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)” by The Isley Brothers opens with the lines, “I know you’re leavin’ me behind / I’m seeing you, darlin’, for the very last time / Show a little tenderness before you go.”

The song continues as the group expresses their sadness over this romance’s end. They long for one more embrace and one more kiss before their love leaves them completely!

Listen to the full list on YouTube here!