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Sad Songs

Well, a while back I made a post about happy songs. Finally, I feel like I've gotten that out of my system... er I mean I've compiled a list I feel good about. If you didn't contribute or thought of a new one, great! Go back and post it.

However, now I'm ready to think of the most sad songs ever. Uh, this is indicative of approximately nothing, but there is always value in a good scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel soft-comfort-of-self-pity we-could-only-make-this-song-in-minor-key sad song. I hear Elton John says that they say so much. What does he know, he's still standing better than he ever did. But I digress.

So, if you care to, let me know what songs break your heart or just make you want to hide in a dark cave alone with a bottle of cheap booze. Or just epitomize the word sad.

radiohead - creep
counting crows - round here, perfect blue buildings, long december
jewel - foolish games
no doubt - don't speak
peter, paul, and mary - don't think twice, it's alright, puff the magic dragon
fuel - shimmer
carpenters - solitaire (i have a particularly mopey cover by sheryl crow)
chess - i know him so well
simon and garfunkel - sparrow (who WILL love a little sparrow? WAHHHH!)
BOC - don't fear the reaper (arguably happy, but isn't it about jumping out a window?)
ben folds five - evaporated (or that abortion song, take your pick)
split enz - charley, i hope i never (although the second is distinctly cheesy)
les mis - a little fall of rain
the roches - on the road to fairfax county
metallica - one, fade to black, nothing else matters
sheryl crow - strong enough
kansas - dust in the wind
queen - who wants to live forever
replacements - here comes a regular
dan fogelberg - leader of the band
jim croce - time in a bottle
joan baez - there but for fortune
judy collins - who knows where the time goes
mad world cover from the donnie darko soundtrack
billy joel - goodnight saigon
beatles - long and winding road, yesterday
cat stevens - the wind, if i laugh, novim's nightmare
steve kilbey - pretty ugly pretty sad
nine inch nails - something i can never have
rocky horror - superheroes
crash test dummies - superman's song
planxty - time will cure me
chris isaak - wicked game
matthew sweet - nothing lasts
europe - carrie (cheeeeeese)
leonard cohen - famous blue raincoat
damned - feel the pain
brothers four - greenfields
danny wilson - loneliness
monkees - shades of gray
bonnie prince billy - i see a darkness
coldplay - trouble
elliot smith - needle in the hay (yeah, that scene from royal tenenbaums)



( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jul. 6th, 2003 04:31 am (UTC)
great list! i don't know a lot of the songs (there are huge gaps in my musical acquaintance), but you're so right about several of the ones i do know. "time in a bottle" always makes me sad, too, especially knowing he didn't live long after that. "something i can never have" is a song i always identify with and feel sad about, even moreso on the Still album. "and all that could have been" on the same album is a real heart-ripper to me -- when reznor's voice breaks in a kind og groan and he kind of wails "coulda been!" heavy.

is the "mad world" from donnie darko the old tears for fears song? i'll look up the soundtrack to see. (i find it kind of funny, i find it kind of sad, the dreams in which i'm dying are the best i've ever had, etc.)

joseph arthur's "Invisible Hands" always makes me feel sad in the spookiest way. ("i don't know now where you are, your photograph sits like a scar against my wall; such a pretty face, sunshine in your eyes, taken on that day, when all we had was love," and his voice shreds on the word 'love'. wow.)

did i say great list? ;D
Jul. 6th, 2003 09:42 pm (UTC)
it's a cover of the tears for fears song, by gary jules (i was just having a total brain fart when i made the post) it's much more melancholy than the original.
Jul. 6th, 2003 05:00 am (UTC)
How can you include "Littel Fall of Rain", and not "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables"?
Jul. 6th, 2003 09:41 pm (UTC)
probably because i was just listing off the stuff i had put on mixes and not thinking about it much. :)
Jul. 6th, 2003 06:07 am (UTC)
Mm. You've covered a number of mine (both Les Miz songs mentioned, Jim Croce, Counting Crows "Long December", "Puff the Magic Dragon", NIN), but here's a few more...

