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favourite sad songs

 
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Came to this thread to post a Tom Waits song, and it's the third or fourth one :P Some artists just understand pain











Pretty much the whole Either/Or album is depressing as hell.



There's a lot of music that don't listen to very often these days, because it's not the mental place that I am, or want to be, thankfully.
 
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Sometimes it's hard to say, is it sad? Thoughtful? Melancholic? Deep?

Fred Eaglesmith 'Cigarette Machine' (and Mary Gauthier's version live)
Mary Gauthier 'Can't Find the Way'
Mulehead 'Josephine'
Chris Knight 'North Dakota'
George Jones 'Just One More'
Cracker 'Big Dipper'
Bottle Rockets 'Smokin 100s Alone'
NQ Arbuckle 'Song for Kathleen O'Hara'

Gotta stop somewhere. Thanks for the thread!
 
Nick Ryan
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Rick Roman wrote:Townes Van Zandt - Waitin Around To Die - Clip from the fantastic documentary film Heartworn Highways (1974)



The movie is fantastic, so is the song. Have you heard the version by The Be Good Tanyas? I love Townes's version of Dead Flowers as well. The late great Townes.
 
pollinator
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Warren Zevon - Keep Me In Your Heart   Warren wrote this song to his family when he found out he had stage 4 lung cancer.  He died a couple weeks after it's release.  I already let my family know it will be playing at my funeral.



 
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Shortly  before he died, he was on Letterman and said that we should enjoy every sandwich. Letterman asked him if he had any more insights into life and death than the rest of us do. He said not unless I can tell you how much you're supposed to enjoy that sandwich.

He said that avoiding the doctor for more than 20 years was probably not one of his better choices. Even on a subject like that he managed to make it somewhat funny. He was the only guest that night.

Yesterday was his birthday and my favorite station played Werewolves of London.
 
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12 Stones- world so cold.  if you like a lil light rock   or if you would prefer the saddest piano Melody ever ... Final Fantasy 10 to Zanarkand    yes im a nerd  i can do this with game and movie sound tracks all day
 
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There are so many...

"Right Where It Belongs" is one of the best and most meaningful songs I've ever heard. I don't usually like piano, but in some songs like this one, it is perfect. NIN also used piano to perfect effect in "Something I Can Never Have" which was already mentioned.

"What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection
Is it all you want it to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks?
Would you find yourself
Find yourself afraid to see?"

 
Jordan Holland
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"Is Jesus Your Pal?" by GusGus is a very minimalist song, both in lyrics and in instrument. It has just enough percussion to carry a beat, and her sweet, innocent voice singing short, simple lyrics. When I first heard it, I imagined if I ever lost a child, this would be the song to play at the funeral.


"If you reach out for more,
you'll find nothing but sorrow.
'Cause knowledge is hollow.

And pride is hard to swallow.

So come and sit on my box,
enjoy the view of this water,
where my lifeboat is sinking."

 
Jordan Holland
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A song about the famous soldiers' truce in 1915 for Christmas. It's virtually impossible to sing all the way through without choking up.


 
Jordan Holland
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"Paris St. Germaine" is a beautiful Irish tune, with the most profound, sad lyrics. It's winter, and he sees the bleakness of the city compared to the summer, and juxtaposes the city to his lost love. He misses the woman he loved after she died. Like many, he turned to drink and he found that if he gets drunk enough he can forget that she's gone (just like getting drunk enough to forget it's cold), and as long as he's drunk he can live in a dream where she's still with him. But inevitably the bar closes every night, and as he leaves the bar with her, on his way home he sobers up and his dream falls apart and he's alone again.

"I'll lay myself down in the mist and the heather
I'll lay myself down and I'll wait for your call
The bell rings last orders, we're walking together
While the boulevards burn and crumble and fall
The boulevards burn and crumble and fall"

 
Jordan Holland
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NIN again, because few do sad like he does. "Only" is unbelievably upbeat and angst-filled, showing the swirling torrent of emotions that often circle the drain of sadness. After  a relationship gone wrong, he's basically trying to get his footing on what's real and what isn't. He's trying to convince himself that he is real.


