My Top 1000 Songs #332: Woke Up New

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

Another devastating emotional body-blow from The Mountain Goats. 2006's Get Lonely was songwriter John Darnielle's break-up album, and while a number of songs mine similar territory--I also adore "Half Dead," likewise detailing the conflicting feelings of loss and freedom on the morning after the split--"Woke Up New" is just too packed with unforgettable lyrics to ever get it out of my mind. Indeed, the unadorned pain (or is it something else?) in Darnielle's voice is almost too much, and it's one of those songs (and albums) I find myself playing only on rare occasions to keep it from ever feeling rote.

No need to say much more when you can just read the first few lines of the song:

"On the morning when I woke up without you for the first time, I felt free and I felt lonely and I felt scared. And I began to talk to myself almost immediately, not being used to being the only person there.

The first time I made coffee for just myself, I made too much of it. But I drank it all just 'cuz you hated when I let things go to waste. And I wandered through the house like a little boy lost at the mall. And an astronaut could've seen the hunger in my eyes from space."

Surprisingly great video is a nice bonus!

Darnielle solo acoustic:
Live 2021:


  1. There are certain songs that are so sad, so gut-wrenching, that I do not understand how the writer could perform this in front of people without falling apart. I think of Isbell's If We Were Vampires in a similar way so naked and emotional.


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