  • Pearl Jam, "Black" (this one gets me in the gut every time)
  • Simon & Garfunkel, "The Boxer"
  • Dion, "Abraham, Martin and John"
  • John Lennon, "Imagine" (the song is so damn hopeful ... but reality is so far removed it makes me cry)
  • Sakamoto Maaya, "Kuuki to hoshi" (Cookies and Stars ... just found the lyrics to this one, which makes it all the more poignant now)
  • REM, "Perfect Circle"
  • REM, "Nightswimming"
  • Sarah McLachlan, "Ice"
  • Sarach McLachlan, "Full of Grace"
  • Mad Season, "River of Deceit"
  • Indigo Girls, "Southland in the Springtime" (makes me horribly, horribly homesick for Georgia)
  • Gordon Lightfoot, "If you Could Read my Mind"
  • Billy Bragg, "My Youngest Son Came Home Today"

Just a few....

Jul. 6th, 2003 09:44 pm (UTC)
believe it or not, i had pulled out my gordon lightfoot CD to listen through and see what i could find that was saddest. :)

too bad sara mclachalan makes me want to murder people, or i bet those songs would make me really sad. i blame adult-contemporary radio for this.
(no subject) - summer_queen - Jul. 7th, 2003 07:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jul. 7th, 2003 10:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 6th, 2003 06:09 am (UTC)
Smiths- lots of stuff, but especially "I Know it's Over"
Roy Orbison- "Crying," "It's Over"
Swans- "Goddamn the Sun" (this song is sung from the perspective of a seriously alcoholic man whose love has left him and has just heard that his best friend has been killed in a foreign country... no, really)
Jul. 6th, 2003 09:39 am (UTC)
Re: ...
Roy Orbison- "Crying"

Ooooh, or the Spanish version from Mulholland Dr.
Re: ... - professorbooty - Jul. 6th, 2003 09:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: ... - snidegrrl - Jul. 6th, 2003 09:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 6th, 2003 07:17 am (UTC)
All the songs everyone has listed are great. However, I have to bow to good ole country for the saddest songs ever.

Feed Jake: About a guy who promises his friend he'll feed his dog after he dies. It sounds like his friend died of aids.

I think it's called "Christmas Shoes" or something about that, about a little boy using the last of his money to buy the shoes his mom wanted so she can be burried in them.

As far as just pity party songs goes, snidegrrl covered alot of mine. I think, however, my big pity party nobody loves me song is "Reflection" from the MuLan soundtrack, the version MuLan sings. It sounds like someone wrote it for me. *smirk*
Jul. 6th, 2003 09:46 pm (UTC)
i tried to find some of the country songs i wanted to put on here, but i failed. pfeh! i did want to put country songs on the list though.

just reading your descriptions have made me sad!! wah!
Jul. 6th, 2003 07:37 am (UTC)
"Asleep" by The Smiths.
Jul. 6th, 2003 09:29 am (UTC)
I would add:

Peter Gabriel: I Grieve
Annie Lennox: The Gift
Natalie Merchant: My Skin
Perfect Circle: 3 Libras
Tori Amos: China
Jul. 6th, 2003 09:38 am (UTC)
* Depeche Mode, "Somebody"
* Duke Ellington, "Mood Indigo"
* Lou Reed, "Perfect Day" (for which I blame Trainspotting)
* Simon & Garfunkel, "The Boxer"
* The Sisters of Mercy, "Some Kind of Stranger"
* Donna Summer, "MacArthur Park" (Snee hee hee.)

And a bunch more I am forgetting. I thought I'd have a lot more gothy songs in here, since it's kind of their forte, but really, they're not sad, per se.

Let me also list the New Creatures, "My Child Queen". This fits in a different category, something to do about 'anger you can't express' but I doubt you'll come up with a category for that, so I will shoehorn it in here.