"Yes I am alone but then again I always was
As far back as I can tell
I think maybe it's because
Because you were never really real to begin with
I just made you up to hurt myself...

And it worked"

 
Jordan Holland
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"Mr. Brightside" by The Killers is a story of unrequited love, and how one's mind can run rampant. Every time the song gets to these lines, I can hardly help but tear up. They are so simple, but contain so much emotion.


"Now I'm falling asleep
And she's calling a cab
While he's having a smoke
And she's taking a drag
Now they're going to bed
And my stomach is sick
And it's all in my head
But she's touching his chest now
He takes off her dress now
Let me go
'Cause I just can't look, it's killing me
And taking control"

 
Jordan Holland
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"The Queen and the Soldier" is one of the most brutally honest songs with the most beautiful, dreamy melody masterfully done by Suzanne Vega's voice. The queen is the archetypal Everywoman, who thinks she has a right to hurt others due to the fact that she has emotions (as if the people she hurts do not, or at least their emotions do not matter). She has a right to be weak and not even try to change, while she demands everyone else to be strong. I guess what makes this song so sad is how many people have heard it, and still choose to be the queen, no matter how many people they hurt, regardless of the wise words of the soldier:


"Tell me how hungry are you? How weak you must feel
As you are living here alone, and you are never revealed
But I won't march again on your battlefield"
And he took her to the window to see.

And the sun, it was gold, though the sky, it was gray
And she wanted more than she ever could say
But she knew how it frightened her, and she turned away
And would not look at his face again

And he said, "I want to live as an honest man
To get all I deserve and to give all I can
And to love a young woman who I don't understand
Your highness, your ways are very strange"

 
Jordan Holland
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"Waking Up Beside You" by Stabbing Westward is about being alone. Despite promises to the contrary, the narrator knew in his heart that she would one day leave him. So he memorized all the little things he loved so much about her while he could, because he knew it would not last.


"I've been so alone for so long
I forgot how much it hurts
To wake up so alone

But I memorized how warm your body felt
as you lay half asleep beside me
And I memorized the way the sunlight
filled the room and played upon your body

I miss
God I miss
Waking up beside you"

 
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A biker tear-jerker, guaranteed to get the eyes watering by the final chorus:

David Wilcox "Eye of the Hurricane"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePsD5t1vg_Y

"She wants to run away, but there's nowhere she can go,
Nowhere the pain won't come again.
But she can hide, hide in the pouring rain,
She rides the eye of the hurricane."
 
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State Radio - Mr Larkin.  Get's me every single time
 
Jordan Holland
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"The Great Below" by NIN. The ocean is like human emotions. Powerful, serene, and everything in between. I think he captures it all, here.


"Staring at the sea
Will she come?
Is there hope for me
After all is said and done
Anything at any price
All of this for you
All the spoils of a wasted life
All of this for you

All the world has closed her eyes
Tired faith all worn and thin
For all we could have done
And all that could have been

Ocean pulls me close
And whispers in my ear
The destiny I've chose
All becoming clear
The currents have their say
The time is drawing near
Washes me away
Makes me disappear

And I descend from grace
In arms of undertow
I will take my place
In the great below"

 
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ABBA's "The Winner Takes it All" pretty regularly finds itself in the lists of top breakup/loss songs, and it's hard to argue.


In my opinion, "Number One Blind" by Veruca Salt is about being so paralyzed by depression that you can't tell if it's night or day, and don't even care about the answer:


MIKA's "Happy Ending" is despondency in a bottle.


But I am more interested in songs whose upbeat tempo belies the abject despair of the content. Take ABBA again.  "If it Wasn't for the Nights"  has one of the catchiest disco hooks ever. But every word of the song is about succumbing to despair and loneliness.

