11 Early 2000's Emo Songs That Will Still Make You Feel Weird

11 Early 2000's Emo Songs That Will Still Make You Feel Weird

Remember when you could still have feelings?

Whether you consider it third wave emo or fourth wave emo or hundred millionth wave emo or pop punk or “that pussy shit,” it’s pretty undeniable that there was something happening in mainstream music in the early to mid-2000’s that didn’t sound like pop and only sometimes sounded like rock. My iTunes likes to call it “alternative.” That’s also how middle-aged people describe me, so I guess it works.

I never stopped listening to this stuff. When I’m in control of the aux cord, or tasked with playing anything anywhere, the usual reaction is “Oh my God! I haven’t listened to this in years!” To which I can only say “Hahaha. This has a hold on me I will never escape. I listen to Panic! at the Disco every day. Hahaha.”

This music is still emotionally manipulative--simplistic in its approach and sharp in intensity. It cushioned our worst days when we were younger, and for that we should remember it, even if we haven't thought about it in years.

I understand that most of us have moved on to newer music, or at lease those of us who don’t want to live in a constant, cloying haze of soul-crushing nostalgia. However, if nothing else, I do think that most of our mid-2000s emo has a singular timeless quality to it—it’s always good to feel sad about. That’s why it was invented, really.

1. "Everything We Had" - The Academy Is…

This song is like walking home from high school in the dead of winter, slipping on black ice and knowing that no matter how cold it gets outside, there is no pain that matches the pain of love.

Saddest Lyric: “Take the pain out of love and then love won’t exist.”

2. "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" - Death Cab for Cutie

This song is like your windshield wiper passing slowly over the rain-splattered window, smearing red and yellow tail lights into paintbrush streaks that make your eyes feel glazed. You're on your way to them. You'd follow them anywhere.

Saddest Lyric: “Love of mine, someday you will die. But I’ll be close behind—I’ll follow you into the dark.”

3. "Ohio is For Lovers" - Hawthorne Heights

Do you remember what it was like? You were a teenager with too much eyeliner, too many hormones, surrounded by preps and parents that just didn't understand. This song is like pulling on fingerless black gloves and screaming to yourself while you rock back and forth, trapped in a tempest of emotions and feelings and adolescence.

Saddest Lyric: “So cut my wrists and black my eyes, so I can fall asleep tonight… OR DIE.”

4. "Your Guardian Angel" - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

This song is sitting in the back of your summer love's car while he sings it to you, accompanied with his out-of-tune acoustic guitar. It's the warmth of the pavement on a summer day and rushing into someone's arms because something awful happened and you have nowhere else to go.

Saddest Lyric: “'Cause you’re my true love, my whole heart, please don’t throw that away. 'Cause I’m here for you, please don’t walk away and please tell me you’ll stay.

5. "Northern Downpour" - Panic (!) At The Disco

Northern Downpour is like walking into a room of your oldest friends. They sit around a fire. They welcome you. You warm your hands on the flames and think of how lucky you are. When you open your eyes, there is nothing there. Your oldest friends are gone. The fire is gone. It is only you, and you alone.

Saddest Lyric: “I know the world’s a broken bone, but melt your headaches, call it home.

6. "Cancer" - My Chemical Romance

This song feels like loss. The kind that grips you by the throat and squeezes. It arcs over you like cold water from a fountain left on too late in the season, and reflects lights from skyscrapers. It should be beautiful, but it's too cold.

Saddest Lyric: “'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you.

7. "Blue and Yellow" - The Used

Blue and Yellow is scraping your nails against your skin as you try to stop yourself from saying the only thing you want to say. You feel snowflakes settling on your clothes and skin, but it's soft enough, so you don't mind. Your hands tremble and so do theirs. You somehow still feel the pressure of their presence, even when they turn and walk away.

Saddest Lyric: “Should have done something, but I’ve done it enough. By the way, your hands were shaking. I’d rather waste my time with you.”

8. "You’re So Last Summer" - Taking Back Sunday

How many times have you done this? You tear the same picture to shreds again and again, only to try and piece it back together when regret settles over your aching joints. This song is mean, miserable, angry, and desperate to prove itself. And so are you.

Saddest Lyric: “The truth is you could slit my throat and with my one last gasping breath I’d apologize for bleeding on your shirt.”*

*Author’s Note: The most emo.

9. "What A Catch, Donnie" - Fall Out Boy

This song is like pushing yourself away from the shore in a boat that you know will start taking on water any second, but you go on your way. You'll go down with it. It's lonely on the sea, but you've always been lonely, haven't you?

Saddest Lyric: I’ve got troubled thoughts and the self-esteem to match. What a catch. And all I can think of is the way I’m the one who charmed the one who gave up on you.”

10. "The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot" - Brand New

This song is like trying to eat dead leaves and then choking when they cut your throat. Diamonds of blood issue from your throat, and you collect them and try to sell them as rubies. No one buys any. (If it doesn’t remind you of your ex, you can think about my ex, because I sure as hell am, and it sucks.)

Saddest Lyric: “If it makes you less sad, I’ll move out of this state. You can keep to yourself. I’ll keep out of your way.”

11. "Wake Me Up When September Ends" - Green Day

This is not easy for me to talk about, because this song makes my head fall off my body and roll into the gutter, where it lays and cries until it can gather up the strength to get back on my shoulders and cry some more. Maybe I don’t need to say much—I think this song might be genetically engineered to make you really, really sad.

It’s about the lead singer’s father, who passed away when he was really young. Sometimes, when he sings it on stage, he looks up the sky and cries. It’s heartbreaking. Oh God. I’ll see you guys later, I have to go get my dismembered head out of the rain-soaked gutter.

Saddest Lyric: “Here comes the rain again, falling from the stars. Drenched in my pain again, becoming who we are.”

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To the guy that shot my brother...


To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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