Top Ten Songs about Wanting to Work it Out

This list consists of songs about relationships that are on the verge of breaking up. But the theme is not about the break up, but about trying to prevent the break up by working things out. The songs seem to fall in one of three categories. Either the narrator is confessing his/her feelings, asking the person to stay and fight for the relationship, or begging the person not to go. So, you will have a wide range of emotions to choose from.

“Breaking Up is Hard to Do” by The Carpenters

The title of this song pretty much says it all, but it seems like a stupid reason to stay in a relationship. But then, the narrator of the song seems to be looking for any reason to convince her boyfriend to stay as she says “I beg of you don’t say good-bye.”

They say that breakin’ up is hard to do;
now I know, I know that it’s true.
Don’t say that this is the end.
Instead of breakin’ up
I wish that we were makin’ up again.

“Can We” by Brandy

This song’s lyrics aren’t as touching as some of the others. It appears the guy doesn’t really like the girl or at least he wants to change her or find someone new who makes more money. But the girl pleads with him and tries to get him to stay by telling him she loves him.

Let me tell you the truth
I may not be what you want me (true)
I may not have all the money (true)
You cannot say that my love ain’t true
‘Cause you know that it’s all about you now (true)
Sometimes I trip and be buggin’ (true)
Then turn right around and want lovin’ (true)
So understand me when I’m wanting true
Feelings for me coming from you now

“Can’t We Try” by Dan Hill

One of my all-time favorite duets, this 80s song gives you an intimate picture of two people in a relationship that has stopped working. Rather than walking away, they both are trying to find a way to fix what isn’t working.

Can’t we try just a little bit harder
Can’t we give just a little bit more
Can’t we try to understand
That it’s love we’re fighting for
Can’t we try just a little more passion
Can’t we try just a little less pride
I love you so much baby
That it tears me up inside

“Don’t Dream it’s Over” by Crowded House or Sixpence None The Richer

Crowded House singer Neil Finn wrote this after having a terrible fight with his wife, Sharon. This song has also been covered fairly well by Sixpence None the Richer.

Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win

“Don’t Give Up On Us Baby” by David Soul

This is another good song with passionate lyrics that have just enough pleading to be moving but not too much to make it seem like he is clingy or too needy. I also like how the song talks about how the relationship is worth saving, and for that reason they shouldn’t let go of things too early.

Don’t give up on us baby
We’re still worth one more try
I know it would have last one by
Just for a rainy evening
And maybe stars are few
Don’t give up on us I know
We can still come through

“Hold Me in Your Arms” by Rick Astley

Rick Astley is more famous for being the voice behind the “Rickrolled” videos. (Rickrolling involves tricking someone into clicking a link to Astley’s video “Never Gonna Give You Up.”) This is not THAT song and it’s one of my favorites on this list because the narrator reassures his lover about his feelings and is confident that they will find a way to work things out.

We both know there’s a problem , a problem that we’ve got to face
So put your trust in me, lover, no one’s ever gonna take your place
‘Cos we all have a problem, we all have fears
But there’s got to be a way
Yes we all have feelings, we all need loving
And you would be a fool to say, that if you…

“I’ll Be There For You” by Bon Jovi

Even if you don’t like Bon Jovi, this song will tug your heart strings. The narrator is dealing with the fact that his lover is walking out the door. But before she leaves, he wants her to know that “Now I’m praying to God you’ll give me one more chance, girl.” Some of the lyrics are really heart-wrenching like “And as my broken heart lies bleeding / You say true love it’s suicide” and “You left me drowning in my tears.”

I’ll be there for you
These five words I swear to you
When you breathe I want to be the air for you
I’ll be there for you
I’d live and I’d die for you
Steal the sun from the sky for you
Words can’t say what a love can do
I’ll be there for you

“It Matters to Me” by Faith Hill

Out of all the female-narrated songs on this list, I find the Faith Hill song the least clingy or begging. In the song, the narrator addresses the problems in the relationship and is looking for a way to bridge the gap between her and her lover.

Maybe I still don’t understand
The distance between a woman and a man
So tell me how far it is
And how you can love like this
‘Cause I’m not sure I can

When we don’t talk
When we don’t touch
When it doesn’t feel like we’re even in love
It matters to me
When I don’t know what to say
Don’t know what to do
Don’t know if it really even matters to you
How can I make you see
It matters to me

“Tell Her” by Lonestar

This song is unique for this list because it takes the perspective of a third party, a friend of the couple’s. The narrator is telling the guy that he will be supportive of whatever he decides, but urges him to not to walk away from things until he has a least made some effort to tell the woman how he feels.

So you say your love’s about to end
You say you can’t take no more
She’s out the door and you’re looking for a friend
Who am I to tell you why
But I’m just curious
Were you furious
Or did you swallow your pride and look her in the eyes
And tell her that you love her
Tell her that you need her
Tell her that you want her to stay

“We Can Work It Out” by The Beatles

The Beatles wrote a lot of their songs about their lives and relationships. This one is no different. Paul McCartney wrote this song about his girlfriend, actress Jane Asher. The song “I’m Looking Through You” is also about that relationship.

Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There’s a chance that we may fall apart before too long.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.
Life is very short, and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.
I have always thought that it’s a crime,
So I will ask you once again.

“You Need Me” by Mariah Carey

While “You Need Me” falls into the clingy category, the narrator does have some pride. She makes sure she tells her future ex that he will regret leaving her. Someday, he’ll wake up and realize the one he depended upon is gone.

Wait a minute
Before you walk away
Let me finish
I’ve got a lot to say
Baby, I’m not gonna tolerate
This game that you play
You’ll regret it
If you desert me this way
When there’s nobody to dry your eyes
Suddenly, you’re gonna realize

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