This is topic Sad Songs in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Ecthalion (Member # 8825) on :
So, I've been sitting here, reading and listening to my playlist and I was noticing that I have many sad/depressing songs. I just began thinking about how few songs seem to fit outside the sad/depressing or the "love" song categories.

I was also thinking about how many songs have that sad aura on them even if musically or lyrically they aren't. Wind of Change by the Scorpions has a dark, lonely, melancholy sound, yet it is undoubtedly a positive song about progress after the cold war. Take Me Home by Phil Collins has an upbeat rhythm and key background, it only feels melancholy because of the echo used on his voice, yet it is most definitely a depressing/sad song.

Also thought about how sometimes the same song done differently produces different emotions. Tears for Fears' version of MadWorld to me sound a bit more like an angry/anarchical melody, but when done by Gary Jules (sp?) its haunting, depressing, hopeless. Similar to The Wall, Korn's version is full of anger, Pink Floyd's strikes me as being depression.

Anyway I was just looking for something to postpone homework a bit and I don't remember seeing a thread like this.

Just thought i'd ask what your thoughts are about sad songs and what your favorite sad songs are.

Personal favorites of mine:

Fade to Black-Metallica
He went to Paris-Jimmy Buffett
Ten Years Gone-Led Zeppelin
Posted by capaxinfiniti (Member # 12181) on :
maxence cyrin - where is my mind (cover)

modest mouse - out of gas, trailer trash

carla bruni - quelqu'un m'a dit

mason jennings - crown, ulysses, rebecca deville

the stars - your ex lover is dead

emily haines - our hell

the shins - new slang

elliot smith - needle in the hay, miss misery

i dont have time to track down good examples but sigur ros, EITS, and others often have a really melancholy sound.
Posted by Shanna (Member # 7900) on :
Gary Jules' version of "Mad World" is one of my favorite sad songs but I never knew it was a cover until now. I just tried listening to the original version on youtube and didn't make it very far.

It would take me awhile to dig through my itunes and pick out the best sad songs but I know the top spot goes to the Barenaked Ladies for "Am I the Only One." That song used to make me cry even before I learned it was written after he lost his brother in a motorcycle accident.
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
My favorite sad songs are the ones with happy or upbeat music. Like this one.
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
Gary Jules' version of "Mad World ranks right the heck up there on my sad song list.

Are we listing songs that are sad, or songs that we listen to when we are sad? I tend to listen to mellow but not necessarily sad music when I'm sad. Basically anything by Nick Drake.

But actual music that is sad is a different matter.

I think A Simple Plan's "untitled" is one of both the saddest songs and saddest videos I've ever seen, especially the end when all the family members are tossed around to show that you don't just hurt the victim, but the victim's family as well. Gets me every time.

It's so depressing that I have to watch this to balance it out. "Everyday" is instant warm fuzzies.
Posted by Phanto (Member # 5897) on :
A lot of music is not sad or break up.

The song I Hope Tomorrow is Like Today is very moving for me.
Posted by ambyr (Member # 7616) on :
Nanci Griffith's "So Long Ago" always makes me tear up--specifically the last verse.
Posted by Ben (Member # 6117) on :
Originally posted by capaxinfiniti:
trailer trash

Trailer Trash is hands down my favorite Modest Mouse song. That is all.
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
Killkelley, Ireland. I have a live, faster version of it, but man, if that song doesn't rip the heart right out of you, you don't have one.
Posted by Strider (Member # 1807) on :
I find The World At Large to be a far superior Modest Mouse sad song.
Posted by Xavier (Member # 405) on :
When I saw the thread title, I immediately thought of the Gary Jules cover.

"Something I Can Never Have" from Nine Inch Nails is a favorite of mine. Of course there's also "Hurt".

"Dust in the Wind" by Kansas is up there for me. A song about how we're all doomed to die and nothing actually matters. Fun stuff.

"Breathe Me" by Sia is a pretty good one.

