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You're used to wearing less, and now your life's a mess

--Marc Almond/Soft Cell - Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

This is probably the greatest breakup song ever written.

Aside from the warm fuzzy memories I get from this song (black leather skirt, spiked hair, ridiculous lipstick, dancing at Spit), it has the most biting, sneering yet lovelorn lyrics.

Download here

Lyrics below. Don't read the lyrics without listening to the song. Marc Almond's voice conveys both contempt and heartache so perfectly pitched, it could tear you apart.

Standing in the door of the pink flamingo
crying in the rain.
It was a kind of so-so-love and I'm gonna make sure
It never happens again.
You and I - it had to be the standing joke of the year

You were a sleep-around
a lost-and-found and not for me - I fear
I tried to make it work
you in a cocktail-skirt
And me in a suit (well
it just wasn't me).
You're used to wearing less and now your life's a mess -
So insecure you see.
I put up with all the scenes and this is one scene
That's going to be played my way.
Take your hands off me
I don't belong to you
you see.
Take a look at my face for the last time -
I never knew you - you never knew me.
Say hello
goodbye - say hello
wave goodbye.

Under the deep red light I can see the make-up sliding down.
Hey little girl
you will always make up

So take off that unbecoming frown
what about me?
Well I'll find someone that's not going cheap in the sales

A nice little house-wife who'll give me a steady life
And won't keep going off the rails.

Take your hands off me
I don't belong to you
you see. . . .
We've been involved for quite a while now

And to keep you secret has been hell.
We're strangers meeting for the first time
Just smile and say "hello" -
Say hello
then wave goodbye - say hello
then wave goodbye

Say hello
then wave goodbye - .


Thanks for posting this song. I have fond memories of black leather, spiked hair, black lipstick, combat boots and a club called Thunderdome.

Oh, I almost forgot, and the bad taste of rejection in my mouth that no amount of booze could kill. Alas, my dark, dark youth :)

Ahhh, yes. Thank you so much. For the song, the lyrics and, most of all, reminding me of the days when I was the "girl most likely to die from her own hair."


I loved Soft Cell (and Almond's spin-off band, The Mambas) with a fierce and unhealthy love that no one understood. I still have all the albums, twelve inch singles, EP's, all of it. Can't throw it away. How I wish I'd known you then. You would have understood why this song made me cry.

"Tainted Love" was what made up my mind at 13 to start a band. Heh.


I knew I recognized the voice and musical style. When David mentioned "Tainted Love", it all made sense.

No, the greatest breakup song of all time is You're Breaking My Heart by Harry Nilsson:
You're breaking my heart You're tearing it apart
So fuck you.

the david gray cover is pretty good as well.

it's the hopefulness and despair in his voice when he sings the line "We're strangers meeting for the first time, o.k.?" that tears me up every damn time.