I miss you so, I know I'm never gonna make it
Oh, I'm so restless, I don't care what I say
And I lose my temper ten times a day
Still it's worse when the night's on its way
It's bad, oh, so bad
Somehow I'd be doin' alright if it wasn't for the nights
(If it wasn't for the nights I think that I could make it)
I'd have courage left to fight if it wasn't for the nights
(If it wasn't for the nights I think that I could take it)
How I fear the time when shadows start to fall
Sittin' here alone and starin' at the wall  



"Whispering Bells" by The Del-Vikings is plaintive and poppy but its one of the purest expressions of loss ever:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDrjIW91Qh0


Here's one that inverts the formula.  SAD tempo, uplifting lyrics. Immaculate Machine brought us this uplifting ditty, "C'Mon Sea Legs:"




 
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Well, the Johnny Cash cover of Hurt has been mentioned already, so good.

In the other lyrics thread I had already mentioned Bee's wing by Richard Thompson. If you don't know it, absolutely listen to it. Very poetic about a lost love:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HApy-Xoix-g

Just checked my playlist (which my daughter helped me set up) and there are more ballads:

Angel from Montgomery (Bonnie Raitt) about a marriage gone stale:

There's flies in the kitchen
I can hear them there buzzin'
And I ain't done nothin' since I woke up today
But how the hell can a person
Go to work in the mornin'
And come home in the evenin'
And have nothin' to say

... and of course very classic ballads like Trees they grow high (e.g. in the version of Pentangle)
about a love lost too early
 
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a couple great sad songs from a great album

 
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happy sad song = sad song by we are kings
 
Anita Martin
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OK, can't deny which kind of music I still got on CD on my shelf.
Like Bon Jovi, here a song which you can't appreciate at 18 when you still think love is all roses and happy forever, but when you get some experience in life and you realize love will see rough times:
Damned
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp9OQPD1NRE&ab_channel=eirini99

I'm lying here beside you in someone else's bed
Knowing what were doing's wrong
But better left unsaid
Your breathing sounds like screaming
It's all that I can stand
His ring is on your finger
But my heart is in your hands

[Chorus]
Damned if you love me
Damned if you don't
It's getting harder holding on, but I can't let you go
Damned if you don't need me
Damned if you do
Oh God, I wish it wasn't me standing in these shoes
Damned, damned

[Verse 2]
A door slams like a shotgun, you jump up to your feet
Just the wind blowing through the secrets that we keep
Made me want to want you, god knows I need to need you
By the time the love is over, I'll be sleeping on the streets

[Chorus]

[Bridge]
(Why don't you talk to me?) Because I'm too blind to see
(Why don't you look at me?) Because I'm afraid to breathe
(What do you want from me?) All that I can stand
The lies are on my tongue
And I can't turn back I know
My soul is damned

[Verse 3]
Don't worry
I ain't gonna call you or hear you say my name
And if you see me on the street, don't wave just walk away
Our lives are getting twisted, let's keep our stories straight
The more that I resist you, my temptation turns to fate

[Chorus]
Damned if you love me
Damned if you don't
It's getting harder holding on, but I can't let you go
Damned if you don't need me
Damned if you do
Oh God, I wish it wasn't me standing in these shoes
Damned
Yeah damned

Damned if you love me
Damned if you don't
It's getting harder holding on, but I can't let you go
Damned if you don't need me
Damned if you do
Oh God, I wish it wasn't me standing in these shoes
Damned
Oh damned

That retro vibe got me googling and I just had to watch Adam Ant "Desperate but not serious". Not a really sad song, but made it clear we need a thread "stars we thought incredibly sexy back then" ;-)
(Prince a bit later had a hard time trumping what Adam Ant was to my 13/14 year old self)
Editing to add a link so you can have some good 80ies cringe:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVWWtqa9-7M&list=PLA72597365BE9C568&index=12&t=0s&ab_channel=AdamAntVEVO
 
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My fav sad song is How Could You Leave Us by NF. He is ana amazing rapper, he got so much fan following through his music art. I used to have his fan poster when he released his song, to show my love for him. Here is my fav song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOzQMCyPc8o
 
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