I'm sure there's a lot more I'm forgetting. I used to listen to a lot of angry and depressing stuff.
Posted by Strider (Member # 1807) on :
"Dust in the Wind" by Kansas is up there for me. A song about how we're all doomed to die and nothing actually matters. Fun stuff.
Will Ferrell destroyed the seriousness of that song for me.
Posted by The White Whale (Member # 6594) on :
The Frame's "Sad Songs"

Not really a sad song, but I felt that it was obligatory.

Relevant Lyric:

Too many sad words make for sad, sad songs.

Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Nine Inch Nails - Hurt

Simple Minds - Belfast Child
Posted by The White Whale (Member # 6594) on :
The most devastating song I've ever heard is "A Una Rosa" from "Requiem for a Dying Planet" by Ernst Reijseger.

I can't find a link to the song, but I did find a piece of the song, in concert (only about a minute of it before it goes on to other songs)
Posted by Icarus (Member # 3162) on :
Originally posted by Ecthalion:
Sad Songs

They say so much.
Posted by Bokonon (Member # 480) on :
Radiohead's Videotape

R.E.M.'s Country Feedback
Posted by rollainm (Member # 8318) on :
Another vote for Gary Jules' "Mad World." It's funny, I've been obsessing over this song for about two weeks now, trying to learn it on piano (<-not a pianist by any stretch).

"If You're Gone" by Matchbox Twenty.

Pretty much anything by Something Corporate/Jack's Mannequin, though "Konstantine," "Walking By," "Globes and Maps," "Miss America," "Hammers and Strings," and "Caves" are worth special mention.

"Saints and Sailors" and "The Best Deceptions" by Dashboard Confessional.

"Ever So Sweet" and "Sunday Drive" by The Early November.

"Landed" and "Brick" by Ben Folds. And while "The Luckiest" isn't exactly a sad song itself, that third verse just about chokes me up every time I hear it.

"Out of Reach" and "I'll Catch You" by The Get Up Kids.

The acoustic version of "Letters to You" by Finch.

Pretty much any GnR ballad.

While I'd be lying if I said I didn't like that untitled Simple Plan song Lyrhawn linked, it's seriously got to be the most generic and sappy thing I've ever heard. I want to cry and laugh every time I hear it. That video gives it some perspective, though.

"I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Mis.

"I'll Cover You" from Rent.

"Defying Gravity" from Wicked.

"Candle in the Wind" by Elton John

"99 Luftballons" by Nena.

Originally posted by Strider:
"Dust in the Wind" by Kansas is up there for me. A song about how we're all doomed to die and nothing actually matters. Fun stuff.
Will Ferrell destroyed the seriousness of that song for me.

Yeah...I like my sad songs. I might add more as they come to me.

[ November 12, 2010, 10:06 PM: Message edited by: rollainm ]
Posted by Glenn Arnold (Member # 3192) on :

"I'll Cover You" from Rent.



Home Sweet Home - Peter Gabriel

Fast Car - Tracey Chapman

Eleanor Rigby - Beatles

Daniel - Elton John

Operator - Jim Croce

Vincent - Don McLean

Landslide - Stevie Nicks
Posted by 0range7Penguin (Member # 7337) on :
I listen to a lot of sad songs and my Ipod isnt near me but one I have recently been listening too that comes to mind is There But For the Grace of God Goes I by Flogging Molly.

The song makes me think of the scene in that movie (sorry can't remember the name of the top of my head) about those WWII bombers when they can see the other bomber going down and hear the men on board screaming over the radio connection.
Posted by Misha McBride (Member # 6578) on :
Nth'ing the Gary Jules cover.

"Landslide" by Stevie Nicks is also a good one with honorable mention to the Smashing Pumpkins cover.

"I Will Follow You Into The Dark" by Death Cab for Cutie, look up the Youtube of this song with the rabbit animations.

"Round Here" by Counting Crows, specifically the Howard Stern live version.

"The Ballad of Ira Hayes" by Johnny Cash

"Caoineadh Cu Chulainn" by Davy Spillane

"The Freshmen" by Verve Pipe

"Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber
Posted by Shawshank (Member # 8453) on :
"Tears in Heaven" by Clapton. Knowing also why that song was written makes it truly heartbreaking.
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
I'll second or third or whatever "Landslide" and "The Freshman."