BTW, the "Mad World" cover from Donnie Darko was also used in Smallville and it's by Gary Jules.
Jul. 6th, 2003 12:06 pm (UTC)
REM's cover of "I Will Survive".
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jul. 6th, 2003 09:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 6th, 2003 10:42 am (UTC)
Tanya Tucker -- "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone?)"

Frank Sinatra -- everything on In the Wee Small Hours.
Jul. 6th, 2003 10:44 am (UTC)
"Both Hands", Ani DiFranco
"Adam and Eve", Ani DrFranco
"Northern Cross", Dar Williams et al.
"Ghost", Indigo Girls
"Violent Times", Jenn Cass
"Bittersweet", Me'shell Ndgeocello
"Black Boys on Mopeds", Sinead O'Conner
"As Tears Fall", The Samples
"Crucify", Tori Amos
"Me and a Gun", Tori Amos
"Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain", Willie Nelson
"Excuses", 10,000 Maniacs
Jul. 6th, 2003 09:50 pm (UTC)
funny how tori amos makes it on this list 98573857 times. :)
Re: - cattack - Jul. 8th, 2003 12:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 6th, 2003 11:46 am (UTC)
"And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda," The Pogues
"Tuesday Morning," The Pogues
"The Cat's in the Cradle," Harry Chapin
"Try Not to Breathe," REM
Plenty from Les Mis - "Little Fall of Rain," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," "On My Own," etc.
"He Went to Paris," Jimmy Buffett
"Tank Park Salute," Billy Bragg
"Motorcycle Emptiness," Manic Street Preachers
Jul. 6th, 2003 03:27 pm (UTC)
Phil Collins - Against All Odds (I know, guilty pleasure, but it makes me cry)
Kate Bush - This Woman's Work
REM - Everybody Hurts
Ani DiFranco - Independence Day
matchbox 20 - You Won't be Mine
Cake - Where Would I Be?
Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
Liz Phair - Shatter
The Pogues - Thousands are Sailing and Misty Morning, Albert Bridge
Jul. 6th, 2003 09:55 pm (UTC)
ah, yes, old school liz phair before she went all mainstream and got happy and began making crap music. (go ahead, read the pitchfork review of her latest album, they gave it a ZERO!!)

Jul. 6th, 2003 04:10 pm (UTC)
James - Out to get you
PJ Harvey - That was my veil
Portishead - Undenied
Bel Canto - Without you (yup, they have to be on any list I make)
This Mortal Coil - Song to the Siren
Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes, Cooling (that one gets me everytime), Frog on my toe, Case of you (cover song)
Jul. 6th, 2003 06:54 pm (UTC)
Mary Prankster - Mercy Fuck
Neutral Milk Hotel - Airplane
Jeff Buckley - Last Kiss Goodbye
Tori Amos - Scarlet's Walk
Ani Difranco - Untouchable Face
Melissa Etheridge - Bring me some Water
Teen Idols - Only One
Dar Williams - Cool as I am
Jul. 6th, 2003 09:56 pm (UTC)
you have made my day by placing a neutral milk hotel song on the list. bravo!!

i think we may need to have a vote on WHICH tori amos song is the saddest, eek!
(no subject) - zenthia - Jul. 7th, 2003 12:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 6th, 2003 10:46 pm (UTC)
Just A Few
Against Me! "Pints of Guiness Make You Strong"
Billy Bragg "Between the Wars" and "The Saturday Boy"
Johnny Cash "The Man Comes Around"
The Cure "Disintegration" and "Jupiter Crash"
Radiohead "Blackstar" I found an acoustic version of this, and it's incredible.
Joey Ramone "It's a Wonderful World", sad because it came out posthumously.
Rehab "It Don't Matter"
Nico "These Days"
The Smiths "Back to the Old House" "Asleep" (to name a very few)
Jul. 6th, 2003 10:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Just A Few
Er, Joey Ramone did "What a Wonderful World", sorry.
Re: Just A Few - snidegrrl - Jul. 6th, 2003 11:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
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