"That's just what songwriters do," he adds. "It's one of the side effects of having a job that overlaps with your personal life, and sometimes that seems a little cruel or manipulative or unfair."

For any songwriter, experience is essential. But could an experienced heartbreaker like Thompson put the game of love at a disadvantage? Couldn't just one of these songs, such as the sorrowful "Take Me Back Again," bring his paramour running back no matter how bad things are?

Unlikely. "By the time that person hears the song," Thompson says, "the moment has probably passed."

TEDDY THOMPSON + POUNDCAKE + MARY LOU LORD | T.T. the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge | January 19 @ 8 pm | 18+ | $14 | 617.492.0082 or ttthebears.com

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