Let us make a toast to modern emo. The drama! The poetry! The minimum daily requirement of whining! Let’s make it perfectly clear right now that we’re not throwing shade on the genre. We’ve come to celebrate it in all of its heart-wrenching enormity. That’s why we’ve taken eight of the most emo song lyrics and ranked and explained them. We’re sure they’ll continue to soothe future broken hearts.

For all of its frequent overwrought sentiments, emo just had to happen. What a lot of listeners (lovers, haters, others) forget was how inundated America was with nü metal. Lots of dumb, sometimes sexist lyrics sung by dudes who wanted to be adopted by Cookie Monster. Emo’s unvarnished and naked emotions were a welcome respite. Plus, you didn’t need a lyric sheet to decipher lyrics for your AIM away messages, either.

Read more: These 12 songs will make you happy until you listen to the lyrics

The eight songs we’ve chosen are some of the most legendary emo lyrics this scene has ever produced. Yes, they all reflect a level of being distraught. They address the (purported) futility of love and life. However, there’s a genuine sense of honesty about them that is far more human than what listeners were sold previously. Our list begins with a verse from the king of coping mechanisms. Another is a pensive search for a sexual identity. And of course, heartbreak and anguish reign supreme. (Remember that one album with the perfect title?)

We’ve picked out the classic emo song lyrics that we feel defined both the genre and a scene. Feel free to share your personal favorites in the comments. Because we know there’s a good chance that your mythology might be wrapped up in a forgotten song. And we all know how good it feels when you have something you can really call your own.