I was listening to NPR today and they did a segment on a Polish composer who died today named Henryk Gorecki, who was most well known for his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.

I listened to a bit of them, and they were hauntingly beautiful and sad. They're classical music with a soprano singing a written text. The second movement is what someone wrote on the wall of a Gestapo prison during WWII, and the third one is a Silesian folk tale about loss during the Silesian uprisings. They're songs of loss and separation between parents and children. Might be worth a listen.
Posted by capaxinfiniti (Member # 12181) on :
a few more.

the exit - susan
the yeah yeah yeahs - modern romance

music is amazingly subjective. a lot of what others have posted i dont find particularly sad and no doubt others feel likewise about what ive posted. i find that lyrical content is what makes a song sad. probably because it gives context or creates an idea to which i can relate and which i find sad as well. to me, sad lyrics focus on disillusionment, abandonment, rejection, betrayal, hopelessness or loss and a song with no lyrics can have a heavy, melancholy feel to it but a somber tone doesnt denote a sad song. of course music conveys and produces emotions which are difficult to express in words so its hard say what one feels when one hears a particular song.
Posted by Architraz Warden (Member # 4285) on :
It's not even at the fringe of pop-culture, but Arvo Pärt - Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten has to be one of the simplest and saddest songs for those who enjoy lyric free and classical music.
Posted by Dr Strangelove (Member # 8331) on :
Yeah, Gorecki popped into mind for me, as well as several others who have been mentioned (Gary Jules' version of Mad World, The Freshman, I Dreamed a Dream, Vincent, Fast Car). One that I always find sad and depressing, though not necessarily emotionally so, is Best I Ever Had by Gary Allan. Really, I don't know that I've heard a song by him that isn't horribly depressing. But Best I've Ever Had is probably my favorite.
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :
Forever Autumn - Justin Hayward

Pretty much any version (by a competent vocalist) of "Danny Boy" does me in.
Posted by Dr Strangelove (Member # 8331) on :
Oh, I wanted to throw in On My Own from Les Miserables as well. That song, especially coupled with Little Fall of Rain... yeah. Always gives me goosebumps and/or makes me tear up.
Posted by Pegasus (Member # 10464) on :
Originally posted by sndrake:
Pretty much any version (by a competent vocalist) of "Danny Boy" does me in.

how about the Muppets?

I find the Alex Parks cover of Mad World to also be good.
Posted by Bella Bee (Member # 7027) on :
Just about anything by Aimee Mann, but especially the one-two kick of 'Just Like Anyone' and 'You Do' - all about the sadness and frustration of not being able to help your friends.

'You and Frank Sinatra' and 'Holding Your Hand' by Thea Gilmore.

'Not Dark Yet' by Bob Dylan.

A definite second for 'Breathe Me' by Sia, and for 'Forever Autumn' - in fact that whole musical is epically sad - it is the end of the world after all (or would be if it wasn't for the common cold).
Brilliant to listen to on long road trips, though.
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
Pike Street Park Slope by Harvey Danger.

Living In Your Letters by Dashboard Confessional.

Long Black Veil by Johnny Cash.

Summer Wind Was Always Our Song by The Ataris.

Wish You Were Here by The Get Up Kids. (Not a cover of Pink Floyd's iconic track.) 2:28 onward gets me every single time.

Piano Concerto 2, 2nd Movement Part 1.

Piano Concerto 2, 2nd Movement Part 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff. My love for this song is tainted with grief at the thought that the Romantic Period is over. If you can't listen to the whole song at least listen to part 2.
Posted by rollainm (Member # 8318) on :
Ooh, good call on Wish You Were Here, BB. Forgot about that one.
Posted by Speed (Member # 5162) on :
Cloud Cult: "Love You All"

This song is so sad my wife has developed a Pavlovian response to it. She loves this whole album, but always has to skip this song. And if I ever try to play it when she's around she immediately starts crying and yells at me to turn it off.

If I have a funeral, I want this song played at it.
Posted by Destineer (Member # 821) on :
The traditional folk song "The Ghost Lover" really gets to me. Ian and Sylvia have a good version.

Bokonon, sndrake, good to see you guys. [Smile]

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