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"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
Single by Neil Sedaka
Released 1962
Writer(s) Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield

"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" is a song recorded by Neil Sedaka and described by Allmusic as "two minutes and sixteen seconds of pure pop magic".[1] It is considered to be Sedaka's signature song. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 11, 1962 and was a good hit all over the world, sometimes with the text translated into foreign languages. For example, the Italian version was called "Tu non lo sai" (" You don't know ") and was recorded by Sedaka himself.

Originally an uptempo song, Sedaka re-recorded it as a ballad in 1975 and the new version peaked at number eight in February 1976 and went to number one on the Adult Contemporary chart; it was only the second time that an artist made the Billboard Top Ten with two different versions of the same song.

Cover versions

"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" has been covered by numerous other artists over the years, including:

References in popular culture

  • Sedaka himself referenced the song in his 1974 hit, "Our Last Song Together", which marked a temporary end to his collaboration with Howard Greenfield.
  • In 1984, the song was parodied by the American Comedy Network as "Breaking Up Is Hard on You (aka Don't Take Ma Bell Away from Me)", in response to the forced breakup that year of AT&T. It reached number 69 on the Billboard charts.
  • The episode for the third season finale of Voltron is entitled "Breaking up Is Hard to Doom."
  • A second season episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks, entitled "Lights!, Camera!, Alvin!" features a cover of the song performed by The Chipmunks as its key song for the episode.
  • YTMND frequently plays a loop of the song when the site is down for maintenance.
  • A second season episode of Full House is titled "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (in 22 Minutes)". An episode from season seven has neighbor Kimmy Gibbler start to sing and play the song on the Tanners' organ.
  • In the movie Better Off Dead a portion of the song appears in a medley of breakup songs playing on Lane Meyer's car radio.
  • The song was referenced in an early 1980s Garfield comic strip in which Garfield, feeling blue, says, "Boy am I feeling down...down, down, down, down...comma comma down dooby doo down down..." Garfield creator Jim Davis would later say he got more mail on this particular strip than on any other Garfield strip.
  • The third season of Home Movies features an episode entitled "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do".
  • In an episode of Beverly Hills 90210, Brenda, Donna and Kelly along with newcomer Emily Valentine sing the song as part of "Hello Day" at West Beverly Hills High School.
  • CBS used the song to promote the season 6 premiere of NCIS, where the main characters are broken up.
  • Allstate used the song in television commercials to promote Allstate's car insurance. Breaking up is hard to do, the ads averred, unless one has an Allstate agent to undertake the deed for the customer, switching from another insurer to Allstate. The viewer learned that "breaking up is easy to do" as reassured on the screen by Dennis Haysbert.
Preceded by
"Roses Are Red (My Love)" by Bobby Vinton
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
August 11, 1962 – August 24, 1962 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Loco-Motion" by Little Eva
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